|"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl"|
|Genre(s)||crime short story|
|Published in||Detective Book Magazine|
|Publication date||November 1948|
"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" is a short story by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in Detective Book Magazine in November 1948 (cover date: Winter) as "Touch and Go". The story was re-titled and published as "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" in EQMM in January 1953. (Cover image: "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine January 1953" (jpg). American Mercury. Retrieved 18 October 2012.)
Mr. Acton begins the story standing over the body of Mr. Huxley, whom he has just killed. While attempting to cover up his tracks, he has flashbacks of his encounters with Mr. Huxley, with whom he is having an altercation over a woman. These flashbacks reveal to the murderer that there are more and more of his fingerprints all over the man's house, because he thought that he had touched so many different objects. His frenzy to remove all of the evidence distracts him from his actual objective, to get away with the crime. He is eventually caught, after polishing the entire house, while polishing and re-polishing the glass fruit at the bottom of a bowl.
- Contento, William G. "Index to Science Fiction Anthologies and Collections, Combined Edition". Retrieved 2007-03-26.
The story was included in several of Bradbury's short story collections:
- The Golden Apples of the Sun, 1953
- The Vintage Bradbury, 1965
- Twice 22, 1966
- A Song Of Thunder and Other Stories, 2005
Adaptations in other media
This story was adapted to the EC comic book Crime SuspenStories #17 (April–May 1953) as "Touch and Go" by Johnny Craig. ("comics.org". Retrieved 18 February 2013.) It was adapted as an episode of the television series The Ray Bradbury Theater (January 23, 1988) as "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" with Michael Ironside and Robert Vaughn.