Beside the Friendly Potato: SECOND PRIZE

by Fiona Campbell

The moonlight shines brightly through a small window and falls upon the vegetable rack in the tiny kitchen. It is midnight and the moon is full and the sandwich shop is still and silent and silvery. The rack is empty save for two potatoes. They lie, soaking up the moonlight and making polite conversation. They both know that this is it for them, their last night. Tomorrow it will all be over, they will be baked to within an inch of their lives and filled with melting butter and hot beans. Eaten. So they lie there and discuss life and its meaning and they become friends. They are the last two left and this makes conversation easy, it allows for increased intimacy and leads them down roads of conversation not normally walked.

They talk of an afterlife, of their hopes and fears. The one on the left had hoped for children, baby potatoes to continue the family name, you can hear the regret in it’s voice, the bitterness at a life soon to be wasted. The one on the right on the other hand has a more optimistic view, he wonders who will buy him tomorrow, he hopes it will be a child. On this his last night, he still looks forward to the next day with just as much enthusiasm as he did on his first day, when he saw daylight for the first time. He has a childlike innocence which the first potato lacks, it makes him a friendlier character, the first potato is increasingly drawn to him.

The pessimistic potato is still full of woe but soon the optimistic potato’s infectious enthusiasm begins to rub off and they share a joke or two under the kindly moonlight. The atmosphere is lightened and the discussions of life and death are set aside for another time, another life. For now they sit in warm companionship and the moon continues to shine brightly. The pessimistic potato feels lucky to be spending his last night on earth lying here beside the friendly potato.

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  1. #1 by James E.S. on September 12, 2009 - 8:56 pm

    Fantastic! I’m never eating another potato as long as I live.

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