Juicy Fruit


PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

“Take a good long look,” said the US Marshal next to me as I gazed out the airplane window. “You’ll never see this place again.” Underneath the jacket folded over my arms, I could feel the handcuffs cutting into me. “Your last plane ride.” I could taste the satisfaction in his words.

“Don’t be too sure,” I said. “How about loosening the cuffs a little.”

“Guess I can do that,” he said, and he opened them up a notch.Β “Gum?”

“Ah … Juicy Fruit,” I said, echoing the Indian inΒ One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But I politely declined the offer and watched as he peeled away the foil from a stick and slid it into his smug orifice.

“They’re going to fry your ass,” he said with a grin.

I watched his mandibles work the gum as he continued to grin at me. “Did you know,” I said, “that maitotoxin has an LD50 in mice of only 50 nanograms per kilogram body mass?”

For some reason, he didn’t grin for the rest of the flight home.


Submitted for Friday Fictioneers. πŸ™‚

This entry was posted in General Fiction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Juicy Fruit

  1. The science is lost on me but I’m pretty sure I worked out what was going on.

  2. Lynda says:

    I never knew about Maitotoxin until I read your story. Interesting to know that it comes from fish, but can be synthesized too. Nasty stuff! Diabolical story!

  3. P.S. Joshi says:

    ZS, I don’t understand the chemistry either, but I’m guessing there’s been a poisoning by way of the U.S. Marshal touching the handcuffs. Very creative and well written. πŸ™‚ —Susan

  4. draliman says:

    I looked that stuff up and it made me shudder. At least with an LD50 of 50ng/kg it sounds too toxic to (safely) weaponise!
    I wonder how long the marshal spent scrubbing in the shower when he got home πŸ™‚

  5. Dear ZS,

    I guess he gave the US Marshal something more to chew on.



  6. dmmacilroy says:

    A very imaginative take on the prompt. How did the poison get transmitted? Some gaps in the story need filling (or in my brain) but I enjoyed it nonetheless.



    • I’m thinking the gum, but someone else up there suggested the poisoning took place somehow while the Marshal loosened the handcuffs, and that would work too.

      Some gaps, but already I’m over 150 words there. So far in the two entries to Friday Fictioneers I’ve made, I’ve been way over 100 words. Oh well. πŸ˜›

  7. dmmacilroy says:

    What’s up with the Soylent logo/link on the lower right of your blog space? I thought I was the only one who knew about them. Still considering buying a three month supply. Have you tried their product?



    • I made a post about Soylent here: https://zombiesymmetry.com/2014/05/09/better-living-through-chemistry/

      I’m still waiting to try the stuff. I ordered a week’s worth in early May after I read the New Yorker piece. Back then, the projected wait time was 10-12 weeks, but they just added another 10 weeks to that. 😦

      They’re still filling all the orders from the original backers during the crowd-funding campaign, and a lot of those guys ordered crazy amounts, like 3-6 month supplies. Personally, I think they went public a little too early.

      The reason the logo/link is down there is really just that I can’t think of anything to put down there. I’ve been toying with the idea of filling up that widget area with ads for companies that people love to hate, like McDonalds and Exxon, just to fuck with people. πŸ˜›

  8. Maree Gallop says:

    Intriguing and imaginative story. I’m certainly learning a lot from FF!

  9. The science was above my head. Did the cop die?

    • I’m not sure. You know, it’s also possible that the US Marshall was never poisoned and that the prisoner is just playing mind games with him! πŸ˜›

  10. storydivamg says:

    Creepy! πŸ™‚ You just can’t trust someone you’ve arrested, can you?

    Marie Gail

  11. hafong says:

    I like the dialogue. Lost me with the chemicals but that’s okay. I get the gist.


  12. ahtdoucette says:

    That is truly twisted. Good one.

  13. misskzebra says:

    This reminds me far too much of my Food Safety lectures on toxicity. It’s the Summer, I shouldn’t have to think about things like this.

  14. Nice job ZS. You’ve really set a scene here and created a compelling story. You’ll soon see that cutting it down to the 100 words is easier than it seems. Read, re-read, edit, re-edit… it gets faster and easier, and soon you’ll be languishing at the goal. Again, welcome to Friday Fictioneers!

  15. Amy Reese says:

    I’m not sure how the poison got transferred. Did he touch the gum wrapper maybe? In any case, an intriguing and spicy read!

  16. Michael Corelone says:

    The diary of a maitotoxin researcher:

    May 9, 1998
    Played poker tonight with Scott and Alias from Security, and Steve from Research. Steve was the big winner, but I think he was cheating. Scumbag.

    May 10, 1998
    One of the higher-ups assigned me to take care of a new creature. It looks like a skinned gorilla. Feeding instructions were to give it live animals.
    When I threw in a pig, the creature seemed to play with it…tearing off the pig’s legs and pulling out the guts before it actually started eating.

    May 11, 1998
    At around 5 A.M., Scott woke me up. Scared the shit out of me, too. He was wearing a protective suit. He handed me another one and told me to put it on. Said there’d been an accident in the basement lab.
    I just knew something like this would happen. Those bastards in Research never sleep, even on holiday.

    May 12, 1998
    I’ve been wearing the damn space suit since yesterday. My skin’s getting grimy and feels itchy all over. The goddamn dogs have been looking at me funny, so I decided not to feed them today. Screw ’em.

    May 13, 1998
    Went to the Infirmary because my back is all swollen and feels itchy. They put a big bandage on it and told me I didn’t need to wear the suit anymore. All I wanna do is sleep.

    May 14, 1998
    Found another big blister on my foot this morning. I ended up dragging my foot all the way to the dog’s pen. They were quiet all day, which is weird.
    Then I realized some of them had escaped. Maybe this is their way of getting back at me for not feeding them the last three days. If anybody finds out, I’ll have my head handed to me.

    May 16, 1998
    Rumors going around that a researcher who tried to escape the estate last night was shot. My entire body feels hot and itchy and I’m sweating all the time now.
    I scratched the swelling on my arm and a piece of rotten flesh dropped off. What the hell’s happening to me?

    May 19, 1998
    Fever gone but itchy. Today hungry and eat doggy food.

    May 21 1998
    Itchy itchy Scott came ugly face so killed him. Tasty. Itchy. Tasty.

  17. dianathrelfo says:

    Just caught up with your Juicy Fruit story, ZS, and loved it. Those US Marshal’s always seem to come to grief when they’re transporting villains. Beautifully written, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s