2011 Totem Head Story Contest Winner: "David and the Rock and Roll Romanesco" By Hanna Inoue, 17 years old, Rohnert Park, California.
Portfolio Top
Paper's Left Side
Paper's Right Side

David and the Rock and Roll Romanesco
Written By:   Hanna Inoue, 17 years old, Rohnert Park, California.

"So there I was, face to face with the weirdest vegetable I’ve ever seen…" I paused for effect, and then pulled it out from under my sweatshirt. "The romanesco!"

Peter and Jeffrey stared at it. The color of green toxic waste and shaped like something that would be seen in an optical illusion, the romanesco was a frightening vegetable to behold.

"This thing cost me like, ten dollars!" I said, tossing it to Peter. His brown eyes were boggling as he touched the hard round bumps that made up each spire on the vegetable.

"This is wicked!" he said, handing it to Jeffrey.

Jeffrey adjusted his glasses and squinted at it as he held it up to his nose. "What is it related to?" he asked.

"The broccoli and the cauliflower," I said triumphantly.

"Whoa…" they said.

"And it was like a stroke of luck, since I just happened to find a ten-dollar bill on the ground right near it!"

"No way!" Jeffrey said, startled so much that his glasses fell off.

"Yeah!" I said. "It was like… a sign or something!"

"David! Come home, it’s getting late!" mom called from the kitchen window.

"Gotta go," I said, taking the romanesco from Jeffrey. "See you guys tomorrow."

"Are you gonna bring that in for show-and-tell?" Peter asked, standing up.

"Yeah, why not?" I shrugged, grinning. "Everyone will be so jealous."

"Totally," Jeffrey said, putting his glasses back on. "See ya later Dave!"

"Bye!" I said, running home. Mom was making spaghetti and meatballs, and she started laughing when she saw me.

"What?" I asked, irritated.

"You’re carrying around that vegetable like it’s a trophy," she said, carelessly waving the ladle. She laughed some more, but then screamed when she realized that dinner was burning. I didn’t really care, since I didn't like spaghetti.

"David!" dad said when I was about to go upstairs, "did you do your homework?"

"Yeah!" I lied.

"Stop lying and finish it up before dinner."


I trudged upstairs, and sat at my desk, staring at my math homework menacingly.

"You think you’re so tough," I growled. "You think you can outsmart me, but no! You can’t! You know why? Because I’m smarter than you!" I glared at the equation. "Man, I hate long division!"

"Don’t forget to carry the decimal!"

"Oh yeah, thanks, I--" I turned. "Who said that?"

"Me!" I looked around, but there was no one there.


Something nudged my elbow. Looking over, I saw… the romanesco.

"Hi there."


"David, what is it?!" mom and dad came into my room, dad holding a baseball bat and mom holding a machete.

"N-n-nothing!" I stammered. I looked at mom. "Where’d you get that machete?"

She looked at it. "Oh, it was given to me by an old Mexican priestess when I went down to Matamoros," she shrugged. "But why did you scream?"

"I… I… saw a spider," I said, thinking quickly.

"A spider? Son you love spiders," dad said, putting the bat down.

"This was a black widow," I lied. "They’re poisonous, you know."

"All right then…" dad said, leaving with mom. I sighed with relief, and then turned to the romanesco. "I knew you weren’t just an average vegetable."

"I’m a romanesco! There’s nothing average about me!" spoke the vegetable, from an invisible mouth. "But here’s the truth: I’m not really a romanesco."

I stared. "Are you an alien?"

"What? No, you stupid boy! I am Freddie Mercury!"


The romanesco was silent. And then suddenly, it began to sing.

"Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality…"

"Uhm… sounds familiar…"

"Open your eyes… look up to the skies and see… I’m just a poor boy. I need no sympathy…"

"Oh! You’re the singer of Queen!"


I picked up the romanesco like it was the Holy Grail, and held it above my head. "I HAVE THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD!"

"Put me down, boy!"

I put the romanesco down. "But Freddie Mercury, how come you’re a vegetable?"

"I got lost," Freddie said. "I was going down to the Hard Rock Café, but some sort of wind picked up and flew me right into this romanesco! And I’m glad it was you who picked me up, because the gargantuan man near you smelt of cow excrement. If he’d picked me up, I’m sure I would have died a second time!"

"…You’re welcome?"

"FARROKH BULSARA!" a rumbling voice suddenly sounded. I jumped and fell off my chair.

"Don’t call me by my real name!" protested the romanesco. "I am Freddie Mercury of Queen!"


"FINE!" said Freddie. "JUST WAIT UP, LORD!" The romanesco turned. "So long, David. It was nice to meet you."

"…Yeah…" I said, getting up and sitting back down in my chair.

From the romanesco, a pearly white smoke began to flow out, and it drifted upwards towards the ceiling. It then disappeared, but I was sure I heard Freddie sing, "Any way the wind blows…" as he went back to Rock and Roll Heaven.

I stared at the stationery romanesco, and poked it with my pencil. It didn’t respond.

"David, time for dinner!" dad called. I got up and walked downstairs, then sat at the dinner table with mom and dad.

"Did you get your homework done?" mom asked.

"No," I said.

"Why not?" dad asked.

I looked up at them, and sang, "Nothing really matters… anyone can see…"

They stared at me.

"Nothing really matters… nothing really matters… to me…"

I stood up on my chair, and my parents stared at me. In my head, I heard the piano playing, and the guitar strumming, as I formed my hand into a makeshift bird, and flapped my hands, singing, "Any way the wind blows…"

Link to Free Writing Contest for Kids

Don't copy, reproduce, edit, publish, transmit or upload the written works on this site in any way without express written permission from Adventure Write or the author.  For information on reproducing any works on this site, please email admin@adventurewrite.com


© Copyright Adventure Write. All rights reserved.
Website design by Adventure Write.