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January 9, 2018 | Fiction


Kieran Mundy

Melon photo

He told me about it after I'd already started touching him, my hand under the fabric of his pants: “I brought you a melon. Should we eat it?”

Then, I was the one being touched. It seemed thoughtful. He was a farmer and he smelled that way, which I liked. It made me want to try dirty talk.

“Dig me up,” I whispered.

His hand stopped moving. “What?” he said.

The melon was bright and yellow, the shape of an egg. It weighed around two pounds.

“It’s a canary melon,” he told me.

I wanted him to put a name to everything. “What’s this called?” I would have said, placing two of his fingers against the pulse on my neck.

I brought a knife in from the kitchen and we cut it open on my bed. The rind was thick and waxy; we had to saw at it.

“Are you sure we should be doing this?” I asked him.

When it split open the inside was translucent. I offered him a spoon.

“No,” he said, “like this.” He lifted the melon up to his mouth and bit out large chunks that made a crunch between his teeth. It didn’t seem like the melon was ripe.

“Oh,” I said, “I get it.”

We gnawed at our melon for a little while. I started to get cold because everything was uncovered and exposed. The juice of it was almost unmanageable. I watched it pool on his fingers, which were soil-stained, edged with bits of dirt. My sheets got dripped on. We didn’t finish all of it. I fell asleep with the taste of it dried around my lips. Sweet, for a little.


The next morning when I was alone I moved the rest of the melon from my bedroom to the kitchen. This was hard to do without anyone else noticing.

“What’s with the melon?” my roommate would have asked. I didn’t want to explain, again.

In the kitchen I acted like it was a regular melon, maybe one I had picked up at the store. I scooped the insides away, weeding out the seeds that were strung together by wet, soggy fibers. I threw those away. Then I cut up the rest of it. I put the melon pieces in the fridge. There was more of it left than I thought there would be.  

That melon lasted me awhile. Whenever I got hungry, I would feed myself off of it. 


image: Aaron Burch