Flower-Girls by Rachel Pietrewicz
My sister once told me if you swallow a cherry pit, a tree will grow in your stomach. She said it happens all the time to girls who are too fast and too hungry to stop the pits from sliding over their tongues and down their throats. My sister said sometimes the girls wouldn’t even notice that they’d swallowed them. Their fingers and lips would be sticky and stained deep red and they’d be smiling, unaware of the pits slipping into their stomach. It wouldn’t be until weeks or months later that they’d feel something poking them on the inside, pushing against skin and muscle and bone, and then there’d be little pink flowers pouring from their mouths and their ears. Everyone would tell the girls about how pretty they were with these trees inside them, but the girls wouldn’t be able to say anything because the flowers would be lodged in their throats, choking them every time they breathed. Just be careful when you eat cherries, my sister told me. You don’t want to be one of those flower-girls.
Rachel Pietrewicz is from New Jersey. She is currently studying creative writing at Susquehanna University.