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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #1662243
These women! Short Shots, Second Place
Wouldn't you just know it. I've been banished here by my own wife, with only the clothes on my back and the hat on my head.

"Get out of the house!" she screeched at me. My house, mind you. Uh - our house, actually, but who's counting? Anyway, she screeched at me to get out of the house because - wait for it - I couldn't distinguish a good beetroot from a bad one. The other vegetables I was pretty sure of, but, while cleaning out the fridge, the beetroot had me stumped.

All I did was to ask, "Sweetie, is this good?" and the next thing I knew, I was on my backside in the front drive, and she was shrieking. When she gets that pitchy, I can't always hear each word, but the sense of it was something about how I help so little in the house that I don't know if a beet is beat or not.

So here I am, banished, to the land of the vegetation, to vegetate. Rather, to learn. To tell when a vegetable is good, and when it has gone bad. Bad enough to be thrown out on its backside. Do vegetables have a backside? Please don't tell my wife I asked that.

Well, I am looking at a lot of fresh vegetables here. Pretty nice, they are, too, some of them. You wouldn't think it, but there are vegetables in every colour you can imagine. All of them edible, some of them tasty, and some of them absolutely gourmet delights. You can boil 'em and fry 'em and bake 'em and stir 'em up and what not. Take those prickly leaves behind me. You wouldn't imagine it, but they make a super soup. Soup, Souper, Soupest. Please don't tell my wife I said that. She'd call me a sou-pest. I know sou means something or the other in French, but I can't think what right now. The only thing French I know is French onion - there I go again - soup.

It's my third day here, sitting on my backside, and not a single vegetable has gone bad so far. It absolutely isn't fair. How can I distinguish a good vegetable from a bad one if I have no examples, here in this land of vegetation where she has banished me, with only the clothes on my back (my front is pretty well covered, too) and the hat on my head?

Well, I've cooked some vegetables and eaten some others raw.

The thing is, I've run out of matches. I ran out of matches last night, so I haven't had a thing since dinner. So I'm hungry and annoyed.

Remember that monkey wanting fire, in that movie? Jungle something? Well, I'm like that monkey now. I want fire. What was that song - "You can't start a fire without a spark" or something? What I need is a spark. You're bored hearing this, but please don't tell my wife I said that. She'd say it's a spark of intelligence I lack.

So I'm hungry ...


Are those footsteps?

Can vegetables walk? Do they have footsteps? Please don't tell - you know the rest of it. She'll - (fill that in yourself, if you have an imagination. I'm too busy investigating these footsteps.)

I'm seeing things.

This cannot be real.

I'm hallucinating. I'm seeing illusions and mirages. This is not real. Wait, wait. I have to pinch myself. Ouch! It's real alright.

That means there is really a pretty woman walking toward me.

And she's wearing - she's wearing - well, the vegetables won't miss those. Vegetables can spare three leaves, one each you-know-where. And that's all she's wearing. And here she comes, toward me.

She's kneeling next to me, now.

"What are you doing here, dear?" she whispers in my ear.

"I've been banished," I blurt. Before I know it, my head is buried in two of those leaves, and I'm pouring out my story. She's undoing my hat. She's stroking my hair.

"So you must learn to tell a good vegetable from a bad, must you, dear?" she sighs.

"Yes," I reply.

"Well, it's the same difference as between a good human being and a bad one," she says, more stridently.

"And that difference is ..." I ask, looking up from those leaves into her eyes.

"You don't know the difference between a good human being and a bad one? Well, that's easy to learn. I can teach you."

The clothes are not on my back anymore. Or on my front either. They've been thrown somewhere into that fresh vegetation, along with the three leaves. Where's my hat? Who knows. She is on her back and I'm on ... well, if you have any imagination, you'll know where I am.

I've learnt one more thing about fresh vegetables. They make a lovely, soft cushion for two people who ... you've already filled this in with your imagination. I'm not sure if my wife knows this about vegetables or not, maybe I'll teach her when I get back home. In the meantime, I'm paying attention to my lesson. I'm learning to tell a good human being from a bad one.

Oh, and about that spark - remember the spark I needed - I recall the song I was thinking of - "You can't start a fire without a spark ... hum-hum ... Dancing in the Dark!"

Don't you know enough to go away, now? Bye!

"April Short Shots Contest Winners
Second: "Banished by My Own Wife!"

Full Counts:
All Words: 897

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