Thursday, May 22, 2014

King of the Gourds - Flash Story

Every year, they came from miles around, each with their own agenda. The townspeople, although some grumbled and scoffed, still wore grins of delight and pleasure when the masses invaded their town called Revie. For it was in this town that the Annual Vegetable Festival was held and herbivores and veggie lovers alike spent their third weekend in June in the town with grand desires of enjoying all that grew from the earth. For John Dapple, it meant not only a chance to enjoy his favourite food for three days straight but it also meant that he had another chance to enter in the Awesome Blossom Vegetable, a contest in which the best, brightest and biggest vegetables were chosen. Every year, John arrived with his gourds lovingly grown from his garden back home, hoping that this time, he would be chosen as a winner. And, every year, he went home without a ribbon and many gourds that no one even deigned to even pick up and look at to be admired. Yet, his heart was the size of a watermelon and his determination was harder than field corn; he decided that this year was going to be his year at any cost. 

In the past, he had chosen to grow all kinds of gourds in the hopes of attracting the judges' attention, yet this time he decided to grow only one - the Turkey Neck. The old folk in his town used to tell him stories of the Turkey Neck when he was a youth, calling the gourd legendary and almost magical. No one had ever seen such a gourd, yet the old folk knew it existed. John kept those stories close to him as he grew from child to man. This year he decided to grow one, that is, if he could ever find the seeds. He searched high and low for the seeds, traveling 100 miles in every direction, yet he always returned home with empty bags and a forlorn look on his face. Yet, he knew that Turkey Neck was out there. As the time of the festival quickly approached, John knew that he no time to grow the gourd and so, on that Thursday night before he would drive to the festival, he went to bed with tears in his eyes and a gourd on his mind. That next day, he slowly dragged himself out of bed, got dressed and then drove to the festival, where it was already in full bloom. He found a place to park his car then made his way through the festival, barely admiring the vegetables on display. 

He wanted to so badly to present to the town his Turkey Neck and yet he came with nothing except for the clothes on his back and an empty bag that needed to be filled with delicious vegetables. As he rounded the corner to walk down the next pathway of vendors, he suddenly stopped in front of a young woman wearing a blue dress who stood behind a table filled with . . . .he gasped, causing the woman to look up at him and give him a brilliant smile. When he asked what the strange curved gourds were on the table, she proceeded to tell him that they were Turkey Neck gourds. He grinned widely; at last! Here was the very gourd that had alluded him for so long. He quickly took out his wallet and chose this biggest and fattest one on the table then politely handed the young woman his money. As she handed it to him, he reverently placed it in his bag, thanked her and then raced to his car. He drove home, forgetting the rest of the festival; he had to show his town that the myth was in fact real. He pulled into town and jumped out of the car with the gourd in his hands and proudly showed it to the old folk that sat in front of the general store. They were all amazed as John held the gourd close and proclaimed that today, John Dapple was truly King of the Gourds. 

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