Thursday, October 22, 2009

Humberto Strawberry and the Laser of Doooooom...

Once again, my good friend, Ms. P, has suggested another story idea for the blog. Due to the questions I've received from people who are intrigued by the Evil Strawberry of DOOOOOM, I decided that it will be easier if I let you read about him for yourself. The story is the beginning. The conclusion will be the end. Obviously.

And yes, I am quite aware that this is a silly story but, well, sometimes, you just need a silly story.

Once upon a time, there was a strawberry named Humberto. He was a fairly ordinary strawberry. Actually, Humberto knew he was a very ordinary strawberry. Some strawberries rose to greatness but, from the days in the strawberry patch until he was released into the world to make his strawberry way, Humberto knew he was never going to be great. He had been protected. Several of his siblings, born in earlier crops, had met messy ends, going out into the world to seek their fortune but becoming victims of anything from heavy objects to large birds who preferred to eat strawberries above any other fruit. Humberto was not allowed to leave until he was ready, until he'd been schooled in the ways of Strawberry Self Protection. By the time he left, Humberto knew it was too late to be great, he had lost his chance to be an Individual Strawberry and had become institutionalized into the ways of Patch Life.

You might think it strange that Humberto knew anything at all, being that he was a strawberry. However, in Humberto's world, it was perfectly normal for strawberries to walk and talk. They even were born with tiny strawberry feet that became more steady when they put on their enormous shoes that would help them balance.

Humberto's best friend was Boomer Blackberry. He'd been born in the neighbouring blackberry patch to Humberto's birthplace. Together, when their time had come to leave to make room for the next crop, they bravely ventured forth into the big unknown world. At first, it had been terrifying. They'd spent many an hour cowering behind anything that would cover them from the terrifying sight of swooping birds, fruit-sized traffic and anything else that could potentially cause them harm.

In their world, there were no humans. This is a good thing because both Boomer and Humberto had heard scary bedtime stories about worlds in which humans not only lived but also ate fruit as though it were an every day thing. At least in their world, there were only the birds to fear.

One hour, as they were relaxing in a shadowed spot out of the view of swooping birds, they heard a strange sobbing sound. Curious, they bravely investigated. In another shadow, hidden under some grass lay an enormous yellow banana.

"I'm sad," he said to them, wailing again.
"Why?" asked Boomer.
"No idea!" said the banana and, once again, he started sobbing.
"What's your name?" asked Humberto.
"They call me The Sad Banana," he said, wiping his eyes.
"That's a good name," said Boomer. "Do you mind if we just call you Banana?"
The banana shrugged. "Ok," he said. He stopped crying. "Can I join you?"
"We're going to Fruit City to find the meaning of life," said Humberto. "Are you afraid of birds?"
Banana smiled. "No," he said. "For I am a good weapon against them."
"Excellent!" said Boomer and they journeyed along.

Banana was a good weapon. He was very efficient at stiffening up and allowing Boomer and Humberto to swing him at them to scare them away. It worked and soon, they found themselves in Fruit City.

It was a bustling place. Before long, they were separated by the paths that were fated for them. Boomer found a wife and a job as a mailman and they raised a family in their little brambly home. Banana found himself a job as a secret agent for the Fruit Coalition of Crime. The problem was, he forgot that he forgot about the secret part and told everyone. Soon enough, he decided that the life of crime prevention wasn't for him and became a poet, embracing the sadness within and, once more, using his full name of The Sad Banana.

As for Humberto, well, his tale is a strange and peculiar one. He, too, found a wife. Her name was Sally. He became a census taker, keeping track of all the fruit that resided in Fruit City. They started their own little strawberry patch in the garden shed and soon had several baby strawberries. Humberto was happy.

That is, of course, until he knocked on the wrong door to ask his census questionnaire.


It had started as an ordinary hour. Strawberries (and most fruit), you see, lived their lives by minutes and hours rather than days and years. Even without the outside dangers of birds and being squashed, they had short life spans. The worst thing that could happen to an ordinary fruit was The Rot. This only happened to unaware fruit, however.

In the hour, Humberto had already done several other questionnaires. He'd talked to a family of cherries, three families of grapes and a couple of plums. Now, he was about to talk to a pineapple. He was a bit nervous about this. Pineapples were notoriously dangerous, often forming pineapple gangs and causing havoc in the city. So, as he knocked on the door, his heart was pounding.

