Read Me A Story...

Good Morning!

Huh! Stupid alarm clock! Your dreams of sailing down a river of jam on a giant panda are interrupted - as usual - by the braying voice of "Mickey Mickson and his Funky Breakfast Shindig" on Radio 6. As you repeatedly try and fail to smack the top of your clock radio you glance at the red numbers below. It's 7:30. Since you don't have to be out of the house until 8:00, you decide to go back to sleep. With one final swipe you happen to land your fist on the snooze button, roll over and fall asleep again instantly.

You wake up again at noon.

Running for the bus, you pass a shop you'd never noticed before. The sign - which looks surprisingly weathered - reads "Fiona's Fruite Ande Vege" and a withered old lady sits inside knitting.

More than a little curious (not to mention pretty sure you've fired by now anyway) you go inside. The lady smiles sweetly and leaves you to browse her stock.

After finding no sweets, computer games or motorbikes in the shop you decide to leave... but your conscience gets the better of you and, rather than leaving empty handed, you buy the cheapest thing you can find. A tomato, for your lunch... or failing that, to throw at your boss when he gives you the bad news.

As you walk down the street you playfully throw the tomato from hand to hand, for the next half-mile or so at least. It's only when startled by a cat running out in front of you that you accidentally throw the tomato up into the air and fall backwards onto your rear, to the badly-hidden chuckles of the few people to whom you were visible.

The tomato, however, rather than slamming onto the ground and going "squesh" - that's "squesh" - instead drifts slowly towards the pavement and hovers, about a foot from the dirt, as if to make sure that you're alright. As you change from glancing to staring at the floating fruit it suddenly falls the final few inches onto the ground and lies there motionless. Not quite sure whether you just saw what you think you saw, you contemplate your next move.

You decide to take the tomato to Bran Krug, a doctor of floating salad items.

Enter The Bran

"Brian! Brian! Get out here!"

Bran Krug tugs at his door a few times, finally convincing it to let go of its grip on the the 17th layer of paint around its Victorian frame. "Trevor, welcome to my humble abode! It's been a while since I've seen you, my good friend... please, please, come in and take a load off," he implies by grunting and slamming the door in your face. Then again, you never were too good at reading other people.

"Brian, I've got something here you might find interesting," you shout through the letterbox. "It's a tomato, and it can float!"

Bran reappears, opening the door slightly more and grunting slightly less. "A floating tomato?" he repeats. "Why, I haven't seen one of those for years. Are we talking simple inanimate weightlessness or full-blown cognitive multi-directional manouverability?"

"Yep," you reply, sure that you understood the question. Bran doesn't seem to agree.

"Care to demonstrate?"

You see no harm in showing off your new party trick and take your hands out from behind your back, where you'd been hiding the tomato until this point. You hold it between your thumb and forefinger and make eye contact with Bran. He looks on with a mixture of trepidation and amazement. However, when you release the tomato, it neither smashes onto the gravel nor stops a matter of inches above it as before. Instead, with a barely audible swoosh, it nips in through Bran's open door and vanishes.

"We can't let it get away!" Bran calls, already pounding back inside after the tomato and leaving the door wide open. You wander in after him and find him barely 10 steps away, panting slightly and wondering which wing of his huge house to check first.

You decide to suggest splitting up to track it down.

The Splits

You suggest that Bran tries the east wing of his huge, intimidating house while you try the west wing. Vowing to either meet up in half an hour or avenge the other's death, you go your ways, keeping an eye out for floating tomatoes and an ear out for floating tomato noises.

It's not long before you stumble into Bran's library. In it your find countless books on the subject of floating tomatoes, all with one common theme - hauntings. "Ah-ha!" you say alound, "my tomato's haunted!"

"Well done," says the tomato, emerging from behind a shelf unit. "I figured you'd take a peek in here, so I waited for you."

You stand there, having a conversation with the tomato, for a full 10 minutes during which time you cover possession of inanimate objects by good and evil spirits, the connection between anti-gravity and the undead and why the hell people put tomatoes in salads when they clearly make better homes for ghosts. The last of these topics was not your suggestion.

"So you're not actually a tomato - you're a ghost in a tomato?" you realise. The entire tomato rotates forwards and backwards like a disembodied head nodding. "In that case, who are you? Or should that be who were you?"

"I was a puppy," says the tomato. "A cute, lovable puppy."

"And why did you choose to haunt a tomato?" you ask.

"Follow me," the tomato instructs, "and I'll show you..." and with that it vanishes through a side door before you have a chance to reply.

You decide to follow the tomato through the side door.

Following a Tomato

You decided to follow the tomato through the door.

As soon as you closed the door behind you, it gets so dark you can't see a darn thing. You bump into some stuff you don't wanna know what it is...

Suddenly, a mysterious laughter is coming from behind you. You turn around and you notice that the tomato is holding an axe and he's running toward you!

The tomato answers: "Now you will see why tomatoes make better ghosts"! And then... you notice the things you walked into were dead crops and vegetables...

You don't know what to do and pray nothing happens.

You decide to be rescued by the doc.

Just in the nick of time

The posessed tomato lunges towards you slicing through the air with the axe. Seeing the light catch the the tip of the blade as it is falls towards you, you manage to dive out of the way and onto the floor, landing on a pile of mashed up vegetables: innocent victims of the evil tomato's rage.

Silence. Shuffling around in the darkness you wonder what is going to happen next. Where did the tomato go?. You hear your heart beating rapidly. Your breathing is heavy and you tremble with fear. You hear the faint sound of birdsong in the grounds outside and wish you'd never laid eyes on that shop this morning. Breathing. Silent. What'd happening?

With a deafening scream, you suddenly sense the axe rushing past your face and missing you by mere inches. The tomato was screaming in an effort to scare you as it hurtled the weapon. Now, grabbing the handle and planning to make a serious job of tomato soup the door suddenly bursts open and sunlight floods into the room, illuminating the two enemies and the carnage of the past victims. You both turn. The doctor holds a massive gun-like contraption in his arms, aiming at point blank range at the tomato. Your rosy red enemy begins to tremble.

You decide to throw the axe at the doctor.

The Haunted Tomato does hynotism... on YOU

There you are. And there's the doctor. You're slightly relieved that the doctor is there, with, indeed, a gun. The doc laughs at you and says: "Glad I'm here? I'm here to FINISH YOU OFF, TOMATO!"

You try to hide as the doctor starts pointing the weapon at the tomato and releasing the safety pin. But then, when you look at the tomato, you see it glowing.

You start feeling weird. Really weird. Like someone tries to take control of you. You pass out, and, like in a dream, you see yourself picking up the axe and throwing it to Doctor Brun. You're horrified, but you can't do a thing!

As the axe flies towards the doctor, you regain conscience.

You decide to take action.

Action man.....I hope.

"Keeeeeeehhhhaaaaaaawwww!"
"Chai!"
"Woo-yargh!"

It seems that you have been watching WAY TOO MANY japanese cartoons.

"HEEEEE-WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"


But much to your surprise, a small blue glow appears in your hand...........and gets bigger.......and bigger........AND THEN..............."BLAAAAAAAAAAAM!"

Well not actually, it went "spzzt-kchazzk-fluzt" and dissapeared in a wisp of smoke. Funnlily enough, the tomato is dead.

There is a computer over there.
You type www.hungrysoftware.com into it and press enter.
It says: Self-destruct initiated....5, 4, 3, 2, 1....

And then you wake up. It's 7.30 am. You decide that you can sleep a little longer, and you manage to hit the snooze button.....

THE END

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