Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year, or donate any amount.
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Breaking News
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
DSF for Kindle
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
Submit your story
Check story status
Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

An Apple A Day

"Apple?" the old woman asked.
She stood alone in the market, near a darkened alley. No stall. Just her and a basket of apples. She held out the basket as Lisa walked by.
"How much?" Lisa asked.
"Oh," the old woman cried, "Free for a beauty such as yourself."
Lisa eyed the apples in the basket. The one at the top of the pile was absolutely perfect. It was a deep, shiny red, and even had an adorable little leaf sticking off of its stem. Lisa took the one next to it.
"Ah," the old woman gasped, but bit her tongue.
Lisa took a bite of the apple. It wasn't absolutely perfect, but it hit the spot.
"Thanks!" Lisa said, and left the old woman pouting in the shadows.
A few days later the old woman was back. As Lisa approached the alley, the old woman hopped forward, blocking her path.
"Apple?" the old woman asked.
"No, thank you," Lisa said, and tried to sidestep, but the old woman was too fast.
"Maybe one for later?" she asked, and thrust the basket toward her.
Lisa stopped involuntarily, and looked at the basket of apples. Each one was absolutely perfect. They practically sparkled in the sunlight.
"I suppose," Lisa said, and placed one of the apples in her bag.
The old woman followed her once she was almost out of sight. She watched and waited. Waited for the moment Lisa would take a bite of her absolutely perfect apple, and collapse in the middle of the market square. That didn't happen.
Lisa didn't see it coming, but the old woman did. A carriage ran into her, knocking her to the ground. Lisa's bag went flying, and with it, the apple. It landed on the other side of the street where another carriage ran over it, filling the bag with a sticky, stinking jam.
The old woman was back bright and early the next day. She had a sour look on her face, but perked up when she saw Lisa.
"Apple?" she asked, shoving the basket forward.
"No, thank you," Lisa said.
"Are you sure?" she asked, shaking her basket temptingly.
"Yes, but thank you anyway," said Lisa.
She went to leave, but turned back to the old woman.
"Do you get a lot of customers?" Lisa asked, "Standing in this alley all day?"
"Yes?" the old woman said, looking around nervously.
Lisa frowned.
The old woman was there the next day, and there was not an apple in sight. She looked like she might cry. Lisa saw her, and waved to her. The old woman waved back limply.
"No apples today?" Lisa asked.
"No," the old woman croaked.
"Too bad," Lisa said with a laugh, "I missed breakfast today, and was looking forward to one of your apples."
"Too bad," the old woman repeated, looking down at her empty hands.
Lisa turned to go, but the old woman put a hand on her shoulder.
"Listen," the old woman said, "you wouldn't happen to be in the market for a spinning wheel, would you?"
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, June 10th, 2020
We hope you're enjoying An Apple A Day by Chelsea Shewan.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction does not have a paywall, but we do have expenses—more than 95% of which are direct payments to authors for their stories. With your $15 membership, less than 6 cents per story, we can continue to provide genre fiction every weekday by email and on the website to thousands of readers for many years to come. You may also choose to support us via patreon. Tell me more!

Support Daily Science Fiction

Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.8 Rocket Dragons Average


Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us