The door opened a crack and a strange pair of bespectacled eyes peeked out. "Hello?" said an elderly voice.

Humberto peered in. "Census," he said. Everyone knew that when the Census Coalition came round, you had to let them in.

"Oh," said the Pineapple. The door closed. Confused, Humberto waited. It opened again. The pineapple had taken off his glasses and now the door was open, Humberto could smell a sickly, familiar, decaying smell.

He backed away. "Oh, no!" he said. "They didn't say you had The Rot!"
"Never fear," said the Pineapple. "I'm not contagious. Not for you, anyway."
Not comforted, Humberto followed him inside. The door locked behind him. His strawberry heart pounded. He had no choice but to stay...for now.
It was a strange pineapple home. The couch was pink and frilly. There were pictures of kittens, puppies and baby fruit dressed up as animals all over the walls. It did not seem to suit the rotting pineapple.
"My name used to be Torrance," said the pineapple. "Now I'm The Rotting Pineapple."
The name seemed familiar to Humberto who racked his strawberry brain to remember why.
The Rotting Pineapple was already mushy in the behind and he smelled foul. He watched Humberto. "You don't like my living room," he said, sad.
"Of course I do," said Humberto. "It's lovely."
"Perhaps you'd like to come into my kitchen," said The Rotting Pineapple. His tone was purring and strangely gentle and enticing.
"Ok," said Humberto.
As they went into the kitchen, another door closed behind Humberto. The kitchen was not really a kitchen but a room filled with odd instruments. There were twisted forks and straws everywhere. In the middle of the room was a strange telescope-like object.
"Do you like it?" asked The Rotting Pineapple.
"What is it?" asked Humberto nervously.
"It's my Laser of Dooom!" said The Rotting Pineapple.
At that moment, something twisted inside Humberto. He knew now why the name of Torrance sounded familiar.
"You're Terrible Torrance!" he said, his voice shaking.
The-Rotting-Pineapple-Formerly-Known-As-Terrible-Torrance looked sad. "I used to be," he said. "Now I'm rotting, I'm not him anymore."
Humberto remembered the slew of articles that had appeared in the Fruity Times about the evil deeds of Terrible Torrance. He was most notorious for his experiments on fruit resulting in Fruit Zombies, frozen Fruit and a variety of Pickles. He backed away but the door was locked.
The Rotting Pineapple smiled. "I need to pass along my evilness," he said. "I've been waiting for someone like you to come along.
"I can just leave," said Humberto. "I never saw anything." He knew if he got away, The Rotting Pineapple would be too far-gone with The Rot to find him.
"You could," said The Rotting Pineapple. "But I won't let you."
Instantly, Humberto felt himself being pushed against the wall by a strange robot made out of toothpicks and coathangers. He couldn't move.
"It won't hurt!" said the Rotting Pineapple. "It's just that I have a legacy of evil and no children who I can impart my knowledge to. Fruit City needs evil to make it interesting."
Humberto couldn't argue with that. He had enjoyed some of the exploits of Torrance the Terrible.
"Also," cooed The Rotten Pineapple, "You can choose the type of doom you bring upon the city. You're not held to my standards!"
Humberto considered it. He had always hated being ordinary. Besides, he couldn't move at all because of the Toothpick Robot.
"Close your eyes!" said The Rotting Pineapple.
Humberto obeyed. There was a flash, a crash and a smell of sweetness pervading the air. He felt a jolt pass through him. He opened his eyes. The room was filled with smoke, noise, chaos and mayhem. The Rotting Pineapple was laughing maniacally.
"I christen you The Evil Strawberry of DOOOOOOOM!" he said with a cackle. He began to decay at that moment, his face becoming a melted pile of soggy juice.
Humberto stood up. The robot had released him. He flexed his fingers. He felt different. He felt evil. He felt...good.
He looked down at the bag he still had slung over his strawberry body. It held his questionnaires and other Census essentials.
"Guess you won't need to answer my questions," he said to the pile of goo on the floor that used to be Terrible Torrance (also known as The Rotting Pineapple).
And he went out into the world, looking exactly the same but feeling entirely different. He was Humberto by day and The Evil Strawberry of DOOOOOOM whenever he got a chance.
He had many adventures and committed many terrible acts of DOOOOM but those must be saved for another day. Just know that evil is never rewarded; it can be ended easily with some extra strong chewing gum and accidentally being rolled over by a steamroller.

But, again, that's a story for another day.

Happy Thursday.

No comments: