Francine - harvest
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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A is For...
Because the snippet didn't want to come to James...



Intellectually, she knows that apples turn brown because when you slice them, you open up the cells in the tender white fruit. You make it bleed an enzyme called tyrosinase, which turns the white flesh brown, as it reacts with oxygen.

Willow told her this, when she asked. All nice and polite and happy to be using her big science brain for good, instead of her twitchy magic fingers for evil, though Anya knows Willow doesn't have a clue about evil, not yet. Willow knows about power; she's scraped her skin raw trying to claw off the face she was born with, and let in the rare air outside. She knows how tempting it is, how *special* it is to be able to do things others can't, and she knows she can hurt people, without thinking, but she doesn't know yet. Not about evil. About how much fun it can be to do it on purpose.

Maybe she won't learn, but once you slice them open, it's hard not to stop them from going brown.

Anya knows, practically, that if you put lemon juice on sliced apples, it'll keep them looking pretty, for a while. She can't see how this could apply to Willow. Though she's beginning to relearn the nuance of human analogy, Anya's still picturing Willow slipping naked into a tub full of concentrated RealLemon from the green bottle. She winces when she imagines all the places it would sting -- and winces because she never thought of it herself, back when she was so good at devising vile punishments for cheating husbands. Anya can see, however, that the lemon thing works on the apples, which is enough to make her happy when she's setting them out on the table for a snack.

Heloise told her this, the woman with the silver and black hair in the newspaper who never seems to get any older, no matter how far back Anya checks in the back-issues for these kinds of things, trying to learn to be a real wife, someday soon. There's a thought -- maybe Heloise washes her skin in lemon juice. Maybe that will keep Anya's face from wrinkling and turning brown, as she grows older. It might be worth the wincing.

Or maybe Heloise is just a witch, like Martha Stewart, and the only thing lemons can do for you is make your lips pucker up.

Anya knows this: that Xander likes sliced apples. Likes when she puts them on a tray in the same shape as the apple, as if she just hit it hard on the table like one of those chocolate orange things (he likes those too) and poof! All the little slices fall apart neatly in a circle. She tells him it's not that easy, that she has to spend time on it, cutting them so precisely, and sometimes she slices her finger open when she does it. He nods, and he says thank you, for going to so much trouble, and he kisses her finger, but she's still not sure if he believes her. Anya suspects he thinks all kitchen things happen by magic, unless he has to do them himself, in which case the laws of gravity apply.

Xander told her this, not in so many words, but in the way he smiles at her, wanting to understand, wanting not to have to understand. Wanting to love her enough that it doesn't matter. Anya herself likes to dip the apple slices in caramel sauce, something else Xander told her about. The mild tartness of the apple, the sweet gooey caramel, make the water build up in her mouth just from memory, as she brings the fruit to her lips. She can't see the brown skin, if it's there, when the whole slice is covered with caramel, and it still tastes good. Better than food good -- almost sex good. The lemon, when she can catch the faint sour essence of it on her tongue, on her lips, makes her mouth pucker, but she can live with that.

After all, Xander likes that, too.


squashed

2002-01-28 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Very evocative, very Anya voice, very nice!

mpoetess

2002-01-29 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank ye much. I'm trying to think in people's heads that I don't usually think in, writing mostly single-pov boyslash. Not sure I'll ever manage to channel *Buffy*, but Anya, I could get to like.

Very nice...

avivasedai

2002-01-28 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)

This was good. I'm new to Buffy fandom, though I have many friends welcoming me in. Maybe I'll have to start in with the fanfic now too. I think I'll wait til I've seen a bit more of the old stuff as well as the current run.

Good fic; did you write it?

Re: Very nice...

mpoetess

2002-01-29 01:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thankee, ma'am. Yes, I did. zortified asked for a character and an object, for snippet inspiration. I gave them to her, and I misinterpreted her answer as "The snippet won't come, sorry" vs. "The snippet won't be slash, sorry," so I got impatient and wrote my own. Zort's apple-anya snip, Imbolc, is here.

cicirossi

2002-01-28 03:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

I like how you capture the fact that just about everything Anya knows about human stuff is told to her by someone. And the stream of consciousness oddities that usually pop out of her mouth are vry clear here, running through her head. Good stuff!

mpoetess

2002-01-29 01:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks, you. Yes, I think one of Anya's things is that while she's been *around* for a millenium, she hasn't been in the world, except when summoned to do a specific task. So everything she knows about modern culture, she learns either from a person, from the media (including printed media), or by observation. And because she's a very logical person in her own way, her observations often don't jibe with what people are telling her, and there's conflict there that she's not afraid to tell people about. (Though I think she's reached a point where she knows she can get away with being painfully blunt about even things she *does* understand, because people write it off as "just Anya.")

Love dem apples!

saturn_girl

2002-01-28 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

I loved this! For such a short piece, there's an awful lot of interesting stuff going on here. Especially the juxtaposition of Demon!Anya thoughts and Domestic!Anya thoughts. Your attention to detail was marvelous, and every note sounded authentically Anya.

Yummy. I think I'm going to have to pick up some of that caramel sauce when I go grocery shopping this afternoon.

~ Jen


Re: Love dem apples!

mpoetess

2002-01-29 01:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Guh. Caramel sauce. With Granny Smith apples. (Course, at some point I just want to forget about the apples and starte ating the sauce...)

gem225

2002-01-28 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)

This is marvelous. Thank you for posting it in your Live Journal. I like Anya, especially when you write her. Oh, wow, the food images are so good and right and wonderful, and you rule.

Sorry, I'm babbling again, but you're probably used to that. :-)

mpoetess

2002-01-29 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Gail has an LJ! Yay! More and more people I know are showing up here, or I'm finding they were already her and I just didn't know it...

Thank you much. (Though the last time I wrote Anya at any close level would be waht... the beginning of CG?)

zortified

2002-01-28 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Very nice. You do well with teh fucking birds, yourself, you know?

mpoetess

2002-01-29 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)



Thank yer. (Though at the moment, the birds are fucking far, far way. Possibly even out of frame...) ;-)

Anya/Xander snip

thamiris

2002-02-04 11:46 am (UTC) (Link)

I tried to comment on this at the time, but my stupid computer choked in the middle of my response, and I lost it. *kicks computer* I'm going to try again, but will keep it short, just in case. ;-) I thought that this was just lovely in its focus on Anya's emotion, the way we, as readers, were invited to look at the story as closely as Anya considered her apple. I really liked detailed, microcosmic writing like this, where the writer moves slowly and thoughtfully, examining her subject from all angles. The reward is a piece of fiction that's rich, but with an edge to it, in Anya's almost obsessive focus on Xander.

Powerful stuff.


Re: Anya/Xander snip

mpoetess

2002-02-04 12:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

*delighted mindless squee Tham liked it*

Ahem. Thank you. I'm slowly learning more about how I write -- the different things I do when I'm writing different types of stories -- and the detailed POV is something that I find myself enjoying more and more. Because I'm not worrying as much about long exchanges of dialogue, or extended plot, it does make it easier to concentrate on crunchy details, and feel as if I'm getting to know the character better.

(Though I have difficulty with plot, as well, so I have to stop myself from doing *only* short character pieces, as a crutch.)