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One Shot Is All It Takes

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Played Together

Seeing the unique musical experience given in Austria, a group of friends and part-time musicians decide to follow suit.

Using their love of music, they are able to overlook the odd choice in instruments to give a memorable performance. The only issue is these organic tools are less than pleased with the humans’ bright idea.

If you’ve ever wondered what a tune from a turnip or a song from a squash would sound like...here is your chance to find out!


“What is actually wrong with you, man?”

“Huh? Nothing. This is a good idea. Come on.”

“Okay, I’ll rephrase. How many times did your mom drop you on your head when you were little?”

“Oh, fuck off with that.”

Larry and Vincent are once again arguing. About what? Who knows? Could be investing in a mob of emus or taking a trip out to Mackert Canyon for a day hike. There’s only one way to find out.

Toby saunters in with both hands full of pizza, looking between his two friends who are still bickering back and forth. Unfazed in the least, he ignores them in favor of the delicious food he just put down on the coffee table. Mouth and hands full of extra cheese pizza, he mumbles when they turn to him for an answer. Anything that doesn’t involve garlic and sauce isn’t his main concern right now, though. Even after he finishes chewing and wiping his face with a napkin—not a peep is heard.

Since they couldn’t help but smell all that cheesy goodness from the other room, the women of the group decide to check out what is going on. Unfortunately, that means they get sucked into the lively discussion too. Larry is quick to assume they will side with him.

“Our fine lady friends will agree. This is genius.”

“Kind of playing fast and loose with the word genius there.”

“Whatever. Shari, Gwen...back me up.”

When their names are called, both of them pause with a piece of pizza halfway to their mouths. Shari nudges the older woman to go first.

“And exactly what are we talking about?”


Gwen squints at Larry’s screen, trying to understand what he’s attempting to persuade them to do. She lights up at the mention of Austria but is confused by the rest of the article. Is this a tradition there? Did people make a habit out of doing this?



“I’m thinking.”

“Great, and while you do that, Shari?”


“Nope, what?”

“Nope to whatever it is.”

“But you didn’t even look!”

“Don’t care.”

The silence is filled only by Shari shoveling more pizza into her mouth, then chewing furiously. So Gwen is undecided, Vincent is convinced it’s lunacy, Toby is more interested in stuffing his face, and Shari is indifferent. That leaves Kristen to settle things. Larry looks over at her expectantly. All the new attention has her sinking back into the couch cushion. She’s always been the quieter one of the friend group.



“Can you just read the article, please?”


Reluctantly, she steps over her friends to look at the laptop screen. Something, something about Austria. Blah, blah, blah symphony. Wait...what? Is this for real? Can’t be. It does sound interesting and would actually probably literally sound interesting. Does she want to encourage Larry, though? On that, she’s iffy. He does seem dead set on the idea at the moment. She wonders if his enthusiasm will lose steam if they agree to do this, then the rest of them will be left with carrying it out. Wouldn’t be the first time that happened. He’s always coming up with crazy ideas.


“It would be unique. No one around here has ever done it, that’s for sure.”

“You can’t be serious. Babe...don’t.”

Vincent is having a hard time believing his own wife would take someone else’s side. To make it worse—it’s Larry. He’ll be gloating about this win for weeks if not months. Already the shit-eating grin is forming on his face. This victory is huge for him. Just to be sure, he edges closer with hopeful eyes.

“Is that a yes?”

“You bet.”

“Oh, my fucking god. I can’t with you right now. Seriously?”

“What? I like music and a challenge. This would be both.”

The muttered response to her now upset husband is drowned out by the hooting of Larry. After quickly hugging his friend, he rushes up the stairs to make plans. Pizza can wait. He means business.


“Hello? Anyone there?”

Silence fills the paper grocery sack around Lindsey. The leek is scared and confused. She isn’t in the same place she was before. Now she is crammed into a dark, stifling area with something heavy on top of her. If she’s quiet, a bit of noise can be heard from nearby. Is someone else here with her?

“Can you answer me, please? Where are we?”

Whoever is in this room with her seems to be having fun. There’s a bunch of excited squealing going on. A sudden burst of light floods the bag she’s in and disrupts the celebration of the other occupants. Curious voices replace what she heard just a moment earlier. Far above her, the faces of a few humans loom.

“What are we supposed to do with these?”

“Play them, Vince. I thought that would be obvious after reading the article.”

“But how? What even is this thing?”

Rustling in the bag has a human hand finding Lindsey and pulling her out. Violent shaking in the other human’s face occurs before she is roughly grabbed. What is wrong with these people?

“It’s a leek. Haven’t you ever seen one or eaten one?”

