“Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.” (Dante, The Inferno)
WARNING: Those gentle, fainthearted souls who live in blissful ignorance should not read on, lest they lose their precious purity and discover themselves dragged down into despair, never to regain their beautiful innocence.
It has been almost a decade since I was visited in my dreams by the creatures of deepest Hell. Only now, with the passage of time, have I mustered the courage to bring their evil to light. When I close my eyes, I see them as I did that first day they revealed themselves in my nightmares. In future writings, I will tell the story of each demonic being I came across in the darkest nights. For now, I will list them here, though I recommend against speaking any of their names out loud, lest you invite their evil into your home or heart.
I remember them marching past me, and it all started with Grouchy Potatoes, the herald of Evil.
My visitors on the first night were as follows:
Silver-tongued Chick Pea Hummus
Greedy, Snarky Tomatoes
Angry Corn (loose, not on the cob, I recall the Corn as if this all occurred yesterday)
Arrogant Mixed Nuts
A Single, Slovenly Pear
Bloodthirsty Clementine Oranges
Strangely, there were also a handful of dishes, including some Boorish Cole Slaw and Malevolent Pizza.
My terror knew no bounds and I lay frozen in my bed. There was no hope, no respite, no future, only death and destruction. In that moment, I feared for my immortal soul. My life was worth nothing in the face of such monstrosities. The only saving grace was that they utterly ignored me as I cast my gaze upon them.
Little did I know the second night would bring the leadership, the C Suite, the royalty of Hell’s demons to my sight. I only list them here as I hope their very existence will lead you, dear reader, away from dark paths and into the light.
The first whose aura made me quiver in fear was Saul, The Apple of Doom. While his origins are lost in the mists of time, many believe he came to exist through the unnatural combination of a Red Delicious and a Granny Smith. I stifled a scream and briefly lost all awareness when his savage visage came into sight.
When I came to, when I saw what followed, only then did I know there was no escape. Directly behind him were the Four Asparagus of the Minor Apocolypse:
- The White Asparagus of Hopelessness
- The Green Asparagus of Despair
- The Purple Asparagus of Unwelcome Advice
- The Canned Asparagus of Crushed Dreams
After came a procession I can barely bring myself to recall.
The Okra of Cruelty
The Chick Pea of Temptation (aka The Seductress)
The Celery Stalk of Mankind’s Downfall
The Twin Chives of Decay, Robert and Allen
The Summer Salad of Darkness
The Kumquat of Weak Willed Hedonism
The Dried Fig of War
and finally, at the end of the procession was Alexander, the Red Potato of Harshest Rebuke.
As they travelled before my eyes, surrounded by bushels of haughty rice pilaf, madness overtook me.
I fear my dreams are prophetic. If so, our world’s demise is assured.