There is something to be said about having dinner with friends. It’s fun – if your friends are anything like mine –, usually fattening – if not from the cooking, from “just another glass” of wine –, and sparks awesome story ideas – duh. In this case, I was putting some veggies to marinate to make brochettes while talking about my lovely readers’ reactions to Unforeseen Dives’ chapters, all wondering what would come next and left hanging off cliffs. This weird sentence came out of my mouth: “Readers are like veggies; it’s tastier to let them marinate.”
Mix it in with an idea I have for the upcoming NaStySuMo, add some events of the week and guess what?
An Absurd Fable In Which Veggies Should Definitely Remain Unharmed
Elijah drove us back under the sunset. The top of his convertible was down and the temperature was just perfect. My feet stuck out the window and, all laid back in my seat, happiness was all that mattered. We were coming back to the village after a romantic gateway. I never felt so relaxed in my entire life. Everything had been so good. Especially him. I ran my fingers in Elijah’s hair. He looked away from the road a moment, just long enough to make eye contact and smile.
“Hmm… that’s weird.” My boyfriend said as we entered the village. I prompted myself up to have a better view. At first, I didn’t see what was wrong. Then, I noticed the veggies.
Lots of veggies.
On the sidewalk.
Oh! And no people.
We got out of the car and walked around. No one. I stepped in Granny Kianga’s house and, on her favorite armchair, I found a Brussels’ sprout. I instantaneously knew the villagers had been turned into vegetables. Granny so was a Brussels’ sprout: good for your health but foul-tasting.
I upended her knitting basket and Granny replaced the yarn in it. I got out of the house. Elijah waited for me on the porch.
“These are our neighbors, aren’t they?” He asked. I nodded.
“We should gather them in a safe place until we…hmm… reverse this?! Somehow…” I didn’t have a clue how we were going to achieve that but there ought to be something we could do.
Elijah grabbed Granny’s grocery basket – how appropriate – and joined me in the harvesting. We followed the veggies’ trail like bread crumbs, entering in the homes that were unlocked to grab their inhabitants. We found just about everything: carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lettuce, zucchinis, eggplants, bell pepper…
Around a corner, we almost squashed a group of four rotten onions.
“These can’t possibly be people!” Elijah exclaimed.
“I wouldn’t be so sure. It’s probably the brats.” Elijah eyed me quizzically. “Spoiled girls…”
“Yeah…” I grabbed a laundry basket in the yard next by and set the onions in it. I offered the nearly empty basket to my boyfriend and grabbed his. “I’m going to bring these at my place. Meet me there?”
I walked home, gathering a few stranded veggies as I went. I made room in my fridge, which, luckily, we had almost emptied before we went away. That’s most likely why we weren’t veggies; we weren’t here. I stored everyone between the mayo and the milk and headed outside to wait for Elijah.
What caused this? Granny couldn’t mess up a voodoo spell that much. Wait! Right… Granny Kianga argued a lot with the next door’s witch these days. Could she get pissed off enough to curse our village? Factoring in Granny’s persona; definitely possible.
Elijah arrived around that time.
“So, how’s that solution coming?”
“What?” His horrified face made me think again about what I just said.
“The idea, silly! The idea is stewing. No one wants a Brussels’ sprout stew! Geez!” He relaxed and handed me his basket. I returned to the kitchen with Elijah on my heels and put everyone away. Put away. I snickered; beware the criminal veggies. They might cause food poisoning.
“How many times in one’s life does one get to say she has the whole village in her fridge?” I laughed.
“That’s not exactly true. The houses around mine need a sweep as well.”
I threw him a basket and grabbed one for me. We laced our free hands and headed toward his house, smiling as we walked pass the corn field. He went in to grab his parents and I crossed over to uncle Eliot’s place. I found a lonely squash with a bruised belly in front of the TV.
I walked back to Elijah’s house and caught him in the kitchen.
“Step away from the apple!” I yelled. He stopped his motion to take a bite in the fruit.
“What? Why? It’s a fruit.”
“We found tomatoes, eggplants and a squash. I say fruits are off limit until we solve this!”
“It was in the fridge!”
“So is the rest of the town! Who says they turned all at once?” Disappointed, Elijah stored the apple. “I might have a solution though!” I said, brandishing my squash. Elijah looked even more confused. I set the squash on the table and looked at it intently. It might just work.
“Wand that turns veggies and fruits into people.” I poked the bruise on the squash’s belly, making sure not to breach the skin. In a puff of blue smoke, a distorted twig appeared. I grabbed it and tapped squash Eliot with it. Suddenly, there he was.
“What am I doing here?” Eliot asked, a little shocked by the process. I signaled Elijah to take him home and repeated the manoeuvre with Elijah’s family. I questioned them about the apple. It was clean so I brought it to Elijah.
At my house, I turned veggies into people and Elijah explained the whole thing to them. When I tapped Granny, she was barely popped that she already headed outside mumbling about “that damn witch”. That confirmed my suspicions; she wouldn’t stay to help me out.
I managed to turn the whole town back though I had a little mishap with a cucumber. First, he was naked and second, no one knew him. I should have summoned a wand that turned veggies and fruits back into people. Oh well! He was still good enough to eat.
The moral of my story is… to hell with it. I’m tired of repeating myself. You know that stuff by now.
First, expressing opinions is ok as long as no one gets hurt.
Second, be the person you want to be because no matter how hard you try to hide it, your very core will show eventually, defenseless against others’ judgment.