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Published by April Smiley
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Published by: April Smiley on Dec 26, 2012
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by April Smiley

Papillae April Smiley Published by Amethyst Media Productions Papillae Copyright 2012 by April Smiley

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Constructive criticism and comments are welcome. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten, or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of the author.

Cover Art by April Smiley

First, thanks to the Father for loving me and giving me family and friends that love and support me. Thank you to Sylvia Hubbard and the Motown Writers Network for all the support, encouragement, and shared information. This process has been a lot easier because of you all. Thank you to Doll Cash. I would have never started writing seriously if it weren't for you. You are the best BP! Thank you to my mother, my cousin Paula, David Allen, and the others who gave me constructive criticism. Thank you to ( insert your name here) for taking time to read this. I appreciate your support and I hope you enjoy it. April


Malcolm stared at his tongue in the mirror for what seemed like the thousandth time. His tongue looked the same as always but it wasn't. He put his face as close as he could to the mirror without actually touching the glass with his tongue. He looked again. There it was. It was on the right side of his tongue near the back. It was slightly inflamed but it hurt like hell. One taste bud was about to ruin his night and possibly his relationship with his girlfriend. Why did this have to happen tonight of all nights? The last time this happened to him was five years ago. He knew exactly who was to blame for this situation. This was all Uncle Fred's fault! Malcolm was his uncle's favorite nephew and Uncle Fred was Malcolm's favorite, and only uncle. When Uncle Fred retired eight years ago, he began gardening to occupy his time. The first garden was small and highly successful. Each year Uncle Fred expanded his garden. This year the garden yielded enough tomatoes, onions, cabbage, greens, peppers, and green beans to feed a small army. Uncle Fred's garden was the largest in his neighborhood. Urban Farmers and students from the local agriculture programs stopped


April Smiley

by all spring and summer to talk to Uncle Fred about his garden. Tomatoes were Uncle Fred's favorite. He had more tomato plants than anything else. Tomatoes were Malcolm's favorite too. When Uncle Fred dropped off a shopping bag full the day before yesterday, Malcolm was in heaven. The tomatoes were perfect. Ripe, juicy, and delicious. Malcolm didn't know how many of them he ate but it was more than five. The acid from the tomatoes must be what caused this to happen. He hadn't done anything else out of the ordinary. In addition to eating numerous tomatoes, Malcolm delivered a good amount of tomatoes to his new girlfriend along with a few of the peppers and onions Uncle Fred had given him too. Malcolm met Darnita four weeks ago at the Post Office near his job. He went in every day for a week trying to get her to notice him. She finally said something to him on his sixth visit. They went out that night and have been together since. Uncle Fred was right on time with the veggies. Darnita loved them and was making Spicy Shrimp Creole for him tonight for dinner. She was putting a lot of effort into tonight's dinner. Malcolm couldn't cancel but there was no way he could eat spicy



anything with this crazy taste bud! He didn't remember what he did last time but he knew it took a couple of days to work. His grandmother was alive the last time this happened. She called it a lie bump. She told him to go back and tell the truth to whoever he lied to that day and she mixed up one of her crazy concoctions. Malcolm had no idea what was in it and he didn't really want to know. His grandmother had tons of home remedies that worked sometimes. More often than not they didn't. They all tasted and smelled horrific though. Malcolm called his mother. She might know what to do. His mother told him to put some ice and honey on it to relieve the pain and reduce the swelling. She told him to eat a bland diet for the next two days and it would be better. Malcolm didn't bother explaining about his dinner date tonight. He wasn't ready to tell his mother about Darnita. She'd start planning weddings and picking out names for grandchildren. He wasn't ready for all that just yet. He thanked his mom and told her he'd let her know how he was doing in a couple of days. Malcolm went to the computer and searched for inflamed taste bud remedies. The article said to pull out the offending taste bud with tweezers or with nail


April Smiley

clippers. He wasn't going to do that either. He was just going to have to man up and tell Darnita what he was going through. Hopefully, she would understand. Malcolm showered, got dressed, and headed over to Darnita's house. Most guys would have bought a bottle of wine to go with dinner but Darnita was a different type of woman. She liked whisky. Malcolm liked whisky too so he stopped by the store on his way and picked up a bottle and some flowers. Fourteen minutes later, Malcolm parked in front of Darnita's house. He grabbed the whisky and the flowers. Darnita opened the door as soon as he stepped onto the porch. She gave him a gigantic smile and a quick kiss on the cheek. He could smell the food as soon as he stepped inside. It smelled fantastic. No way was he going to be able to resist eating tonight. Darnita thanked him for the flowers and the whisky. She went into the kitchen to check on the food. She came back with two glasses of whisky and sat on the couch next to him. Dinner would be ready in twenty minutes. She told Malcolm how nervous she was about cooking for him for the first time. She wanted everything to be perfect. She even made fresh garlic



bread for dinner and cake pudding with rum sauce for dessert. She was so excited and eager to please him. Malcolm decided that he would just have to eat. No matter how painful it was going to be. When Darnita went back into the kitchen, he immediately tossed back a big swallow of whisky to give himself a little courage. His tongue felt like it was on fire! It was a miracle that he didn't pass out. The next thing he knew, he couldn't feel a thing. His tongue was completely numb. He took a small swig of whisky. He didn't feel a thing. He was going to make it through dinner after all and Darnita wouldn't know anything about his rebellious taste bud. Malcolm went to sit at the table. Darnita brought out the food. They said a quick blessing and began to eat. Malcolm couldn't taste a thing but he pretended it was the best meal he ever had.


Author's Note: Papillae is one of the short stories that is included in Un-Sociable a collection of short stories and flash fiction. The anticipated release date is June 2013. Your comments and constructive criticism are appreciated. Contact Information: website: AmethystMediaProductions.com Blog: www.bit.ly/Aprilsblog email: aprilsmiley@gmail.com twitter: @motowndiva206 Text: (313) 405-9065

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