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Fiona George woke with a start. Her face felt stiff, and her legs prickled with an unusual tingling sensation, perhaps due in part to the pain stemming from her feet. She rolled off her bed, grunting, and quickly realized the source of her discomfort; she was wearing last night’s clothes, complete with two-inch heels and opaque tights.
Cursing under her breath, Fiona trudged into the kitchen, delving into the fruit bowl. She felt simultaneously starved and sick, but the hunger won out, and she began peeling her treasure, a perfectly yellow banana. Fiona had just began to unwrap the banana’s thick skin when she heard a low, reedy scream, much like that of a boiling teakettle. Frowning, she looked to the stove, but her mother’s blue teapot was nowhere to be found.
Fiona shrugged and continued to peel the golden fruit. Again, there came a tinny cry. She bent closer to her breakfast and then dropped it, recoiling with a scream. There, in the banana’s soft flesh, was a face, etched as if by a needle. Its mouth was a twisted O of pain, and Fiona was certain it was responsible for the shrieking.
She considered the fruit for a moment, taking a wary step closer to where it lay on the floor. Almost immediately, it began to yell again, but Fiona ignored it, deciding instead to take a closer look. Slowly, she reached out and picked up the banana, cradling it with both hands. It looked less pained now, but was eyeing Fiona with the same reserved suspicion she herself displayed. “Can you hear me?” the produce asked, voice tiny.
“Yes,” whispered Fiona, both because she didn’t want to scream at the fruit and because she didn’t want anyone else to find her speaking to a banana. “Are you—am I—how can you talk?”
The banana rolled its pale yellow eyes. “Everything can talk, giant. You should hear the couch. It loathes you.”
Fiona flushed, tightening her grip slightly. “I’m dreaming,” she stated, hoping against hope that the fruit would nod its tiny head in agreement. Sadly, it did not.
“If you are, so am I,” the banana said stubbornly. “Although I’d say it’s more like a nightmare. How would you like to be woken up by a giant taking your clothes off? And not gently, I might add.”
“I—you—I didn’t know,” Fiona snapped, slightly irked by the fruit’s defiant manner. “Why don’t—do you always scream?”
“Of course we do!” The produce looked at her indignantly. “You think we’d go without a fight? The bananas are famous for it,” it added, puffing up its chest proudly. “Fighting, I mean. One banana attacked a greengrocer, and he got sent to the funny farm—great stuff. But then I think he got eaten by a toddler. It’s sad.” The banana shook its head, melancholy.
Fiona blinked, then recovered, asking hesitantly, “Um, what—what’s your name?” The fruit didn’t answer, so she prompted, “I’m Fiona.”
The banana closed its eyes and mumbled something incomprehensible that sounded a lot like Glad Pig. “What?” Fiona said, leaning closer.
“Chadwick,” the fruit spat. “Okay? My name is Chadwick.”
“Cha—Chadwick?” Fiona said, laughing in spite of herself. She continued to chortle, one hand clamped over her mouth, until the banana cut her off.
“Ha, ha, very funny. At least I’m not dressed like a showgirl,” he snapped.
Fiona clamped her mouth shut, remembering her appearance for the first time since realizing fruits could speak. She tugged at her tights uncomfortably before returning her attention to Chadwick. “Whatever. I think we have bigger issues on our hands then my shoes, Chad.”
“Oh, what, you’re going to play hero and save all the poor little fruits and vegetables?” the banana said, snorting. “That’s cute. Why don’t you write a letter to the senator or something? ‘I think bananas can talk! Let’s liberate them!’ Sorry, Fiona, but it’s not gonna work.” Chadwick gave her a small smile. “At least you and the greengrocer would have a lot to talk about when they send you to the looney bin.”
“Shut up,” Fiona said, but a smirk tugged at the corner of her mouth. Oh, God. She’d just laughed at a banana. A piece of fruit had just made her smile. She glanced around, making sure no one had come into the kitchen. Suddenly, she felt exhausted; even just turning her head had worn her out.
“Look, Chad, can we deal with this later?” Fiona asked, getting to her feet and setting him back in the fruit bowl. “I’m so tired, and these shoes are killing me.”
“Sure,” said Chadwick lightly, but Fiona detected a note of sadness in his pale eyes.
“I promise,” she said, forcing a smile. “See you later.” She took a few steps back, now out of hearing range, and marveled at the oddity of the past five minutes. Shaking her head, Fiona returned to her bedroom, kicking off her heels and changing into her comfiest old pajamas. She would help Chadwick when she woke up. She would. The thought cheered her, and Fiona nestled deeper into her covers, a blissful smile on her face as she was lulled into sleep.
For the second time that day, Fiona George woke with a start. This time, however, it was not because of uncomfortable footwear or tingly tights. This time, it was because she was being lifted from her bed by enormous hands, one of which was ripping at her pajamas. She screamed, terrified, as something vaguely blonde brought her closer and closer to what appeared to be a black cave.
The thing muttered something, yanking at her pajama top with such force that Fiona’s arm cracked, and Fiona realized what it was. A banana, roughly the size of a tall building, was preparing to eat her.
Fiona closed her eyes and willed it to stop. It didn’t. And then there was nothing.