"s 2015 Horror Write-off:

"Carrots on the Brain"

Submitted by Dandelion Steph

The outline in the X-ray was unmistakable. It was most certainly shaped like a carrot.

"A most unusual case, Mr. Casey." said the doctor. "Never before have I seen a carrot in the appendix."

“You sure it's not a tumor or a bone growth?”

The doctor stared at him with a look that said, Did you forget that I am the only doctor here? "I'm certain it's a carrot. If it were a bone growth, it would have looked like all the other bones in the X-ray. If it were a tumor, then I would see the telltale signs of cancer. And I don't, so it must be a carrot."

"But that's impossible!"

"Improbable, yes. It's quite out of the ordinary. But it's far more likely to be a carrot than, say, some piece of alien technology which happens to look exactly like a carrot."


"No buts. The question here is not what it is, but how it got there."

"That's the problem, doctor. I haven't eaten a carrot in weeks."

The doctor's eyes squinted incredulously. "Any other explanations?"

"No. Not that I can think of. In fact—just a week ago, I checked back at the supermarket, and they still didn't have any carrots."

"Are you sure? No carrots at all?"

"Absolutely! Not one carrot!"

"Hmm." The doctor stayed quiet, lost in thought, for some time. "Doctor?"

"If you want an answer...I don't have one." the doctor said weakly. The doctor then turned to the door. "I'll fill out your prescription for pain medication. That's all I can do."

Then the doctor left. Still sitting on the hospital mattress, Alan Casey felt alone. Sharp burst of pain. Abdomen, right side.

Alan kept quiet through the pain. His eyes were moist, but he kept the tears in. I have had worse, he thought. Once the pain subsided, Alan left the mattress. There was a brief stitch in his side from the movement, but he held a hand to his side and soldiered on.

Alan picked up the pain medication and left the hospital. It was a sunny day. There were puffy clouds in the sky, and golden sunlight pouring through. Wait. Golden? Shouldn't it be white? he thought. It's not sunset. It's noon. It shouldn't be yellow. Maybe it's just a yellowish tint. Maybe it's a weird meteorological phenomenon, something beyond my non-meteorologist brain.

He found his car, and soon after was driving along the highway back home. The highway glowed orange. Orange? Alan thought. No no no. What? Highways aren't orange. Highways are gray.

Just sunlight, I thought. Sunlight shining down on the highway. Orange sunlight. It must be a meteorological phenomenon, he tried to assure himself. Something beyond my comprehension, but totally natural. Or, not natural. Global warming.

He snickered—it sounded funny. When he thought about it, it was absurd. Fill the sky with soot and carbon monoxide, and it makes the highways glow orange. It sounded illogical. That's what made it funny, but also what made it...disturbing.

Finally, he was home. As he stepped out of the car, there was another stitch in his side. Alan gasped and grit his teeth. He bent over, huffing, trying to work through the pain. A brief image, no, an impression, flashed in his mind's eye. It was orange and rough and on top was something disk-shaped.

The pain stopped. After that he he lucid enough to make sense of the impression.

It was a carrot.

Carrots on the brain, Alan thought. Better stop thinking about it so much—I could go crazy over it.

Alan opened the door and went inside. He was hungry, so he checked the fridge.

He should not have.

Carrots. Carrots everywhere. Carrots on the butter, carrots on the cheese, carrots inside the beef stew under plastic wrap. Where did all these carrots come from?

"Freeze!" shouted a voice behind him. Alan stood up straight and raised his arms.

"What?" said the voice. It sounded puzzled."What are you doing?"

"I'm freezing." Alan replied.

"No, you're not. Close the fridge."

Warily, I lowered an arm and closed the fridge.

"Carrots should be kept frozen, simpleton."

"Can I turn around now?" Alan asked. This was a strange sort of police officer if the officer was puzzled by typical perpetrator freezing. Come to think of it, it was a strange sort of officer to be waiting in his house, and only show up when he opened the fridge.

The police officer still hadn't answered.

"Hello? Can I turn around now?"

Begrudgingly, the police officer responded. "Yes, you may."

Alan turned around. It was a giant carrot. Human-shaped. In the back of his mind he wondered why it didn't have a police badge pinned on.

"This is what happens." the giant carrot said softly. "This is what happens when it's finished." "What? When what's finished?"

"The transformation." The giant carrot said sadly. "If you don't do what they want, you become one of them. No, no, you don't. You become a monster."

Alan tried to laugh. "Is this some sort of practical joke?"

Then a tremendous pain ripped through Alan's side, along with a command heard in his head: "Kill the slave."

He didn't remember what happened next, but it did occur to him how strange it was for a giant carrot to bleed red blood.