The wind has started to pick up now, and it’s tugging on my stalk. I already feel weak from yesterday’s disinfection, I would’t be surprised if I fell into The Forest at some point today. Don’t think like that, you’ve already made it this far, not long left now.
The guy across the path has finally dropped. He wasn’t getting anywhere in life anyway – especially considering all he did was glare at me all day. I knew not telling him about his stunted colour growth was a good idea, he was completely clueless. He must be distraught down there! Not long until he’s nothing more than a play thing for the Forest Creatures. Or an imprint on the Farmer’s ignorant boot.
It’s a rough life here in the Farm – well, it was great for the first month or so, I guess. We all grew at nearly the same the rate (with just enough difference to create some healthy competition between us), and the Farmer always made sure to provide us with some of those delicious orange pellets that sped the process up on top of that. We did get the occasional disinfection here and there, but the Forest Creatures aren’t interested in tiny little Greens, they prefer the more substantial flesh of a Red.
After that first month, everything just seems to spiral. It’s the age at which growth occurs slowly, naturally, and without the delicious pellets; and if you’re one of the unfortunate ones who stops growing properly, you’re destined for a short and anguished life in the Forest. Because of this, that healthy competition that once blossomed amongst us once-Greens is now a fierce vine of hostility that wraps around us and keeps every Red alert and about their wits; so much so that Red’s like myself become heartless and relish in the imminent demise of their neighbour – just for looking at me funny!
You have one of two destinies here – Forest or Fruit Bowl – and I know where I’d rather be.
That’s why I’m gradually learning to appreciate our rounds of disinfection that we receive (no matter how belligerently persistent they are becoming). If there’s one sure-fire way of dropping into The Forest is having one of it’s filthy inhabitants, The Forest Creatures, latch onto an untreated Red with their soiled appendages so they can suck and sully every morsel of their every being. And if they manage to hatch their sinuous, wormy spawn inside of you, make sure that you’ve said your farewell’s within the hour. After that, your stalk withers, shrinks, and surrenders to its invaders, expelling you to the depths of hell and the gluttonous stomach of a Forest Creature.
I’ve seen it happen right in front of me. Hugo was his name, lovely man, but completely oblivious to how life in the Farm worked. As much as it pains me to say, The Forest was destined to be his tomb from the beginning. All it took was one insignificant Creature to hover up to his defenceless body and devour it until he was nothing but a hollow host for its ghastly spawn. Hugo was dead and gone in minutes, reduced to nothing but a shrivelling waste of putrid worm food.
Since his death, Hugo has become a legend. His innocence and vulnerability resonated throughout the Farm, but instead of bringing us together, we have allowed it to eat away at our morality until we became nothing but callous, selfish animals with one goal.