Becomes One Hundred Stories #23: Buys One Piece of Fruit

This is a piece of short fiction in the style and universe of three of my novels: Becomes the Happy Man, Becomes God’s Silent Prophet, and Becomes the Meaning Blossom.

Buys One Piece of Fruit

The man said only one.

The fruit seller said he should take more than one.

The man said he only wanted one.

The fruit seller said no one ever wanted only one.

The man said he only wanted one.

The sun had almost set. The end of the day was near.

The fruit seller said he had three pieces of fruit remaining and he wanted to go home.

The man said it was time for him to prepare his evening meal and he wanted to go home and prepare and eat his evening meal.

The fruit seller said he would sell the man three pieces of fruit for the price of two and then they could both go home for the evening.

The man said but he would only eat one, so it was a waste for him to buy three even for the price of two.

The fruit seller said it was easier for him to sell three for the price of two than two for the price of one.

The man asked the fruit seller if he would prefer the man buy nothing so he could sell three for the price of two to the next customer.

The fruit seller looked around the fresh food market. Few customers remained. Most of the other sellers were already closing.

The fruit seller said there were no more customers.

The man said that wasn’t his fault.

The fruit seller said he hadn’t said it was.

The man looked at each of the three remaining pieces of fruit and pointed to the one he wanted. He told the fruit seller it was the one he wanted.

The fruit seller said would the man please take all three.

The man said he only wanted the one.

The fruit seller said he could not go home until he had sold all his fruit.

The man said he didn’t believe it.

The fruit seller said it was true.

The man asked whose regulation that was.

The fruit seller said his wife’s.

The man said it wasn’t his fault then, was it.

The fruit seller said he never said it was the man’s fault.

The man asked if it really had to be such a dilemma.

The fruit seller said it was just the way things were. The fruit seller asked the man why he would only buy one piece of fruit. He asked if it really had to be such a dilemma.

The man said nothing had to be such a dilemma. But he would only buy one. He could only eat one, and any more he bought would go to waste.

The fruit seller said the man could give the others to someone else.

The man said he had no one else to give them to.

The fruit seller said the man could give them to the poor on his way home.

The man said the fruit seller could do the same.

The fruit seller said he could not. He said his wife would not stand for it.

The man said that wasn’t his fault.

The fruit seller said he hadn’t said it was. He said the man could buy three for the price of two and give the other two to the poor.

The man said how and when he gave to the poor was none of the fruit seller’s business.

The fruit seller said he never meant to imply it was.

The man said all he wanted was one piece of fruit and he would pay full price for it, and he would go away.

The fruit seller said please. He looked the man in the eyes and said please. Please would the man take the three pieces of fruit for the price of two.

The man said he would take three for the price of one.

The fruit seller said he could not do that.

The man asked why.

The fruit seller said his wife would know. He said three for the price of two was the most he could reduce the price.

The man said that wasn’t his fault.

The fruit seller said he hadn’t said it was. He said but the man could help the fruit seller’s domestic situation by taking his special offer of three for the price of two.

The man said he only wanted one. He said he could only eat one, and he said only one of the remaining pieces of fruit was good enough to eat and it was the one he wanted.

The fruit seller said maybe. He said maybe it was the only one good enough to eat raw, but the other two could be cut up and the good parts mixed into a dessert.

The man asked how the fruit seller could sell three when two of the pieces of fruit had to be cut up and half thrown away.

The fruit seller said that was why he was giving the man a chance to buy all three for the price of two.

The man said but he would only get the equivalent of two pieces of fruit after cutting away the bad.

The fruit seller said again that’s why he would only charge for two.

The man said then it wasn’t a special sale then, was it.

The fruit seller said what.

The man said if he would buy the three pieces of fruit for the price of two but only get two fruit out of it—and have to work to get two fruit out of it no less—then he wasn’t saving any currency, was he.

The fruit seller said the man was confusing things.

The man said he wasn’t confused at all.

The fruit seller said why wouldn’t he take three pieces of fruit for the price of two then.

The man said because he only wanted one and he could only afford one.

The fruit seller said the man did not look poor. He said anyone other than the poorest of the poor could afford the price of two pieces of fruit.

The man said it wasn’t the fruit seller’s business how much currency he had, but even if he was not the poorest of the poor, it was still true that he could not afford to pay for two pieces of fruit—even if he wanted them—because his budget didn’t allow it.

The fruit seller said it was only one more piece of fruit.

The man said it was double what he had budgeted for his daily fruit.

The other sellers were gone and the sun was down. In the twilight, the fruit seller began closing up his area.

The fruit seller said he had to be getting to the gathering of the sellers guild.

The man said he had to be getting home to his evening meal.

The fruit seller said the man could take the three for the price of one.

The man said he only wanted one.

The fruit seller said the man could take the other two anyway.

The man said he didn’t want that burden.

The fruit seller said what burden.

The man said if he gave the two other pieces of fruit to charity, he would feel guilty for giving the bad ones and keeping the good one for himself. He said if he took all three home he would have to let the other two go to waste or take the time to cut them up and make the good parts into some dessert. The man said he did not want any of that burden. He said he just wanted one piece of fruit for the price of one fruit and he would go home and eat it.

The fruit seller sold the man the one piece of fruit for the price of one piece of fruit.

On his way to the gathering of the sellers guild, the fruit seller met two hungry children and gave them the two remaining pieces of fruit. As he walked away, both pieces of fruit hit him in the back of the head.

The children shouted after him that he could keep his rotten fruit.

To read more stories in the series, see the Becomes One Hundred Stories page.