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Fruit On The Bottom
About the Author: Maura Yzmore writes short fiction and long equations somewhere in the American Midwest. Her work has appeared in Flash Fiction Online, The Arcanist, Utopia Science Fiction Magazine, and elsewhere. She is a member of the HWA. Website:

I couldn’t believe it happened again. Was I losing my mind?

I closed the fridge, took a deep breath, and called Ray at work.

“Did you eat my yogurt last night?” I asked.

“You know I don’t touch that stuff. Why?”

“It’s gone.”

“What do you mean it’s gone? Didn’t you just buy a couple of four-packs, like, yesterday?”

“So, I’m not crazy,” I said. “You saw them too?”

“Yeah, when I went to grab a beer. Figured you must be having your stomach issues again.”

“Well, the yogurt’s all gone now,” I said.

“Weird,” Ray said. “Are you sure you weren’t sleep-eating? You’ve been getting kinda chunky lately.”

I felt a spasm in my abdomen.

“No, I wasn’t sleep-eating.” I almost added he would’ve known that if he had stayed over instead of sneaking out after I’d fallen asleep, but thankfully I stopped myself. The last thing I needed was him berating me again for my clinginess, so I said I’d see him later and hung up.

I’d never had any sleepwalking experiences, but part of me wondered if Ray was right. If I had been getting up and eating in secret.

I turned the whole kitchen upside down, looking for empty yogurt containers, but found nothing.

Another painful twist in my gut.

I had to find out what was happening.

I had to get a camera.

The guy at the tech store was red-haired and freckled, with a warm, broad smile. His name tag said Ted. My shoulders relaxed as he walked me through the options, slowly and clearly and without condescension.

“So, what do you need the camera for?” Ted asked.

“To be honest, I need to figure out who’s eating my yogurt.”


“Yeah. It’s been disappearing from the fridge.”

He smiled. “Is it the good kind, with fruit on the bottom?”


“Then I say, whoever’s eating your yogurt is a person of great taste.”

I paused. “You don’t think I’m nuts, do you?”

He chuckled. “Not at all. The yogurt’s obviously missing and you don’t know why. I admit I’m intrigued too.”

“My boyfriend says I’m getting up and sleep-eating it.” As soon as the words left my lips, I regretted it.

“So, what if you are? That’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

“I suppose you’re right.” My cheeks flushed with embarrassment. “Anyway, I think I want this one,” I said and pointed to one of the cameras.

“Good choice.” He smiled and proceeded to ring up the purchase. “I hope you solve your yogurt mystery. And then come back to tell me all about it.”

I placed the camera in a top corner of my kitchen, above the window. It wasn’t hard to install, or to set up to record directly to the cloud.

“Wow, look who got all techy,” Ray teased as he inspected my work. “Are you sure it’s gonna record anything?”

“Yes, I am.” My abdomen painfully tightened. “Why do you have to be like that?”

“Like what? I’m just joking. You take everything so seriously.” He opened the fridge to grab a beer, his thick neck and shoulders bent in a familiar arc. “I’ll be in the living room, watching the game. I’ve ordered us some pizza. Oh, and I can’t stay over. I have an early day tomorrow.”

My gut felt like I was being stabbed from within. I leaned over the sink and took several deep breaths.

While I waited for the pain to subside, I remembered the two four-packs of yogurt I’d just bought. I grabbed a cup from the fridge, rolled back the silvery lid and quickly stirred, then shoveled the sweet cream into my mouth.

As bits of strawberry touched my tongue, I remembered the tech-store guy and smiled.

The next morning, the yogurt was gone. There was no trace of it, except for the one container in the trash that I remembered emptying myself.

I logged into the online account; the recording was right where it was supposed to be. I almost expected that Ray would be correct, that I was too clueless to get the camera to work.

This story appears in our DEC 2021 Issue
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Reader Discussion

Ahhh refreshing!!! I loved the story, and could feel her pain. Ha ha Great storytelling! It read smooth as butter or yogurt! Bottoms up…
By Tina

I agree with the first reviewer. Concise mystery stories appeal to me. You have to paint the scene clearly, with a minimum of words. I admire that. A question. Ray's motive isn't clear. Was he trying to make her think she was going mad (as in Gaslight)? The way he would "leave" her house and then steal the yogurt suggests he was deliberately toying with her, but why? Or was he just too cheap to buy his own yogurt?
By David Arbogast

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