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by Jacquelyn Bengfort

     I found something in a mango today. Like a tooth, but more vegetal. Maybe it was a fly egg. It didn’t look like an egg. It looked like the shoot that unfurls from a bulb of garlic left on the counter too long. Maybe it was a tumor. Do mangos get cancer?

           The kids and I ate it anyway–the mango, that is, not the tooth, which came out cleanly from the flesh.

           It reminded me of the time I cut open an apple and it screamed in protest. The scream was quiet but it lasted a long time. It sounded like damp air whistling out of a punctured balloon. We ate the apple, too, back then.

           In both cases, no one fell ill, and the fruits tasted fine.

Author's Note

Please, if it was a fly egg, don't tell me now. It's best I don't know.

Jacquelyn Bengfort was born in North Dakota, educated at the U.S. Naval Academy and Oxford University, and now resides in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared in Gargoyle, Storm Cellar, District Lines, and the anthologies Magical, Dear Robot, and Unrequited, among other places. Her very short story Madeline and the Shark was selected for the third volume of matchbook's Ad Stories. Find her online at

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