by Cathal Brogan (he/him)

Artwork by Charlize du Preez.

I am an orange.

An actor or a serial killer, whichever lies more and is paid less. 

My skin is bruised and pitted and blemished, my shape reminiscent of the small, soft, melancholy roundness of a deflated football.

I smell like Autumn, the Jack O’ Lanterns rotting in the compost. 

My insides are soft like an alien’s tortured brain. 

Bite into me, let my faux sweetness overrun your tastebuds, deceive you into thinking that this saccharin taste is all I am. 

I am cloying desperately for you to eat me, to consume me, to know of me.

I will sacrifice myself to your joy, so you can remember my sweet taste as a fond memory, longing for this performance to be remembered, longing for my crimes to pass into grotesque folklore. 

I do this because my squat orange self knows that I am nothing more than that sweet taste, something lacklustre and insipid. 

Actors, serial killers and oranges all live in fear of being discovered, of the world knowing their terrifying truth: that they are not enough. 

That they are mediocre. 

I am not the star of the fruit bowl.

I know I am an orange because I wish I was an apple. 

Cathal Brogan

Cathal Brogan is a student of creative writing at University College Dublin (UCD). He has just started the second year of his undergraduate course in English with Creative Writing. His dream is to be able to write professionally and his biggest literary inspirations are Robert B. Parker, Niall Williams and Andrzej Sapkowski.