Chuck has gotten us to look at this Twitter Feed this week; and pick one of the Tweets to write about. I picked: 'A watermelon starts talking to you. It says: 'Look for the sign of the silver owl.' How could I pass that one up?
It was crowded at the market that morning; and I found it hard to park the car with all the tow trucks in the way. They were heavy with their loads of cars – and yet I wondered why they were towing cars from here.
Never mind. I was here to buy my groceries and get home.
The watermelons were cheap and large and beautiful – and seedless! Wonderful! My favourite kind. I hauled one into the trolley carefully and did the rounds of the aisles picking out my food as I did. Grapes, spinach, apples, bananas, mushrooms and other great foods I loved to eat and cook with.
Then, onto the dairy and breads: the milk, butter, cream and my one luxury of a large ice coffee made by Norco! A great milk company here in Australia – a famous one too.
I paid for the goodies and pushed the trolley out to the car, popped the boot and heaved the heavy box into the empty boot. It was then I heard a whisper: ‘Look for the sign of the silver owl’.
Nobody was behind me.
Was I hearing voices?
I hoped not...
“Take your trolley, miss?” a man asked to my left.
I look at him, “Oh yes, please.” I smiled, “Thank you.” I still had one more stop to make before I headed home to buy house hold goods, then petrol for the car. After that, I’d be able to relax.
The watermelon was for the barbeque this weekend. So, I had it out on the counter with my large knife in hand, ready to cut into it.
‘The Silver owl...’ I heard the whispering again as I raised my knife high.
Did I just hear a watermelon speak to me?
I blinked, “I’m goin’ bonkers.”
I cut the watermelon in half and began making it into a design on a plate using smaller knives, surrounding it with tiny wedges. After my masterpiece was finished, I carefully covered it over with Glad Wrap and put it into the fridge out the back where all my food designs go.
2am: I find myself sitting at the open door of the fridge out on the back landing eating the watermelon. I’m covered in the delicious, watery juices of the large fruit... looking like I’ve just dropped pink lemonade down my pyjamas.
“How in the hell did this happen?” I whisper to myself.
‘Look for the sign of the silver owl.’ Came the whisper again; this time it was from inside my head.
“Oh jeez!” I looked at the remainder of the watermelon sitting on the large plate in the fridge, “It was...it was...” I didn’t want to personalise the fruit by calling a ‘you’ but it... was... , “Oh crap!”
‘The silver owl.’
The watermelon I had in my hands splattered to the floor as I scramble away from the fridge and the door closed, turning off the light, leaving me in the darkness of my back room.
I started to shiver in the cold darkness of the early morning.
What was I going to do?
‘The silver owl...’ the voice kept whispering in my head.
Yes it was there now I had consumed the watermelon.
Tears welled in my eyes, blurred my vision.
This damned thing wasn’t going to leave me alone, not until I found out what the silver owl was.
When I showered in the morning, and ate breakfast, drank my coffee and looked around for the receipt for my shopping, I found that right at the top of it was an emblem, and the name of my market.
It was something I hadn’t noticed before: a name change.
‘The Silver Owl Fruit’n’Veggie Market – Open 24 Hours’.
“Oh... I’m fucked.” Picking up the phone, I called my doctor for an appointment, and he said he could see me in a week, “I don’t think I’ll last that long.”
‘The silver owl. Search for the sign of the Silver owl.’
I could just barely hear the time of the appointment he told he was free for as I wrote it down, “Listen, if I don’t show... jeez, this gonna sound bonkers... I’m going to be at The Silver Owl Fruit’n’Veggie Market’ at Rochedale, okay? Don’t buy anything there. The watermelon is cursed... it’s been talking to me.”
He went silent for a moment, “Listen, Bailey, pack a bag. I’ve had this conversation with four other patients before. Tell me, did you eat any of the watermelon?”
“Yes. But I found myself at the fridge at 2am this morning, it wasn’t on purpose.”
“I’ll send somebody over right away.”
The locked ward wasn’t something I’d recommend for anyone. But it’s so much better than being one of those lost souls standing out on the footpath I’d seen looking up at that stupid silver owl sign outside the fruit’n’veggie market. I’m going to be here for a while – until this curse is out of my bloodstream.
How long that is?
I’m not sure.