Lachanophobia. The fear of vegetables. Initially, his parents thought that he was just like any other child, disliking the taste of carrots and lettuce, so it took them a long time before they realised it was not hatred. It was fear. A fear stemming from a childhood incident.
If only he was not that inquisitive. He had been intrigued by that empty house on the lush green meadow and on one occasion, found two exquisite songbirds within. Catching them with the thought of surprising his parents, he did not think that he would be visited by a pale lady in a white dress that very afternoon. The icy blue eyes were filled with anger and contempt, her words harsh and bitter. “If I see you near my house or these birds again, I will turn you into these bell peppers here,” She had threatened. With a snap of her fingers, he found himself in his backyard, the vegetation now a mud pool. As he struggled to get out of the mud, she had set the birds free, soaring with them into the evening sky. It was not easy to explain the mud or those red bell peppers when his parents finally returned, not that he did much explaining in his state of shock.
A haunting memory it turned out to be. Perhaps if he had experienced it now as an adult, it would not have been such a traumatic experience, but back then, he was terrified to the point of peeing in his pants. Still he could not forget about it, not when the incident was relieved nightly in the form of nightmares. He had awoken nightly in cold sweat for as long as he could remember. Each night, he would sit up in shock, thinking that he was still stuck in the pool of mud.
And that was why he had quickly turned on his heels, running off in the opposite direction when he saw her. A familiar-looking lady spinning a red bell pepper in her hand at the market.
It couldn’t have been her, right?
Written in response to Thursday Picture Prompt #41