Blue

The pink blueberry was hanging alone at the end of her branch whilst all her blue peers clustered together and giggled and sniggered. She was the butt of their jokes once again, simply because she was a different colour.

‘Hey pinky, what’s up with your pigments? Where’s your anthocyanin?’
‘It got washed away cos she’s been anthoCRYanin!’

The little pink berry ignored their shouts and taunts, but she was burning with shame. She knew she was the wrong colour, she knew her pink flesh made her useless. Who would want a pink blueberry? The whole appeal of a blueberry is that it is blue. If people wanted a pink berry they’d go for a cranberry or raspberry, something sweet and fancy, not a pathetic, not-blue blueberry.

She hung from the branch and contemplated her existence. Maybe she could simply wriggle free and throw herself to the ground, an honourable suicide so that the blueberry pickers wouldn’t have to stare at her pathetic pink skin, and she would no longer have to listen to the cruel words of her stunning blue acquaintances.

‘They’re coming!’ yelled a berry from the top of the bush. ‘The pickers are coming!’

The pink berry panicked. She thought of the humiliation she would have to endure as she was picked, mocked and tossed aside by the berry pickers. She began to turn herself from side to side, twisting her little stalk until it became weak, and with a little crack she was released from the bush and she tumbled down and down and down onto the grass on the floor.

She bounced. She should have known! Berries don’t squish on grass, they bounce and roll, and are forced to die a slow and agonising death on the ground. At least she was away from the bullies and name-callers, and at least she wouldn’t be noticed by the pickers.

She saw a great big boot come down with a thud beside her. Too close for comfort. She’d suddenly gone all scared; she didn’t want to die, she wanted life! And now she was at risk of being messily squashed by a picker’s sole.

But the picker saw the pink berry beside his foot. Her bright rosy colour stood out from the green grass and caught his eye, and with delicate fingers he picked her up.

‘Ey, look at this, got a pink one!’ the picker called to his colleague.

‘Just throw it into the basket, they all taste the same.’

So with one last glance the picker tossed the pink berry into his basket, and she bounced and rolled amongst hundreds of other berries, all of them blue. They saw her pink skin but they said not a word; they knew they were all for the same fate.

The little pink blueberry was boiled up with sugar and baked into a pie, along with all the normal blue blueberries. Her flesh was just as sweet and juicy, and mushed up inside that sweet pastry casing she looked no different to anyberry else.

Her colour didn’t matter; in death they were all equals. If only in life it had been the same.

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance copywriter and fiction writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction. She has published two short story collections - 'Merry Bloody Christmas' and 'Come What May Day'. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition. She can often be found loitering on Twitter (@itsemscott), Instagram (@tinysillystories) and Medium (@elliemaryscott).

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