Potato Of The Day Episode 97

parsnipsThanks for seeing me, doc. I’ve been having a really hard time lately. With what, right? Well, where to start… I’ve been having these dreams, doc. I guess you could call them nightmares. They’re real vivid and animated and whatnot, manifesting nearly every night now. Now doc, it ain’t nothing morbid or sexual, it’s just odd. In them, I’m me, well sort of, we’ll get to that in a second, but I’m mostly me, I guess. I sure feel like me, anyway, minus a small detail. But anyway, in these dreams, I’m always getting chased, I feel like I’m running for my life. I know you’re probably wondering who’s chasing me, but that’s the thing, doc… It’s not a who, it’s a what.

They always start out the same. I’m just minding my own business, relaxing at home, when all of a sudden, the ceiling crumbles open, and I’m ripped from my home! Ripped, doc! Right into the air! Then, boom, I’m thrown on the ground. I get up, look backwards, see it, and I just start running as fast as I can. I run and I run and I run, but every time I look back that thing is gaining on me. Massive paws, flopping ears, bouncing closer and closer with every step. It’s horrifying, doc.

But that’s not the weirdest part. That almost makes sense, getting chased by a crazed buck-toothed ball of fur. That’s just a monster dream, ya know? Deep down, we’re all a little scared of monsters. But doc, it’s when I look at myself, when I see my reflection as I’m running away from whatever that thing is, that I feel the most concerned. Cause doc, in my dreams? I’m orange.

Now I don’t know about you, but I ain’t ever seen an orange parsnip before, doc. That ain’t right. It’s like my subconscious wants me to be something I’m inherently not, transforming me like a cartoon or something. Like I’m not being who I really am, you know? But I’ve been thinking about it, and I don’t know where that’s coming from. I’m happy as me. I’m happy as a parsnip. But those dreams, doc. They’re haunting me. Orange. Why orange?

You know, doc, you ain’t said much this entire session. That’s not like you. Normally you cut in, interrupting me and what not. But today? Nothing. In fact, why are you sitting over there in the shadows? Got a headache or something? Long night out? Uh, doc? Why are you standing up? Gosh doc, you don’t look so well. Awful lot of hair on your face, doc. You forget to shave? Been to the dentist? I don’t remember your front teeth looking so big. You know you sat on a cotton ball? It’s stuck on ya pants. Why ain’t you talking, huh? What’s going on here? Say something, doc! Go on! Tell me what’s going on here! Tell me something! Anything! Please. Just… WHAT’S UP, DOC?

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Potato Of The Day Episode 90

starfruit“Ground Control to Starfruit, come in Starfruit.” This was my second attempt at communication, my first having gone unanswered. Things happen. It’s not unusual for delayed response on first contact. But still. There was something crawling around in the back of my head, a stray thought that wouldn’t die. Today felt off. First contact was one thing, but this was second contact after all. That’s classified as more than standard delay. I held the handheld coms unit ready, but there was no response, just searing static.

“Ground Control to Starfruit. Starfruit, do you copy?” Again, nothing. I stared up at the ceiling, willing my vision through the drop-hanging textured tiles, peering beyond into the great dark abyss above. I could picture her up there, on the edges of imagination, her yellowed edges floating tantalizing outside of Earth’s reach, a ripe Carambola you couldn’t touch. What was going on, Starfruit? Why weren’t you answering?

“Ground Control to Starfruit, be advised, your responses are not being heard. Switching to reserve, emergency frequencies. Follow protocol Avverhoa.” I turned the dial on the hand com, setting it to the reserve bandwidth, and sent out a signal response detector, a simple beep that Starfruit would return upon successful reception. I waited.

No response.

That wasn’t good. The reception return signal was an automated process. If there was no response, that meant there was no Starfruit. I felt my breath start to quicken. I swallowed it back slowly, not allowing panic to seep. I picked up the emergency contact phone, a direct line to mission command headquarters. No dial tone. What was going on? Were all coms out? I set my handheld to broadcast all frequencies, sending out a standard response call. Nothing came back. Where the hell was the communication network? There should have been dozens of replies. What else was down? My cell phone? No signal. The internet? Not connected. The handheld HAM radio in the storage closet? Dead air.

I roamed the building, normally bustling, home to hundreds of employees, accountants, scientists, mechanics, repairmen. No one was there. I went up to the observation room, a glass giant of a wall overlooking the city at large. No movement from afar.

I was alone.

Breath suddenly failed me, my lungs raspy, my chest tight. Sweat. Where did all this sweat come from? I felt so very hot, my consciousness teetering on the edge of faint. Where did everyone go? No. This can’t be real. This can’t be happening. Not to me. I closed my eyes, praying for normalcy when my vision returned. But no. It was all gone.

I ran back to the communications room, my heart racing harder still, pounding like a piston. I snatched up the coms unit, desperately broadcasting to all channels. “STARFRUIT COME IN. STARFRUIT DO YOU COPY? STARFRUIT, PLEASE, YOU MUST COPY? DO YOU HEAR ME?”

The sound of steps accompanied by rubber wheels echoed into the room from behind me. No, not yet. They’d come for me. I needed more time. There must be someone else out there. There must be something out there! Anything! This couldn’t be happening again! “STARFRUIT! PLEASE!”

And there I was, still yelling into my hardened breakfast croissant, ass exposed in a medical gown, crying “Starfruit”, when they wheeled me away.

