Rotted Orange among the Apple Orchards
A man from Miami wearing brown sandals, drawstring tan pants and a white guayabera appeared large between dead apple orchards. Two turkey vultures pecked on his body nailed between the long grass blades with a bullet. Their beaks had been breaking his skin since the scent stirred the air of a farm field in the eight hours of his death. The body was later identified by the sister of the deceased man: Charlie Snow.
Twelve hours earlier at the Merry Mountain Vineyard, Lynn asked her brother, Charlie, if everything was okay. She just observed a man whom he had a disagreement with him earlier when he bumped into him as he exited the bathroom.
“I’m fine,” Charlie said as he shrugged off the question by raising his glass of wine. “Earlier it was some farmer who became angry when I took a short cut from your house.”
“Listen, you have to be careful greeting women, and more importantly, women who you meet for the first time. It’s not common to offer, or give, in your case, a hug and kiss when you’re visiting new places.” Lynn said with a light laugh, but then changed to a serious tone, “What do you mean about the farmer?”
“I didn’t see a No Trespassing sign. I just walked through the field for a shortcut. He came out of know where and stopped my path with obscenities. Somewhere in the static I heard, ‘Step on my land again, you’ll pay.’ Whatever…”
“Don’t be so foolish,” she said, “my house is 20 minutes the longest way. Just stay on the road and no shortcuts. I’m leaving because I have to work early at the hospital tomorrow.”
Lynn said good-bye and Charlie drank a few more glasses of wine.
A husky man with slicked back white hair and a sunburned forehead named Sean was purchasing 4 bottles of wine from the vineyard when he noticed Charlie, again. Sean was the man who had words with Charlie by the bathroom because he felt that this slim, bronzed man with short curly black hair flirted with his girlfriend, Barbra.
He recalled with anger when he walked toward the table with his fist as tight as his jaw:
“You guys know each other?”
“No. I was just telling Barbra this was my first time here,” Charlie said.
“You guys kissing and hugging like you know each other.”
“No, I was just introducing myself,” Charlie said.
The conversation coiled and sprang into his mind with more angst for the man from Miami.
Charlie recognized the stewed stare and offered a nod. Sean simmered but was pulled by Barbra in the direction of the parking lot. Charlie also left the vineyard, but with a bag of two bottles. He was drunk and not ready to walk the road. He took the short cut through the field.
He heard a door slam, turned with his wine glazed eyes and then a shot was fired: The farmer with an expired warning and a Winchester.
Rotted Orange among the Apple Orchards was a Key West 500 Word Contest entry.