He hated biting into half a mandarin piece. If something was bite sized, it should be inserted wholly and then masticated with gusto.

“Christ!” he said, as he once again misjudged the lack of shadow for a seed in the mandarin piece and bit into not one, but two of the slippery grey, teardrop-shaped seeds.

“Martin!” warned his wife.

“Sorry, love,” he said. Attempting to extract the seeds, he managed to separate the orange flesh of the mandarin piece — the pierced, slightly translucent skin seeming unwilling to let go of the seeds until he flipped it in his mouth and used a tongue technique he had previously only reserved for the bedroom.

He spat it out of his mouth and into his hand, before dodging around Mary to reach for the bin.

“Seed?” asked Mary.

“Seeds.” He plucked another piece from the peeled whole. Holding up to the light, he narrowed his eyes, searching for any trace of another seed.

Throwing it up in the air, he caught it on his tongue and bit down again, this time hoping for a clean piece.

Once again, a hardness that shouldn’t have been there cushioned the force of his bite and produced a small crunch.

Even Mary heard it. “Hun,” she said, “I think you need to get your eyes checked.”

He rolled his eyes, trying to vent some of his fury by making it the most sarcastic eye roll he could possibly muster.

“I’m serious,” she said. She held out the rolling pin at him. It was covered in flour; bits of dough stuck to it in patches.

He raised his hands in mock defence and took the rest of his mandarin outside. Spitting the seed on the ground outside, he vehemently wished that it might grow into a mandarin tree that produced seedless orbs of orange. Grumbling to himself, he pulled up another piece of mandarin to his mouth and bit in half.

“Horseshit,” he said, as he was met with not one seed.

“Martin!” came the call from the house.

Matt Querzoli loves mandarins. Follow his writing blog, his letters to strangers blog or his blog blog if you liked the post, or even the bloke himself if this tickled your proverbial pickle.

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