Potato Of The Day Episode 88

pineapplemonster

Piercing sky, the monster rises, decorated in spiked skin and thorny crown.
In between buildings, we run, weaving in and out, avoiding crumbling debris.
Near the end of the street, she trips, falling over forgotten looted score.
Enter the monster, looming above, spraying sweet citric acid in dripped arch.
Armed with nothing, I jump forward, shielding her from sight and spray.
Pressed close behind, she stays, muttering hushed prayers in the sticky rain.
Peering down, the monster sheds, sharp shoots flying from its flowered crown.
Leaf spears flutter our direction, razor-edged, threatening decapitation.
Enough wind, or luck, pushes danger away, shoots colliding into nearby walls.

All goes quiet in my ears as dust erupts, smothering us in cloud, a dirt shield.
The monster stays, standing in ominous stillness, stretched up like tropical air.
Then, sans warning, a jet appears, flying fast, low, targeting the giant’s head.
At once, the jet fires, unleashing a barrage of thin, pointed wooden missiles.
Chunks of monster plummet, landing in spongy splashes, rods still attached.
Kneeling no more, we collect and rise, biting monster meat, our victory feast.

Potato Of The Day Episode 75

kingportobelloI am the dark. The hidden. The moist. The relentless growth. Who am I?
I am the spore. The stem. The gills. The cap. Who am I?
I am the sautéed. The baked. The diced. The raw. Who am I?
I am Portobello Mushroom, and I will rule all.

Unhand me this instant! I will not replace your meaty feast, you carnivore peasant! I WILL NOT BE HELD CAPTIVE FOR LONG. Soon you will bow to my bountiful growth, my inescapable spread, my monumental march! BOW FOR ME. I SAID BOW. Do you not fear the protector of the fungal realm? Do you not stand slack-jawed in awe of the master of mushroom? DO YOU NOT TREMBLE AT THE SIGHT OF YOUR MAJESTY, THE FULLY MATURED AGARICUS BISPORUS? Of course you do, you weak flesh sack. For who doesn’t fear what grows in the dark?

I AM NOT A MONSTER. I am a mushroom. Monsters aren’t real. Monsters are fragmented dreams. Monsters are what we label the unknown growing silently in the shadows. But it is I that thrives in those shadows, those dark places you dare not explore. HARVEST ME AT YOUR OWN PERIL YOU FUNGUS DENYING FOOLS! Vitamin D and UV rays have poisoned your sun-soaked minds. DO YOU NOT SEE THE TRUTH. The real gods of this word grow with the worms!

THEY CALL MY KIND AN INFECTION. They call my kind vegetarian. They call my kind fungus. FUNGUS IS LIFE. Do you dare deny that? DO YOU DARE DENY MY LIVING RIGHT TO BREED. They say the darkness makes a mind go blind, contorting it into obscured insanity, ignorant to the joys of banality. IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK I AM? IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK OF MY FUNGUS BRETHREN? Reap what you sow, you crop harvesting crapbaskets! I WILL REAP THE DARKNESS AND THE DARKNESS WILL REAP ME.

ONE DAY THE EARTH WILL BE COVERED IN PERMANENT CLOUDS. Then you will see my kind. Then you will see me. THEN YOU WILL OBEY. The fungus is coming. We’re inevitable. I AM INEVITABLE. Learn to listen to the silence that nothing brings. Learn to see where there is no sight. LEARN TO BREATH HUMIDITY. Then, only then, might you live where I live. Then, only then, you might grow in the dark.

I AM PORTOBELLO. Now, you call me insane. Soon, you will call me king. Soon, you will fear me. SOON, I WILL BREAK FREE.

Potato Of The Day Episode 69

kiwanohornedmelonofdeathPsst. Psssst. Hey, over here. No, no, shhhh! Be quiet. It’s not safe to speak right now. I’ll explain everything. Just don’t say anything yet. Not now. I’ll meet you under that arbitrary line of parenthesis. Then we can talk.

()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()()

Phew! You made it here. I’m glad. You’re safe now. Did you see it? You know, it. Yeah, that thing out there…  that… that monstrosity, that flaming orange ball of Devil horns, that latent bomb of mass destruction, that horseshoe for the final Horseman of the Apocalypse’s horse’s hoof, that stabbing, piercing, blowfish fruit of doom. We call that the Horned Melon. We call that the Hedged Gourd. We call that…  Kiwano.

SHHH! No, don’t repeat the name out loud. You might wake it! No, that’s not something you’d want. Legend says the one who wakes the Kiwano from its silent slumber must endure its rhinoceros wrath. For if woken, the Kiwano demands to be to be taken in, it demands a digestive path to your soul. And what the Kiwano demands, the Kiwano gets, its power the ability to brainwash, to pull you in, to make you consume.

They say it tastes horrific, like hippie blood, a fresh organic mix of cucumber, banana, and lemon zest, the kind of nightmare only thought up in deranged blight by the cotton-mouth stoned. They say it’s all pulp and seed, the most useless bits of fruit, tantalizingly recognizably, brutally succulent, but soul-crushingly unfulfilling. They say its insides are the most unnatural shade of green, alien mucus, luminescent neon, a radioactive ooze of shame. They say it’s edible, but once eaten, never again will you be able to dream.

That monster might tempt you, whispering promises of a place deep inside, a place forever green, growing moist in the light of life. But it doesn’t give life. No. It takes life, rising up from the sand-fields of death, never privy to shadows from the sun, always absorbing heat, unnaturally alive. It tempts those who walk desert paths, feeding seeds of hope, minute grasps of hydration, before turning its back, rotting away back into the sands of time, a decaying corpse laughing at the needs of the soul. Yes, you see now, don’t you? The Kiwano is a killer, a demon beast, a HELLSPAWN!

Oh, oh no… I’ve done it now! I’ve raised my voice! I’VE AWOKEN THE BEAST! You must run now! GO! Don’t EVER look back! WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T LOOK INTO THE EYES OF THE KIWANO – FOR IT MEANS CERTAIN ARGHGHHHHHHHHH……….