September 24 - Everyone ready for the Friday Highlight? It's ready for you here!

Simlit Story Submission: BAD APPLES

Edit: This story won first place in the Monthly Simlit Short Story Challenge for September 2019.

See the rules on the official forum post if you'd like to participate in the voting (voting open for 7 days at the end of the month, must read all entries in both novice and veteran categories, vote for your favorite 3 in both categories).

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This is Part 1 of a 3-part series, but each part is a stand-alone story, so you don't have to read the other parts to enjoy this.

This story features the servants for the Straud family, of which Vlad is a human teenager. The Strauds make an appearance in Part 2.

Go to Part 2 on Tumblr.
Go to Part 3 on Tumblr.
* * *

Bad Apples, Part 1

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Rhoda transferred the basket from her arm to her hand, swinging it to the front as she maneuvered around the heavy black door that lead into the house from the side yard. She stepped into the kitchen, the cold autumn wind swirling her long skirt about her ankles. Florence was on her before her other foot passed the threshold.

“You’re late” Florence snapped, “What, did you stop to take a nap? Oh, that’s right. You slept in, so you’re probably not tired.”

“I’m not late,” said Rhoda as she placed the basket on the counter a little more forcibly than needed. “The Mrs. asked me to stop by the pharmacy after the market. And I only got out of bed about 15 minutes after you.”

The two old women shared a room and got up around dawn every day, but Florence was almost always up and dressed before Rhoda ever opened her eyes. Florence, being Florence, never missed a chance to gloat about this or use it to imply that she was a more dedicated worker than Rhoda. This annoyed Rhoda to no end.

Florence placed a towel over the iron oven door and pulled hard to open it. A ham was cooking in the upper chamber. Florence piled more wood on the low fire burning in the bottom of the oven while Rhoda unloaded the basket.

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“Did you get the apples?” asked Florence.

“Of course I got the apples,” Rhoda said.

“Auhh!” Suddenly Florence let out a panicked yelp.

“What is it?” Rhoda asked, alarmed.

“Ants!” Florence cried, “I hate ants!” She stomped her foot angrily, obliterating the tiny things. “Not in my kitchen,” she said.

Rhoda rolled her eyes. Again with the ants. She finished unloading the food. As Rhoda put the basket away, Florence began to cut the apples.

“Auhh!” Florence let out another cry.

Rhoda, didn’t bother to turn around this time. “More ants?”

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“No. These apples are bad!” said Florence, panicked, holding half an apple in her chubby, white hand and waving it at Rhoda, its black insides betraying the shiny red exterior. “You sabotaged me. You knew the Mrs. requested applesauce tonight, and you purposely bought bad apples. You always sabotage me!”

“I didn’t sabotage you. You’re being ridiculous,” Rhoda said impatiently. “I don’t know why you say such things about me. I’m only ever nice to you.”

There was no way for Rhoda to have known it was a bad apple as it looked fine on the outside. At Rhoda’s suggestion, Florence cut into the rest of the apples. She only found one more bad apple; most of the apples were fine. She sat the two bad apples to the side and began to prepare the rest of them for the applesauce. She would need to peel, core, chop, cook, and mash them. Rhoda left the kitchen to clean house, relieved to have some time away from Florence and her theatrics.

An hour later, Rhoda returned to the kitchen. Florence had her back to her at the far end of the room, busy at the stove. The enticing smell of simmering apples drifted through the air, mixed with the aroma of roasting meat. As Rhoda approached, she could see Florence beginning to add the spices to the applesauce.

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Still annoyed at Florence for their earlier conversation, Rhoda asked, “Isn’t that too much spice?”

Florence stiffened, and her face contorted in anger. “I’ve been a cook for this house for 43 years. I know how to make applesauce. Everyone loves my applesauce.”

Happy with the reaction, Rhoda nonchalantly turned away. “Okay, if you say so,” she said as she got out the silverware to set the table.

Florence finished adding the spices. She took the wooden spoon she’d been using to stir the applesauce, gave it a sharp rap on the edge of the pan, and placed it aside. She walked quickly out of the kitchen, no doubt to go on one of her frequent trips to the water closet.

Rhoda saw her opportunity and seized it. She picked up a spice jar and began to shake it vigorously over the bubbling apples, sabotaging Florence’s hard work.

“We’ll see how much the Mrs. loves that,” she muttered to herself as she shook and shook and shook the jar, her thin lips curling into a spiteful smile.

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* * *

Did you like this story? Keep reading--go to Part 2.

Post edited by QueenofMyshuno on
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On EA forum Stories and Legacies board and on QueenOfMyshuno.tumblr.com

Comments

  • divanthesimmerdivanthesimmer Posts: 1,344 Member
    edited September 2019
    Haha...this is really funny with the two old ladies constantly fighting and trying to outdo each other! I really like the timeline this story takes place in. Great and interesting story!
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  • QueenofMyshunoQueenofMyshuno Posts: 1,412 Member
    Thank you so much @divanthesimmer ! When I was writing it, I couldn't really tell if other people would think it was funny, so that's good to hear. :smile:
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  • QueenofMyshunoQueenofMyshuno Posts: 1,412 Member
    Hey, guys. If anyone else wants to submit their story for this contest, there’s still time. Click the link on the original post for details.
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  • Dollyllama108Dollyllama108 Posts: 171 Member
    Oh, come on, Rhoda. If you really believed she added too much spice, you wouldn’t need to add more.

    This is quite well written!
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  • lisabee2lisabee2 Posts: 3,404 Member
    Despite her poor attitude, Rhoda is cute! Nice story!
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  • TheAemaSimmingTheAemaSimming Posts: 2,682 Member
    I had to laugh at Rhoda and Florence. I liked them so much I just HAD to read the rest. I really love your writing and the details you put into making it set in the 1800s. Another fabulous job.
  • Qnshr5Qnshr5 Posts: 346 Member
    Like @TheAemaSimming I had to read the rest, too. I get where Rhoda's coming from but, yuck, an ant infestation affects her food, too! Love that she isn't the only one pulling pranks. It's really cool how each story is a stand alone, but complete each other at the same time. Geez, whoever dies first the other is going to think it means the universe gave them the win. Lol.
  • QueenofMyshunoQueenofMyshuno Posts: 1,412 Member
    Oh, come on, Rhoda. If you really believed she added too much spice, you wouldn’t need to add more.

    This is quite well written!

    Thank you so much!
    lisabee2 wrote: »
    Despite her poor attitude, Rhoda is cute! Nice story!

    Thanks! That Rhoda is kind of a cute, feisty gal, haha.
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  • QueenofMyshunoQueenofMyshuno Posts: 1,412 Member
    @TheAemaSimming and @Qnshr5 I'm so thrilled that you guys liked it enough to read the rest! That made me so happy. Thank you!!

    @Qnshr5 That's so funny that you said that about the last one to die winning. Even though it doesn't outright say it in the story, that's exactly how I see them thinking about it.
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  • katrinasforestkatrinasforest Posts: 950 Member
    It's cool to see a story with older protagonists, and I loved how Rhonda--who seemed so innocent at the start--is just as willing to backstab and belittle as Florence is. Great work!
  • QueenofMyshunoQueenofMyshuno Posts: 1,412 Member
    @katrinasforest Thank you so much! Sometimes I end up neglecting my elders, but I'm making an effort to give them their own stories in the current world I'm creating. And yes, Rhoda is...not so innocent. LOL.
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