Tangerine

Anthi was dreaming the color orange. It painted the backs of her eyelids like a sunset, corner to corner.

The tangerine on her bedside table trembled, then levitated. It hung in midair between floor and ceiling. The rind cracked open and sank to the moonlit floorboards. Anthi’s eyes zigzagged behind her lids. Teardrop-shaped vesicles burst, creating pulpy river streams that ran between the tangerine’s segments, filling the new planet’s veins. Anthi exhaled. The tangerine’s white, spongy threads wove together and twisted into new life forms. Thus rose the Pith People. The first word on each of their lips was Anthi’s sweet, sweet name.

By the time Anthi began to stir between her starched bedsheets, the planet was approximately seven hours old. The tangerine lowered itself back onto the warm wood patina of her nightstand. Early-morning sunlight splashed in honey waves across the infant planet. The Pith People shivered with anticipation. One did not meet their maker every day.

Anthi sat up in bed, rubbed her eyes, and looked at the tangerine she had set aside the previous night. Small fingers closed around the skinless, sticky fruit. She pulled each segment apart, slow, tender. Juice-tears wetted her fingertips.

Anthi, like many gods before her, took a bite out of the planet she had unwittingly created.

 

Avra Margariti is a queer Social Work undergrad from Greece. She enjoys storytelling in all its forms and writes about diverse identities and experiences. Her work has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Forge Literary, Longleaf Review, and other venues. You can find her on twitter @avramargariti.

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