Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ollie Onion’s Peculiar Pickle

Regular readers will recall that I entered a Secret Seed Society writing competition not so long ago, with not one but two entries. Sadly, I didn't win with either entry, however, the CEO - one Peter Parsnip - did write me a lovely comment.

It was Peter's lovely comment that made me think it would be worth while entering the SSS's latest writing competition. To write a 12 chapter, 700 word piece about a personified onion.

Without further ado, here's my entry....I can almost smell the £700 prize money.

Ollie Onion’s Peculiar Pickle

Ollie Onion loved living in Seed City. There was something magical about the town. He wasn’t sure he could put his finger on what it was, the beautiful parks and gardens, the theatre district and buzzing nightlife or maybe the sheer diversity of personified vegetables. You didn’t find any these things back in Onionton.

The only drawback of living in such an amazing place was the fact that so many other vegetables were of the same opinion. The feeling of claustrophobia was quite intense for a young onion like Ollie, the trains and the streets were teaming with vegetables, all pushing and pulling, competing for air and competing for jobs.

Yes it was true, finding work in Seed City was quite a challenge. It wasn’t like being up in Onionton, where a young onion could live at home with his parents until it was time for the Market. No, in Seed City finding gainful employment could be extremely difficult, particularly in a recession. Making matters worse, the rents were sky high.

Ollie Onion had run out of his savings long ago, indeed he was heading rapidly towards his over draught limit. The rent was due and there was the very real possibility that he would be cast into the streets, worse still he might have to return to Onionton and face the mockery of his peers.

Ollie had attended countless job interviews with little success. He’d left school with no qualifications and was caught in the Catch 22 situation of having no experience, unable to get a job to take him on and give him experience he required. He was, therefore, excited and worried at the prospect of his latest opportunity, an interview that very morning.

He had risen early and ironed his one good shirt. After breakfast Ollie was ready for the world. But he’d forgotten to shave, so ran to the bathroom and lathered up his face. Quickly and inexpertly he pulled the razor this way and that, alas in his haste his aim was off and he cut himself several times.

He didn’t have time to stem the bleeding as he was now running late. So he ran to the station, upon arriving he found the ticket queue was massive, then one by one the vegetables in front of him started to buckle and wheel away in tears, Ollie was at the front in no time.

It was same story on the train. Ordinarily at rush hour, Ollie would have to wait for several trains to come and go before being able to board one. Not so this morning, the other vegetables on the platform were forced into giving Ollie a wide berth, his freshly sliced flesh causing all about him to run for cover.

Thanks to the nicks on his face, Ollie made it to his interview in the nick of time. He was understandably nervous about the impeding interview. “Ahh, good morning Mr Onion, thankyou…ohh, excuse me I feel a tear in my eye, thank you for coming in, oh dear boo-hoo, sniffle, snort, I’m afraid I need to have a cry.”

Ollie stood up and made to go for the door. “Ooh, sit down my boy, sniffle sob, don’t you realise what this means?” Ollie looked on non-plussed. “I’m Lord Alan Sugarbeat, TV entrepreneur and government enterprise tsar. I haven’t cried for 50 years. These tears will do my reputation the power of good, vegetables everywhere will now think I have a heart. You’re hired!”

Without a second thought Ollie seized upon the contract hastily cobbled together by Lord Alan’s legal team and signed on the dotted line. He was now an employee of Sugarbeat Enterprises. It only upon closer inspection of the contract that Ollie realised exactly what would be required of him.

From that day forth Ollie Onion would have to shadow Lord Alan wherever he went. Self-harming on cue to engender tears of sorrow in the face of his employer as he ruthlessly fired his way through the workforce of whichever failing business he happened to be presiding.

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