Short Story: Apple Pie


Lisa opened the freezer, took out the apple pie in the foil tray, and placed it on the dining table.

A slight mist gently rose from the pie as it settled in the warm kitchen air. Lisa chewed the inside of her mouth and took a few moments to run her eyes over the pie. Her gaze followed the gentle lumps of the pastry on the lid; the delicate hand-crimped edges; the two pastry leaves that had been cut out and placed at the centre; and the miniature diamonds of sugar that had been sprinkled lovingly over the top.

She looked up at her two children, Violet and Will, who were stood on the opposite side of the table. They were also looking at the pie.

“I can’t believe it’s our last one,” said Violet.

“You’d think she’d have made more for us before she died,” said Will.

There was a moment’s pause before Lisa finally spoke.

“Ice cream?” she asked, finally.

“No. I want to taste apple pie and only apple pie,” grumbled Will.

An hour later, the three of them were sat around the kitchen table. Each had a third of the pie in their bowls and all three of them were eating very slowly. The night’s wind rattled at the windows but around the kitchen table, they gave it no notice. Nana was the only topic of conversation.

“Where did she get the apples from?” asked Violet.

“They had an apple tree in their garden. Bampy took the pips from an apple he’d eaten on their first date in the late 50s and had grown it into a tree,” replied Lisa.

“Aw, that’s so sweet,” said Violet.

“At this time of year, Nana’s garden would be covered in apple blossom. On Saturday mornings, me and my sister would pretend we were getting married and throw the blossom all over us like confetti. It was wonderful.”

“Can we get apples off her tree so we can make our own pies?” asked Violet.

“We would if we could,” said Lisa. “But when Bampy died, Nana had to go into a new house, and she had to leave the tree behind. I drove past a few months ago and the tree had been chopped down.”

Will frowned. “That’s really sad,” he said. “Why did they do that? Why do people like killing beautiful things?”

“I don’t know. I was really sad when I saw it’d gone too.”

“I think Nana’s here with us,” said Violet. “She’s watching us eat her last apple pie.” She took another tiny spoonful of pie, slowly put it in her mouth, and closed her eyes.

Will looked around the room, suspiciously. “Where?” he asked.

Violet was about to answer but she suddenly stooped forward over her bowl and brought her hands to her chin.

“What’s up? What is it?” asked Mum, panicked.

Violet gently pursed her lips and pushed out a small apple pip. She carefully took it out of her mouth with her fingertips and placed it on the table in front of her.

For a moment, the three of them looked at it.

“That’s strange. I’ve never come across a pip in Nana’s pies before,” said Lisa. There was another pause. No one was sure what to say or what to do.

“How old do you think it is?” Will finally asked.

“As old as the pie, I’d think,” said Violet. “Frozen in time.”

“Did you chew on it?” asked Will.


“What do we do with it?” Will continued.

“We could keep it as a souvenir.”

Lisa silently watched the discussion between her two children.

“Do you think she put it in there on purpose, Mum?”

“I’m not sure,” said Lisa.

“Shall we grow another tree?” asked Will.

“From one pip?”

“Yes. That’s how they’re all grown, right?”

Lisa raised her eyebrows, almost dismissively. But he had a point.

Will turned to Lisa directly. “Can we grow another tree, Mum?”

Lisa puffed her lips out. “I’m not sure it’d work, Will. And then we’ll have lost it forever.”

“Maybe I can put it in my pocket so that I can remember her when I’m walking to school,” suggested Will.

“That’s a sure way to lose it,” said Violet.

“Violet’s right,” said Mum. “It can’t leave this house.”

“I say we grow a tree out of it. Then we can make our own apple pies,” said Will firmly.

“Do you know how long trees take to grow, Will? That’s a stupid idea!” Violet groaned.

“But we have to start somewhere, don’t we?”

Will looked back at the pip. “It’s all in there,” he said.

“What is?” asked Violet.

“A lifetime’s supply of apple pies for us when we’re grown ups.”

Lisa thought for a few seconds, and then she picked up her phone.

“What are you doing, Mum?” asked Violet.

“I’m seeing how long apple trees take to grow.” Lisa typed in a few words and then slid her finger over her phone, scrolling through a few screens.

“Well?” asked Will, impatiently.

“About ten years,” replied Lisa, finally.

“I’ll be 18 by then,” said Will. “I’ll be a grown man with a deep voice and a motorbike.”

“And I’ll be 23,” said Violet. “I’ll be running my own business so I’ll need apple pies to come home to after a hard day’s work.”

Lisa looked at them both.

“Will. Go and fetch me some wet kitchen roll.”

Will pushed his chair back from the kitchen table with a scrape.

“What are you doing?” asked Violet.

“We’re planning for the future,” said Lisa.

A short while later, Lisa and Violet’s bowls were almost empty. Will had been breaking down his pie into smaller and smaller chunks to the point where there was only one tiny crumb left.

“I don’t want it to end,” said Will.

“Same,” said Violet.

“Me too,” said Lisa.

Eventually, all three bowls were completely empty. Not one crumb was left.

The three of them sat there in silence. The wind rumbled down the chimney and for a while, they just sat looking at their empty bowls. Violet wiped a silent tear from her cheek and Lisa reached a hand over to each of her children. She clasped them hard and offered a smile.

“How did she make them so good?” asked Violet.

“She made them with love,” said Lisa.

“I’m not going to eat anything else,” said Will. “I want the taste of apple pie in my mouth forever.”

Early the following morning, before the day had begun, Lisa sat in her spring garden with a coffee. She hadn’t slept much.

Mist rose gently off the grass and Lisa warmed her hands with her mug. The storm had passed through during the night and the spring sunbeams glittered off the dew.

The day ahead was going to be a busy one but for now, Lisa savoured the still, small moment of calm.

She took a sip of her hot coffee and reached down to the floor in front of her.

“One empty margarine tub,” she said, picking up the tub. She placed it on her lap. “A shallow layer of sand,” she continued, picking up a small trowel, dipping it into the small bag of sand next to her, and gently pouring it into the tub. Next, she picked up a small cup and poured a small amount of water into the tub to moisten the sand.

Then carefully and slowly, she took the folded-up piece of wet kitchen towel and took out the apple pip.

She smiled at it.

It seemed so small and delicate right now. But she knew that with the right care, nourishment, and love, it’d one day grow into something beautiful.

“Thanks, Mum. And you, Dad,” she said. She carefully placed the seed in the bed of sand and placed the lid on the tub.

Then she took another sip of her coffee.

The days of apple blossom were on their way.

By Patric Morgan




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