the time i brought a pie to a gun fight
this pie is the best pie i've ever made. i won't throw it like a frisbee because my brother said i can't throw to save my life. i hug the pie to my granny christmas sweater, the one with the sequinned ornaments that scratch wiggly lines in my arms. it took three hours to core the apples, sour fingers slipping on shears, stirring in sugar until mixture turns to syrup, buttery crust flaking with the scrape of the knife. shots echo through the concrete sarcophagus of the metro center. it sounds like a train ran over one of those electric scooters. five of them. bapbapbapbapbap people are screaming but you can't shoot someone holding pie. it's not allowed. anyway, i run. i stabilize my body like a chicken's head for this pie. don't push me. a woman in a long blue coat is clacking concrete in kitty heels and sobbing. quit that. it ain't that bad. this happens all the time. she must've skipped the mass shooter drills in school. the ones where you sit quietly in the corner behind the teacher's desk. she probably wasn't there when the guy with the BB gun ran through the courtyard and shot out a window or when the quiet kid in the black trench coat said he planted a bomb in the boy's locker room. she must've missed the rifle-spiked boats headed toward the bird sanctuary, the squawks of choking egrets. or when the proud boys shot up some substations in my hometown on sunday. 14,000 people and no power. grandma had to fill the bathtub to flush the toilet. my brother lost internet and had to play disc golf instead of league of legends. a suspect says they did it to stop a drag show, but none of the papers say so. they do say the sheriff prayed over her, though. anyway, the metro gates are locked and the mob is shouting let us out please let us out and i don't shout because i am too busy working out the physics of getting this pie on the other side unscathed. i can't throw it because my brother says i throw like a tilt-a-whirl and that i owe him $30 for cracking his mid-range disc in half on a tree. the man in front of me is desperately pressing his metro card on the scanner like keeping the blood inside an open wound because those things can't scan shit even on a good day. the triangular plastic doors release its sideways teeth, i rush after the man, pie pushing him forward. the gate chomps down on my thigh. fuck it. i'm going over. i will do transit misdemeanors for this pie. this pie is really the best one i've made. my legs stretch and i imagine cartoon pigeons lifting my foot over my head with a satin ribbon, floating me to the other side. the gate punches my crotch mid-glide, a pulse of pain and a whiff of sweet apple.