Eaten? As in consume? Ingest? Chew?

No, no, no, and some more no. Lindsey isn’t getting nibbled on today. Whatever these sick freaks have in mind for her, they can just forget it. She musters up all the strength she can to wrestle her way out of this vicious murderer’s grasp. Try as she might—there’s no escape. The other human is now reaching for the rest of his victims that she heard before, no doubt. A bag of walnuts, a pumpkin, some kohlrabi, a rutabaga, and a single carrot join her on the counter now.

This is...odd.

New human faces join in on gawking at the helpless produce. Lindsey hears a voice more feminine than the others ask a question.

“Is this what you spent all day doing?”

“Well, not all day, Gwen. It took me longer than normal because I had to figure out what would best fit everyone’s musical skills.”

“And this is what you came up with?”

“Yeah, so everyone grab a veggie. We need to start turning them into instruments.”

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait just a minute. Lindsey isn’t sure what this Larry guy is talking about, but it doesn’t sound nice. The look on the creature known as Vince does not look pleasant at all. She hopes he isn’t the one she ends up with. Thankfully, the one called Toby chooses her. Smelling faintly of tomato sauce and some kind of fragrant herb, he is definitely the lesser of the two evils.

Nearby, a pumpkin is being examined by Larry as the older woman looks over the bag of walnuts. The human devil Vince eyes the carrot after glancing at his wife. Whatever debauchery he has in mind is best left unsaid. That kind of trauma would scar these poor vegetables for the rest of their shelf life.

When they’ve all picked their “instruments”, the more observant of the humans named Kristen asks a question the produce feared to know the answer to.

“So what happens to them after we’re done?”

“I thought it would be nice if we made soup out of them for the local shelter. It’s Christmas time and they could really use a hot meal.”

“That’s gross.”

“How is that gross?”

“Larry, no one wants to eat anything you’ve spent all day spitting into.”

He almost looks like he’s going to protest, but Kristen is quick to put a stop to that. There’s no way she would force those poor homeless people to eat his slobbery veggie stew. Just thinking about it makes her dry heave.

“It just seems like such a waste to throw them out after. Can’t we do something with them?”

“How about Gwen’s compost heap?”

Their friend, who had been zoning out until now, suddenly perks up. She agrees they could go in her bin and also volunteers to make a second trip to the store for more veggies. Larry can’t cook for shit. He has absolutely no idea what would make a tasty soup. If they don’t want a bunch of homeless people being sick—one of the women should make it.

While the shopping takes place, the guys go upstairs to decide on the music to play during the concert. Shari and Kristen busy themselves by making phone calls and posters to advertise their show. As a bonus for the shelter, the proceeds from ticket sales will go to them too. Everything seems to be coming together, but what do the veggies think?

“Well, this is fucked.”


The disgruntled carrot rolls to life, trying to judge just how far of a drop it is to the floor. Carson has heard tales from others of his kind about what humans do to carrots. Horrible things...ungodly things. He saw how that Vince character looked at his wife. Wanting no part in this whatsoever—he bypasses Lindsey to get the hell out of Dodge.

“Where are you going?”

“Didn’t you hear me? I said this is fucked. I’m out.”

Annoyed muttering about using him as a sex toy trails after Carson until the bulky pumpkin blocks his way. Polly doesn’t care for any of this one bit, but she isn’t going to be the only one they used to make music. He can suffer with them. Between her and the excited bag of walnuts—he’s trapped.

“Look, I don’t like this any better than you do. I don’t like this place for starters. It’s too dark and wherever they have us is too high up. I’d rather be back in my patch on the ground, but since I’m not, I guess I have to make do.”

Wilma, Wesley, Wally, and Wyatt all jump around in their plastic confines to agree. Honestly, they are just happy to be out of that cramped grocery store bin. None of them are used to being so close to that many other walnuts. It’s made them a little nu...err crazy.

Out of the blue, another veggie speaks up. A rutabaga called Rhonda clears her throat before almost growling. The bouncy activity of her neighbors has put her in a foul mood. She side-eyed the nuts of the group while speaking down to them.

“I, for one, am glad to be free of that chilly supermarket. Their in-store music was grating, and their advertising was quite jarring, too. Misspelled words on signs in neon colors...who does that?”

Both Lindsey and Polly share eye rolls, dismissing the picky rutabaga. Throughout the entire conversation, one veggie has remained silent. Kiki the kohlrabi isn’t sure what to think. Everything is new to her, and she has never done well with change. Eager to get her opinion—the leek nudges her purple companion.

“And what about you? What do you think?”

“Me? Oh, I don’t know. This is the most attention I’ve ever gotten before. Most people overlook me, settling for other vegetables instead. Maybe...maybe this won’t be so bad.”

