Earlier today I found an old hard drive with over 10 years worth of random stuff on it, including a bunch of old stories I wrote. I thought I’d share some of them here, starting with this one–Finneus Flubb’s Amazing Melon Stand. I wrote this one in March of 2004.
There once was a boy named Finneus Flubb who swallowed a watermelon seed and so, of course, a watermelon vine grew in his stomach and up and out through his ears and nose. Instead of being alarmed when great strands of leafy green stuff, laden with bulbous melons, began to protrude from his face, Finneus dragged a card table and a knife to the side of the road where he started selling watermelon slices at twenty cents a pop and soon made a fortune.
With his newfound riches, Finneus bought a real stand, to replace the flimsy card table he’d been using and a nice wooden sign on which he wrote “Watermelon For Sale!” in red and green paint. He drank an ounce of fertilizer each morning with his cereal to keep the watermelons coming for his regular customers and they came back again and again, buying slice after slice of Finneus Flubb’s Amazing Melon. When the media caught wind of Finneus’ stand customers lined up for miles just to get a glimpse of “the watermelon boy” and most bought a slice or two while they were there. Many said that it was some of the most delicious watermelon they had ever tasted and it drew crowds from Albuquerque to Ontario. Tourists asked to have their pictures taken with Finneus and Finneus was more than happy to oblige. Never before had he received so much attention and never before had he seen so much money!
Things had never been so good for Finneus Flubb and it seemed there would be no end to his good fortune until one morning, as Finneus was setting up his stand, a man drove up in a red Ferrari, rolled down his window and shouted out to Finneus.
“Whatcha doin’ there?”
“Sellin’ melon,” answered Finneus.
“Oh yeah?” The man stared at Finneus for a few seconds. “Where do you get your melons?” It was a silly question to ask a boy with watermelon vines, drooping from the weight of more than several huge melons, coming out of his ears and nose, but Finneus answered anyhow.
“I swallowed a watermelon seed,” he said. “And a watermelon vine grew in my stomach. Want a slice?”
The man laughed to himself. “Don’t you know that’s just something adults made up to scare little kids? Watermelon vines don’t really grow in people’s stomachs. It’s just not something that happens.” The man smiled, shook his head, rolled up his window and drove away.
As the car turned the corner and disappeared from sight Finneus felt a strange sensation in his head that moved down his throat and into his stomach where it dissipated. The watermelon vine had shrunk back in through his nose and ears, and had vanished. Seconds later the stand was gone too, and the “Watermelon for Sale” sign had left with it. Finneus’ big glass jar, once filled to the brim with change, was now empty and there was no sign of the customers that usually came running as soon as he started setting up.
Finneus scratched his head and sat down on the curb. Could it be true? Was the saying that “if you eat a watermelon seed watermelons will grow in your stomach” really just a story that adults made up to frighten children? He guessed that it was true, and that none of his fame and fortune had actually happened. But it had seemed so real! A tear rolled down Finneus’ cheek as he thought of what might have been. He took out his handkerchief and blew his nose.
“Ouch!” Something had cut his nostril on the way out. Curious about what it had been Finneus opened his handkerchief and took a peek. Inside was a single watermelon seed. He picked it up and put it in his mouth and as he swallowed it he closed his eyes and smiled.