It was still dark when I heard something through the mist. Dread overcame me. Noise this early only meant trouble. I tried to hide my leaves in the soft earth before it was too late. I looked up at the sky and strained my ears. I could distinguish Master Patten’s boots plodding along the rows, past the cabbages, potatoes, and melons, until he stopped in front of the row of carrots. My family was there beside me. My mother, father, and all my cousins were in one long row, 4 rows from the front of Masters house, the house of death.
Many of my family, including my twin brother were pulled from the earth by Patten last Spring. I was there when it happened. I heard them screaming in pain as they were ripped from the wet ground. They were taken to the house and never came back. There were many of us now, but not enough to start a rebellion. Patten walked up menacingly through the row of vegetables. I could feel his eyes boring through my orange skin. I looked up again, but instead of the night sky, I came face to face with a monster. “You’ll do”, he sneered, and snickered, showing me rows of decaying, rotten teeth.
When I awoke, I was in a room filled with bright light. I had to be inside Masters Patten’s house! I was blinded momentarily, but I began to distinguish some shapes here and there.
What I saw next filled me with horror.
It was a massacre, vegetables from our whole neighborhood were on a rectangular wooden podium, bleeding, severed and stripped of their skin, their leaves strewn all over the hard white earth. Some tried to escape, but discovered that their roots had been sliced off completely from their bodies. I covered my eyes with my leaves. My leaves!!! Someone had torn off my precious leaves. That was when I saw a dark figure in the corner. He turned around and glared at me.
He…wouldn’t, …he couldn’t
And Patten strode forward, the knife glinting in the morning sun.
He grabbed me, despite my attempts to slip away, and plunged me underneath a stream of water. I was drowning, my strength slipping away, my life was flashing before my eyes, and I blacked out.
I awoke the next morning completely soaked.
It had rained during the night and I had forgotten to close my window. The window was still wet when I tried to close it, and I gazed out onto my dad’s farm as I dried my hands. Mr. Patten, or sometimes-called Master Patten by some of our employees was my father, and he had owned this vegetable farm for years.
“Son, what’s wrong with you?” my father asked as I stumbled into the kitchen visibly shocked and distraught.
“I just had the weirdest dream”, I said, and slumped into a chair.
“What was it about”, he asked, turning off the hissing stove.
“Oh nothing” I lied.
“What’s for breakfast”, I asked, suddenly remembering my dream from the night before. The mere thought of eating any vegetables was making me feel sick.
“I’ve cooked you a surprise son, freshly prepared carrot soup”, and turned around wielding a tomato stained kitchen knife in one hand, and a decapitated carrot in the other.