Carson cracks up laughing, convinced they’re all in for a wild ride. He may not be too far off...


Later, everyone comes back to prepare their veggies for the show. Nothing happens to Lindsey, but the walnuts are put into two plastic tumblers to make noise. Rhonda is hollowed out with strategic holes placed so that when her human blows...she sounds like a horn. Carson is also hollowed out, riddled with holes down one side. One large hole is placed at the end to complete the brutal transformation.

Polly has a piece of wood attached to her and a hole is cut in her front. Soon, strings are added to make a strumming instrument. Nothing is done to Kiki either, but soon she finds out that they’re going to use her to bang on a large drum. She fears a raging headache coming on.

The poor vegetables are all horrified when practice time arrives, except for the walnuts. Wally and the gang seem to be totally on board with being tossed around in cups the entire night. It’s like a party for them. Their squeals of delight can be heard along with the rattle they make inside the plastic. Polly thinks they have absolutely lost it. She is not amused by this at all. Not the rattling, not the strumming...nothing. Her whole body is shaking with vibrations. Carson tells her to suck it up because he has it way worse!

“This guy has his mouth on my ass and is blowing! Agh!”

In between puffs of breath, the carrot curses his existence. Rhonda knows his pain. Her head is receiving the same treatment. Shari must have great lung capacity because she hasn’t stopped much in the thirty-minute practice to take a breath. All her air has gone whooshing through Rhonda. The tiny toots have the rutabaga blushing profusely.

“I’ve never been more mortified in my life!”

Not a peep comes out of Lindsey. She feels oddly violated. This weird human is rubbing her sides to create the strangest of sounds. It’s indecent! She doesn’t know how much more she can take. Is this what people consider proper entertainment?

Meanwhile, poor Kiki wishes this would just stop. They’ve barely done anything and already her temples are throbbing in pain. For a woman, this Kristen chick is very strong. She doesn’t have to pound her so hard, though. Everyone gets the point. Why are humans so cruel?

Looking pleased with themselves, practice finally ends. Notes are made on the sheet music where improvements can be made while Vince whittles away on Carson to get the sound just right.

“Oh...oh god. Kill me now!”

Poor carrot.

With practice done, the musicians go off to get ready for the big concert. While this happens—other vegetables for the soup are being brought in. Several bags of tomatoes and boxes of red peppers now sit on the small prep table. These new visitors want to be rescued and the old ones share their thoughts.

“But how can we get out of here?”

It’s at that second both groups realize they’re screwed. A tiny tomato in one bag stutters out an innocent question.


He had heard the larger veggies talking and is scared, not knowing what is going to happen. No one in the bag with him can think of an easy way to tell the little fella. Carson has no problem at all and bluntly informs the tiny mater that it means they’re getting eaten. Tears well up, then the baby vegetable begins to cry. Polly scolds the carrot from where she is leaning against the counter.

“What is wrong with you? Why would you say that?”

“It’s the truth. We’re fucking doomed! Doomed!”

Ever since Vince cut more out of the carrot, his voice has changed, making him spew small bits of carrot with every exclaimed word. For some reason, it makes Lindsey laugh. Her giggle slowly turns into an unhinged cackle. This experience is driving her mad. By the time it’s over, she’ll need a looney bin instead of a compost one.


7 pm arrives and the show must go on. The veggies hate it, except for the walnuts again. People are cheering for them, and they think it’s great. An announcement is made at the end of the concert, thanking the audience for their charitable giving. Everyone is thrilled at the news of helping the local shelter, but the vegetables aren’t looking forward to their fate.

Afterward, Gwen gathers the used veggies to drop off in her compost heap. As they are unloaded, each one breathes a sigh of relief. This doesn’t seem so bad. The human’s backyard is nice and the dirt under them is kind of comfy. Suddenly, the lid is closed. Darkness settles in. Nothing is visible in the pitch-black box, but something can be felt...earthworms.

Any hope they once had disintegrates as the human’s footsteps get farther and farther away. It’s Polly who has the last statement from the vegetables...

“Well, shit.”


The End.


Author’s Note

I hope everyone has enjoyed this brief addition to my inanimate object series. I feel bad for these veggies, but it’s all in the name of comedy, and in this particular instance, charity.

Inspired by the need in my community, I donated to my local food bank. I was surprised that my small amount of money would provide so many meals to those in need. This is something I encourage everyone to do as well. If unable to gift money, then perhaps your time could be sent instead. Most food banks are in need of volunteers to sort supplies before they are shipped to smaller food banks. Whatever you can, please do. Generosity is its own reward.


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