Song Title – prompt

Writing prompt from

Cherry Pie

His eighteenth wife, and I’m exhausted. My hands raw from picking cherries – always cherries – heart raw from loving my daughter too much. My girl, who’ll some day marry a man with more wives than he knows what to do with, some day pick cherries for him in the grove,  feel the same brand of tired like her bones have been sucked of their marrow. My daughter, another cherry picker for a cherry eater, their fool lips pink with the juice of our labors, always wanting more, more, more.

Why we let them take our planet, just hand it over like it was nothing, like we wanted to be slaves, I don‘t know. I’ll never know. All those idiots who did it are long dead; it’s just us left with monsters, picking their cherries and having daughters for them to marry.

I hope my alien husband chokes on a pit.

My sweetie, though, she was made for better stuff, I can see it in her big, beautiful yellow eyes. Got the spark of something, that ‘zing’ that’ll take her away when she’s old enough to leave the pods. I hope she has beautiful dreams (aren’t they always beautiful on the meds?), and someday I’ll tell her who I am and I’ll kiss her brown, perfect cheeks. Teach her how to run. Teach her how to inject poison – careful, can’t let the needle prick show – how to kill her husband. Then she’ll run.

I’ll be dead, of course, taken outside the dome to burn in the sun, but it won’t matter. She’ll make it, I‘ve paid good nip for my intel. She’ll jump that ride out of here, take the fast train to moon, if I can show her how to sneak and hide, give her my maps to the launching pad. She’ll get off this planet. Right off.

I’ll die. I’ll take my man out first, just see. I have my ways. We women of Cava always do. Don’t know why they haven’t killed us all off yet, the rate we poison them, but they’ve got to have their cherry pickers.


If I have to eat another goddamn cherry, I might just swallow a bullet after. The academy trained me for a lot of things; breathe underwater, tame a venomous pusbutt with my fingertips and tongue clicks, loosen ragweed from the right hole on a five-assed scorpion. Things that made sense for planet jumpers, things we’d need to survive. They didn’t prep me for a diet of cherries or the explosive diarrhea goes along with it.  If I’d known we’d be babysitting psychotic cat women on a goddamn dome world, I’d never have volunteered. Eighteen cat women following me around with their buckets, practically dumping that shit down my throat.

I swear, I’m gonna kill them. The don’t live long, sure, and more’ll hatch out of those pods, take their places like they always do, but I didn’t sign up to be a dignitary. I’m a soldier, a goddamn fight-on-the-lines planet jumping soldier. I should be holed up on Earth, battling Teeth Face and the Sharkmen. Should be anywhere but here. Haven’t had a solid shit in months.


Few more days, my baby will be out of the pods. I can feel the weight of it on me, like great Cava’s saying ‘be ready, she’s coming’. My hair’s falling out. I don’t have much time left. My legs aren’t so good, either, but I managed to run and hide like always, get in, get out, get the poison, get the needles. Few more days is all. Be strong for my baby girl.


Written up again for ‘abandoning duties’.

Let them see you smile, wave, eat cherries, pat their heads. t makes them happy, tame. We need them, they are THE KEY. Those Sci-En-Tists with their clipboards. They don’t have squads like we do, don’t have that cherry smell mucking up their sinuses.

Fuck their fucking key, I can’t stand this place, and I don’t give a shit anymore about curing the cancer. My asshole feels like an open wound, all that acid just pouring like hot liquid sugar, I could make candied apples outta my shit. Step right up, kids, I got a sweet treat for you.

I want out.


She’s getting out, today, this afternoon. I’m going there, as her mother I’ll be the first to hold her, pat her soft bottom, smell her baby smell like fresh baked pita, I suspect, salty and deep. She’ll bloom, a red hot sun at mid-day, take the ground running. Two more days, she’ll be in her fullness, and we’ll talk beneath the groves, hidden in their lilac branches, the life of our planet closing us in, protecting us. I’ll tell her my plan, then she’s gone. And I’ll be dead, but so will he.


One of my numbers did something strange today, and all the men were there when it happened. Had to play along like a good soldier. She was nearing the end of her life cycle, could tell by the patchy hair, milky eyes, her hobble. She gave me a cherry, just one, and smiled. I didn’t know they could smile. It was weird, they usually bring buckets. Maybe they’re learning something from us. I ate it, had to. No pit, which was unusual. Still, it was a cherry, almost made me lose my rations. But maybe this will get me off planet, they‘ll see I‘m on the team. I’m playing the game.

Calling in early, have a sleep in the tent to try and knock off this nausea. Probably just another case of the cherry shits. Tomorrow, I’ll talk with leadership, get myself out of this pie hole.


About Layne Tanner

Layne is a writer based in Austin, TX.
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One Response to Song Title – prompt

  1. KVeldman says:

    Haha wow, talk about irony. Very enjoyable, hooked me from the beginning.

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