How to Store Watermelons by Robert Eydmann Jr

“Can you imagine being killed by a watermelon?” Uncle Frank asked, shaking with rage. I shook my head. “No.” 

That summer was erratic. Days of blasting heat were followed by downpours and winds that lashed the rain against the windows. Plans were shattered and rebuilt. We shaped them into colourful arrangements and broke them down like Lego. 

At one point, when the sun was out and bright, I arranged to meet some friends in the park for a picnic. 

I planned to get some fruit and biscuits at the supermarket, but somehow came away with a watermelon instead. 

Of course, after that it rained and rained. And then it rained again. The watermelon sat on the kitchen table like a piece of modern art. 

By the time the days of rain ended, the watermelon had started to go soft. The bottom where it rested on the table had flattened. For want of a better idea, I took it up onto the roof and from the corner, I bowled it as hard as I could, up over my head, arcing into the sky like a giant green meteor. 

I watched it rise and curve and then suddenly just drop, as if it had suddenly given up, or maybe just remembered about gravity. 

When I looked down at where it had landed though, I panicked and ran back to our flat. 

Uncle Frank was furious. He came in and sat at the kitchen table, swearing and swearing some more. If he hadn’t been covered in watermelon pieces, he would have smelled it all over the table. 

“If I ever find out who threw that,” he said, still red faced and breathing heavily. “What?” I asked, trying to look more interested than terrified. 

“He’s a dead man walking.” 

I didn’t say anything. 

Published in Issue #17

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