Fig, Girl

Fiction by Miriam Mandel Levi

Fig and shadow against a white wall.

The instructor passed around a tray.

“Take a fig,” he said, “and write about it.”

She panicked. She had nothing to say. She didn’t even like figs.

Brown, round, she noted. The other writers scrawled on.

“Inspect the fig, really get acquainted.” 

It was a long five minutes, but she added plump, then white specks.

“Now smell your fig.” 

Grassy, hint of berry.

“Go ahead and taste it.” 

Faintly sweet, reluctant.

“Feel it,” he said, too suggestively. She closed her eyes and ran her hands over the tender fruit. It was unbearably soft, bruised in spots, defenseless. An old fear stirred in her.

“Can you hear the fig; does it make a sound?”

She held it to her ear: the fig was silent.

She shook, poked, and pinched it, lacerated its skin with her nails.

Nothing.

A fig knows to keep a secret.


Miriam Mandel Levi’s essays have appeared in Chautauqua, Blue Lyra Review, Creative Nonfiction, Brain Child, Literary Mama, Under the Sun, Poetica, Tablet, and other publications. She lives in Israel where she works as a writer, editor, and speech language pathologist. 

Photo by Jocelyn Morales on Unsplash

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