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It was late in the summer of '37. I was 10 years old. My grandpapie, an Italian immigrant with a sardine addiction and possible connections to a defunct mafia family, owned a zucchini plantation in California. I was working on the plantation with my older brother and my three sisters. My parents were back in Frisco working at Papie's grocery store. We didn't have any work to do in Frisco, so our parents "loaned" us out to Grandpapie. Grandpapie had lost all his cheap Mexican farm hands after he got into an argument with the leader of the band, so the five of us kids had to harvest the wide fields of zucchini.

The Big Squash[edit]

It was about noon. Neither my sisters, my brother, nor I had eaten yet; we didn't get lunch until 1:30... if you could call it lunch. If my grandpapie was one thing, he was cheap. All he gave us was some dirty water from a puddle on the long driveway up to the plantation-house and animal feed that Grandmama had accidentally carried out of the general store without paying. So it was just the five of us out there; my 14-year-old brother, 14-year-old sister, me, my 8-year-old sister, and my 5-year-old sister.

"Catch, you goddamn, small-dicked, bastard!"

Your probably thinking that my older brother yelled that. He didn't. It was my sister, Natalia: age 8. For some reason, all the women in my family were exceptionally mean. Rumor has it that my aunt had an affair with Mussolini, but had to flee Italy after she threatened to cut his penis of for not having the secret police kill his wife. My 8-year-old sister swore so much that to my brother and I the words were gibberish. My older sister didn't have a foul mouth, but enjoyed using her unnatural strength to knock people both younger and older than her unconscious for no reason at all. My youngest sister the worst of them all. She had killed another 5-year-old at a school picnic earlier that year for his penmanship medal, and no one even knew the kid was dead until the next day! Back to the matter at hand. While Natalia swore at me, my older sister, Gina, threw a 2 pound zucchini at me half as hard as she could. It hit me in the stomach and I keeled over in pain. It was then that I saw it. It was then that I saw the giant zucchini.


An artist's rendering of a zucchini-man.

I feel onto the ground right in front of a giant zucchini two-and-a-half-feet-long, probably weighing thirty pounds. My brother, Luigi, ran over to me to help me get up. He didn't see the giant zucchini, and as he stopped in front of me, he lightly kicked the zucchini. I giant crack appeared along the length of the zucchini. I just stared at the zucchini, thinking how angry Grandpapie would be that Luigi had just ruined a potential money-maker. Suddenly, the zucchini burst open, spraying zucchini-matter everywhere. Luigi now noticed the zucchini now, too, since a good deal of zucchini-meat had ended up on his face. Where the zucchini had been, there now stood a stout, deformed, unnaturally pale, bald man with a height of about 18 inches. The man, if it actually was a man, had a very flat face with a wide nose and small, dark eyes.

The three of us, my brother, the creature, and I, stared at each other for a few moments. Suddenly, another zucchini projectile flew across the field, nailing my brother right in the groin. The zucchini bounced of my brother, now on the ground, and hit the small zucchini-man. The zucchini-man appeared to be shocked for a few moments. Then, the zucchini-man let out a single, high-pitched cry followed by silence. I heard a squashing noise, like a zucchini being broken open. It was then that I noticed that there were giant zucchinis everywhere. Out of the giant zucchinis, more little zucchini-men began to appear. The other zucchini men rallied to the one who had made the call. Thirty seconds later, when all 137 of the zucchini-men had gathered in front of him, the first zucchini-man began to make a series of grunts and grumbles. He pointed in the general direction of my sisters. He "talked" for about a minute. Then all the zucchini-men picked up sharp sticks and rocks and let out a cry of " ZURGGGGGGULURGLURGGG!". The zucchini-men charged toward my three sisters. They reached Natalia first. When they saw the zucchini-men, my sisters began to scream. The zucchini men jumped onto my sisters and stab them with sharp sticks and bludgeon them with large stones. This attack went on for two minutes. My sisters tried to fight back, where helpless against the sheer numbers and sheer power of the zucchini-men. Finally, all three of my sisters lay bloody and lifeless in the zucchini field. I can't say that I was at all sad.

I turned around to see how my brother would react, and I saw my grandpapie standing there, staring.

Grandpapie's Zucchini Mob[edit]

A picture of one of the zucchini-men that I've kept since that fateful day.

At first I thought that Grandpapie would be angry at us for letting an army of zucchini-men murder my three sisters, but, strangely enough, he wasn't. Grandpapie got this crazy, happy look in his eye. He ran to the house and a few minutes later, he came back out in a suit. Grandpapie walked over the zucchini-men, who were still standing around the corpses of my sisters, and he started talking to them, even though he didn't know if they would decide to kill him. I don't know what Grandpapie said to them, but apparently, not only did they understand what he said, but they like what he said, too. Within minutes, all the zucchini-men had piled into the back of Grandpapie's pickup-truck. Once all the zucchini-men were in the truck, Grandpapie drove away from the farm.

My brother and I slept at the farm alone that night, seeing as Grandmama was in Frisco with my parents and Grandpapie had gone to God-knows-where.

The next morning, Grandpapie came back to the. Instead of his cheap, old suit, Grandpapie was wearing a tuxedo. The zucchini men and several big, tough looking guys in suits were with him.

"We're leaving this farm forever, boys!" said Grandpapie. "Big-Head Ping had an accident and I'm in charge of the business now. These little mutant fellas were pretty helpful in my "corporate takeover." Big-Head Ping was the San Fransisco mafia boss at the time. The police found his body in a compost heap three months later.

Grandpapie had sold the farm to a neighbor. The zucchini-men ran out into zucchini field. I never saw them or that farm again. Luigi, Grandpapie, the mafia-thugs, and I climbed into the pickup truck where we drove to my new, improved life.