Honey's Sacrifice
Tristan D'Agosta
"Timmy, don't pull the cat's tail," said the venerable father. Timmy ran outside and dug a hole.
"Honey," said the delicate mother, "how is my forehead today? Isn't it rather too large?"
Honey did not answer. Contemplation of his eggplant had reached an eerie climax. It rested high upon the mantelpiece, inert, magnificent, resembling a stray digestive organ.
"Honey," repeated the delicate mother, "my forehead! The brain protests confinement. I shall have my forehead removed."
A great revelation struck Honey. "The eggplant is indifferent to its color," he said with uncertain punctuation; "the eggplant has no conception of skin." The delight of the moment moved him to stand. "The eggplant has a profound indifference!" Then, falling, "But delving into the meat of things, the eggplant is dark and seedy."
When have such words been spoken? And yet the delicate mother not only turned a deaf ear, but turned it away. She was furrowing her brow, stroking it, tearing at it, enraptured with her changing image in the great mirror.
"The elegant curvature may yet be key," Honey continued. "Hairless—a bald vegetable. The very starkness of it symbolizes its symbolic nature. I am a toad to its beauty."
"Honey," the delicate mother exploded, "it cannot be morphed—my forehead, I mean. I have struck the wall of human capacity and it must come off!—my forehead, I mean."
She would soar, Honey thought—soar to the heavens and know the universe, taste it with a cosmic lick—but that is not the answer. That is only a large tongue.
Timmy swirled into the house. "Daddy, Daddy! Come see the hole I dug!"
"What? Timmy, is it true?" He sprang out of his chair like a nuclear cricket, heading for the door—but there was the delicate mother, scrutinizing her image, now holding a handsaw at angles to her brow. Never more stern, Honey took the eggplant and transported it out of doors. "Where is thy hole, Timmy?"
"Here! Here!" Timmy danced over his hole.
Honey's eyes were watery with mucus-like tears. "I understand now," he croaked. "From dust, to dust. Below, not above—we are damned to the fate of this eggplant." In the hole he placed his eggplant, the only eggplant he had ever known. Timmy stopped dancing.
"Daddy," said Timmy, "will it grow into an eggplant tree?"
Weeping—no, but in spite of himself—"No, son. Eggplants don't grow on trees. Please—cover the hole."
Despite a delicate mother sawing her forehead off,—let her, then!—this burial would be closure. The earth in shovelfulls upon this noble fruit.
But Timmy was born of the New Age, and so he covered the hole with Saran Wrap.
"I have dunnit," he said.
This was the sacrifice—to no avail. Honey trotted solemnly into the door, headlong, and fell.
Tristan grew up in a small fishing village in Maine. He spends most of his time on writing, reading, composing, playing the piano, astronomy, and computer programming. Some of his work will appear in upcoming issues of Bewildering Stories and Cause & Effect.