Red Flesh

Bob was going to have to do something about the sock.

He looked at it from across the kitchen as he washed his hands, velvet robe sleeves rolled up to the elbows: a long, limp tube with a tumescent bulge at the end, it looked like someone had sucked all the air out of a cloud before attempting to prop it up with a beach ball.

It sat in the centre of a dark puddle which flowed over the edges and dripped onto the pristine mahogany floorboards in stark contrast to the rest of the room – the whole house, even – which for months had remained spotless thanks to the tireless work of Mrs. Hernandez. Bob had let her go this morning, and the sight of an unmistakable stain with no-one rushing to clean it up was entirely refreshing to him.

He walked over to the table and picked the sock up gingerly. It was heavier than he’d anticipated, but Bob reminded himself that the last time he held it wasn’t a particularly lucid time for him. Besides, he was focused on more important things. Bob lifted it with one hand (it stretched downward) and reached inside with the other, focused as a man performing a piece of extremely unorthodox exploratory medicine. He produced a red apple and became confused by its colour as he returned to the sink, but the cloud lifted when a stream of cool water turned it green once again.

As the red dissolved into the clear liquid and swirled down the plughole, Bob knew he’d have to eat this apple. He took a seat in the lounge and turned the home cinema on; some atrocious action movie starring a pituitary case he had some recollection of firing from the set of Hot Bullets 3: Too Sexy To Die was playing. Bob chuckled to himself and dug into the fruit.

It was much softer than he had anticipated, but he wasn’t all that surprised; there was always going to be a bit of bruising. The apple’s juice was metallic and had a slight kick to it (must have had something to do with alcohol content) which Bob found rather pleasing, and as he chewed that first bite he noticed that the flesh was dyed completely red too.

The man stopped chewing for a moment and muted the TV. He stared at the fruit; it looked like a piece of pop art. He checked his watch – 3.30 – surely it wouldn’t too late to slide a meeting in? Felix had been at him for months about the studio not self-generating enough compelling product. Wait till he got a load of this.

Bob sat in the camaro, a fresh-pressed suit on. Adjusted the rearview mirror and smiled. He finished off the apple: core, seeds and stem.The boy in the trunk and the two girls in his bed could wait until the evening.

Bob had a movie to pitch.

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