Mango Man

by Zantastik source Wikimedia |

Short story by guest blogger Tricia Sutton

The bluebird of happiness landed on my shoulder. A tree squirrel dropped a walnut in my outstretched hand. A harp played, and the trees parted for the heavenly ray of light to shine down upon him as he sat wild-eyed, feasting, mango juice dripping from his goatee. I gawked at him longer than considered polite. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from his glistening lips, his artfully disheveled hair, his stylishly rumpled clothes, looking every bit like a hung-over Abercrombie and Fitch model.

The peaceful, tropical-themed backyard wedding reception was on a hot, sunny August day in Reno. The backdrop of mountains glimmered like a mirage in the desert. Roses and jasmine scented the still air below the canopy of oak trees. And somewhere someone was giving a toast to the bride and groom. Glasses clinked—I lost mine but was too distracted to replace it. Mango man paused briefly to consider his champagne flute, and after only a flicker of hesitation, he resumed his devouring of what was supposed to be a table decoration.

After he obliterated the centerpiece, he stood abruptly, chair falling over into its folded position, and with a crazed look, scanned the other tables. Clearly, he’d already gotten to them. All that remained were pineapples, bananas, and papayas. And one mango—in my firm clutch.

When his eyes met mine, it sent electrical impulses throughout my every region. He licked his lips. I tossed the ball in the air a few inches, and then licked mine, slowly of course, like they do in movies. He sashayed over with a cocky, playful grace that triggered an interruption of my cardiac rhythm. Weak in the joints, I just leaned there, clinging onto the iron railing for support, heart palpitating.

He caressed my hand and loosened my fingers off the mango, and right there in broad daylight, in front of two hundred properly-behaved wedding guests, and a few storybook woodland creatures, he seduced and fondled it, the mango. I fainted.

We were married on a mango plantation in Hawaii six weeks later. That was twelve years ago. Twelve slurping, sucking years later, the smell of mangoes no longer stirs passion but of revulsion. Twelve years of sticky little drops on my floors and kitchen counters and bed sheets. My Abercrombie naughty boy turned into a National Geographic edition of Early Man: a boxer-wearing, belly-bulging crazed wild beast with a Grizzly Adams beard caked with mango pulp.

The bluebird had long ago taken flight. The squirrel digs through the trash for mango seeds. The harp has been replaced by a belch; and the trees were cut down for a failed mango orchard.

Some people just can’t be convinced mango trees won’t grow in the high desert. Those same people probably could be lured into the low desert. Without water. In the heat of summer. If it meant a visit to the “mango farm.”

It’s run by a commune, I’ll tell him, that holds the original heirloom: untainted, unmodified, and grown only in organic soil imported from the coast of Ecuador. They created a rainforest-like greenhouse and welcome two outside visitors a year. Very careful selection process; you have been chosen. But not me, I’ll say. I can only transport you to the designated drop off point. Just keep walking west and you’ll be picked up shortly by a member of the Secret Mango Society. Enjoy your trip.

My idea sends electrical impulses throughout my every region and triggers an interruption of my cardiac rhythm. The oaf snores, snorts, and grunts while I lie here in the dark, clinging to my own fantasy for support, heart palpitating.

Based on a writing prompt from Fear of Writing by Milli Thornton:

As Juicy as They Come Your spouse is addicted to mangoes—that slurping
sound drives you wild and makes you want to kill.

Thanks to Tricia for getting into the spirit of the FoW prompts!

See more fun writing prompts

Pictured is Tricia Sutton in her writing jacket—it’s called a robe in some parts—and one of her distractions, Spanky. She’s re-written the beginning of her novel over a hundred times, using at least 99 of the listed 100 Worst Novel Beginnings. By the time she’s finished, they’ll need to expand the list. To see what she’s been doing during The Great Novel-Writing Coma of 2009/10 (and the first month of 2011), visit her publication page.

14 Responses to Mango Man
  1. Patrick Ross
    Twitter: patrickrwrites
    April 1, 2011 | 8:24 AM

    Wow, Tricia, that was powerful stuff. It shifted quickly from bodice-ripping romance to happily-ever-after to um, maybe not so much. For half of the post I was wondering if any woman ever looked at me the way the narrator looked at Mango Man, but then I had no desire to associate myself with him. Kudos to you for the writing and Milli for a useful prompt!

    • Tricia
      Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
      April 1, 2011 | 3:30 PM

      Patrick, thank you. Your compliments left me bodice-ripping excited.

  2. Lois
    April 1, 2011 | 9:54 AM

    This was hilarious! And it was very well written. I loved it! 😀

    • Tricia
      Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
      April 1, 2011 | 3:30 PM

      Thank you, Lois, I’m touched.

  3. fearofwriting
    Twitter: fearofwriting
    April 1, 2011 | 10:49 AM

    I love your sense of humor! Combine that with your more-ish writing style and I can’t get enough.

    Thank you for taking up the spirit of this writing prompt adventure—you definitely lived up to all my expectations. This was so much fun to read! And I second Lois: well-written.

    ~ Milli

    • Tricia
      Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
      April 1, 2011 | 3:35 PM

      Thank you, Milli for allowing me, once again, to rain my purple prose of weirdness on your site. You are very brave.

  4. Roona
    April 1, 2011 | 2:30 PM

    Hi Tricia…I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and I have to call this elegant writing! Perfect descriptions, seamless flow between different periods of the characters’ lives, beautifully compact but oh so capable of eliciting varied emotions in the reader! Lovely!

  5. Tricia
    Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
    April 1, 2011 | 3:37 PM

    Roona, did you say “elegant writing! Perfect descriptions, seamless flow”?

    Is it too bold to say I love you?

    Thank you for the fantastico comment.

  6. j
    April 1, 2011 | 7:36 PM

    This makes me want to remind you of the date… but I won’t. (See what I did there?)

    You. Rock.

    I love this!

  7. Tricia
    Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
    April 1, 2011 | 8:02 PM

    J~I love what you did there. So sneeky. Thank you for the comment and the non date reminder.

  8. catherine
    April 2, 2011 | 3:11 PM

    Your imagery is a feast!!!!

    Well done Tricia!


  9. Tricia
    Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
    April 3, 2011 | 1:37 AM

    Thank you, Catherine, for reading and for the compliment.

  10. Square-Peg Karen
    Twitter: SquarePegKaren
    April 3, 2011 | 12:29 PM

    Loved the shift, Tricia — I was stunned! This left me smiling, giggling — and heading off to see what else you’ve written!!

  11. Tricia
    Twitter: Tricia_Sutton
    April 3, 2011 | 1:05 PM

    Thank you Square-Peg Karen, that’s music to my ears.

    P.S. Has the square peg ever attempted a round hole?
    I love your profile name. I want it. 🙂

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