2013 Totem Head Story Contest Finalist.
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2013 Contest Finalist


Min-Su Kim
Night of the Living Broccoli
Written By:   Min-Su Kim, 12 years old, Charlottesville, Virginia.

So there I was, staring distastefully at those hideous vegetables. My face turned into a contortion circus, stretching this way and that.

"Please…" I begged my mother.

"I’ll eat another bowl of mashed potatoes, if you’ll just let me skip my vegetables. I’ll eat them tomorrow…or not. Please let me! Broccolis are the worst! They’re so dry and disgusting! How are you expecting me to eat three? One I’d live with, but three is just absolute torture!"

"No." Her mouth was turned down into a frown, like one of an executor’s. "And you can stay here until you eat those three broccoli on your plate. It’s only three. You’ll live. Unless you want to eat the rest of the onions raw in the fridge.

The death sentence was finalized. My mother went upstairs while my face screamed agony.

I poked and prodded at those disgusting green things for what seemed like forever, when I heard a snotty voice. "Hey, careful with the afro! I just got it done, kid!"

A second voice chimed in, nastier than the first one. "Put that weapon down before we draw ours!"

A final voice spoke hesitantly, "Like you could actually hurt us…"

I looked behind me, then in front of me, and all around. The only things in the kitchen were me, two chairs, a table, and the broccoli.

"Um…Is it just me, or is broccoli speaking?’’ I asked.

Three voices replied with, "It’s just you." Then laughter erupted.

I stared at the broccoli. The lines on the stem of the broccoli had changed into three vicious looking faces. While I gaped, they jumped up and down on the plate, knocking it over the table. I heard quiet hiccups as my mother stormed in and started chastising me.

"I’m giving you three more broccoli because of your little stunt! If you dare do that again, I’ll make sure to stuff the whole bag in your mouth!" She stomped away, leaving me with six trouble-makers.

"Ughhhh…look what happened because of you! What am I supposed to do with you guys?" I picked up the broccoli, wincing when they gnawed on my hand. Could I explain to my mom that alien…broccoli was…invading Earth? I shook my head. My mom wouldn’t believe anything that crazy.

I locked the broccoli up in a small treasure box before I slept, ignoring their squeals of anger. Sleep finally came to me, only interrupted by a few loud bouts of complaining, after which I threw my pillow at the box.

I awoke to my mom screaming at me. "WHO EMPTIED OUT ALL THE SHAMPOO?! LEAH!!!"

I glanced innocently at my mom, who still had wet hair from the shower. A bathrobe was hastily wrapped around her. The broccoli… The treasure chest lid was wide open, and I swore I could hear giggling somewhere.

My mom dragged me by the ear to the living room. "Yesterday the plate stunt, and now THIS? Why are you doing all this? It’s not like you, Leah!"

I started mumbling something about broccoli when my mom rolled her eyes. "Oh, yeah, right. Yesterday’s broccoli had some radioactive powers, and it mind controlled you? You’re not six! You’re 13! Don’t start blaming something like broccoli for something you did. How could broccoli even walk? Now go upstairs, and don’t come down until you’ve eaten this bag of broccoli! I don’t want to hear anything from you, except that you’ve finished the broccoli." She shoved that horrid plastic bag in my direction, waiting for me to take it.

I trudged upstairs, the package of broccoli in my hand. When I flopped down on my bed, the broccoli started partying. One hundred pieces of broccoli danced to the music from my iTouch. They all sang out of tune, making a concert out of the funniest sounds I’d ever heard. I gave up on quieting the broccoli, simply doing nothing. My mom did do something though, and it wasn’t pretty.

"Leah! I tell you to eat broccoli, and you throw it all over the floor? Pick it all up and throw it away. Now!" She growled. Interestingly enough, the broccoli had turned limp right when my mother had stepped through the door. I happily trashed the pieces of broccoli that had caused me so much trouble, and ran to the town dump. There, I flung the garbage bag with all my might and heard it crash 10 feet away. Then I got out of there before the broccoli could cling on to me.

That night, for dinner, I had asparagus covered with cheese. Again, I was reluctant to eat it, but I swore I could see little smirks on the faces of the asparagus. I was just opening my mouth to complain about the asparagus when I heard, "We are the broccoli. Come and see us dance! We’ll have a hoedown, so invite the whole town! Tomorrow our band might include asparagus, so won’t you just wait for us. We are the broccoli, and we’re coming to help you dance."

I stuffed the asparagus in my mouth, slightly gagging. The asparagus pieces tickled my throat, making me cough. I flooded my mouth with water, to drown the living asparagus, and finally. finally, I had peace from the haunted vegetables. What I didn’t notice was that I had missed one miniscule piece of green… Not again…




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