Once, when I was small, my mother warned me that little girls who ate apple seeds ended up with trees growing inside their bellies. 

I would lie awake at night, picturing a tiny sapling seeding inside my gut, reaching out green tendrils to cover my bones, grasp my lungs. I pictured starlings nesting in my ribcage, bees buzzing through my ears. I took to eating seeds by the fistful; apple cores and watermelons, pomegranates and needle-sharp oranges, waiting for that miraculous melding of girl and tree: a world in which Growing Up meant Taking Root. 

Adulthood supplemented for twisting green.


This story won first prize – and jointly won the people’s prize – in the March Monthly Micro Competition.

About the author: Georgia Cook is an illustrator and writer from London. Her work can be found in Baffling Magazine, Luna Station Quarterly, and Vastarien Lit, as well as shortlisted for the Bridport Prize and Reflex Fiction Award, among others. She can be found on twitter at @georgiacooked and her website at