The Unauthorized Epilogue


Audrey age… 41. Or something. I’m too lazy to do the math right now. She was looking forward to a day of working on her…cookbook or something. Right. A cookbook. Alone. Because 15yo Gus is at an expensive science camp.

But…the cherries are ripe! “Honey," Griff says. "They’re not going to pick themselves. Here’s the first gallon but I could use some help out here.”

Right. She goes. The book will have to wait. So will that second cup of coffee she had planned. The cherries are picked although so is she, because the horse flies are biting. She should have worn her floppy hat. But the driveway is 1/4 mile long and she’s on a ladder.

Audrey remembers those early days when it seemed like a frigging miracle to have fruit right outside! Now there is sweat dripping between her boobs. It’s a beautiful day, of course. And the air smells like cherries.

But so does Audrey, because now she has to pit them all! She gets half of them done by the time her fingers turn pruney. And then it’s time to pick up Gus at camp.

Then she starts dinner. Griffin and Gus eat fabulous home cooked meals every night, which they appreciate. They appreciate it in the way of people who have never had bad food, though. They are probably complacent.

And then Gus walks through the kitchen. “Mom, there’s a faster way to do that.”

“What?” Audrey breaks each cherry in half to inspect it for worms. Because she has not been a country girl long enough to just accept that a larva might end up in her pie.

“If you just squeeze ‘em a little the pit pops out.” Gus grabs a bag of chips and walks out.

“No chips in your room! And come back here and pit some of these!”

“I can’t. Homework.”

“Homework for CAMP?”

“Yup. Sorry.”

Well, hell! Not only was that camp pricey, but it’s stealing her free labor.

Audrey tries Gus’s method and finds that it is indeed twice as fast. However. Every fifth cherry squirts her in the face when the pit ejects. So there are costs.

Also her kitchen is covered in cherry juice. And then flour, because a pie needs a crust.

There’s no denying that smell, though. The unmistakable scent of sour cherries bubbling on the stove, almost ready for the pie crust…