Photo by Rodney Curtis/

She enjoyed the smell again.

It was almost redundant, the pungent whiff of the first slice. As October lost its grip on summer, falling into autumn, her own grip was firm, solid. Her slicing was as swift and adroit as it had been in her youth.

“This doesn’t feel like fall,” she thought, leaning into another apple. The late afternoon sun making the outside colors seem fake, Photoshopped.

A cut as precise as the last. There was almost a mist of apple spray around her now. This was, in a word, exhilarating. She remembered the first time. It was with a much younger man. Hell, she was much younger too. His smile. His sure hands. It was over in an instant. She couldn’t get enough of the feeling.

She was smiling now too. Apples, autumn, endings. “This is my last one.”


Another apple.

The satisfaction. The pure pleased-with-herself grinning. The apple’s grin-reaper.

“Okay, okay. THIS one is my last.”


Perfect. Enough. Done.

Fallen apples, stopped mid-rot. Obliterated in an instant. Apples to sauce.

Sauntering out from the side orchard, she slid the aromatic nine iron back into her bag and strode up to the eighteenth tee, her partner commenting on the bits, the apple chunks on her sweater.

She’d wash her clubs later, rather than sooner.