This story was inspired by Little Shop of Horrors the play, movie, and cartoon. All images and words are mine.
@JaysBabycakes73… Thanks for the fun with Seymour and Audrey…that chat is what got this story rolling.
I was out and about, strolling through Pike’s Place Market.
I walked into the Farmer’s Market area of the outdoor vendors. The air smelled of fresh fish and flowers. The flowers were beautiful. Colors from every end of the rainbow and in between lined the tables. Bees flitted to and fro among the many varieties of flowers, daring to land on the petals.
So many beautiful choices, but one caught my eye. It stood out like the sun on a cloudy day. A small bunch of fringe tulips. And in this bunch was one that almost smiled at me. He wasn’t standing as tall as his siblings. As a matter of fact, he was leaning away from them all, almost drooping towards the table below. He seemed to be the odd one in the bunch…the one that just didn’t fit in…and I had to have him.
He was swaddled in paper–my baby flower–and was placed in a small amount of water to keep him happy and healthy until we could get home. I decided to name him Monster Tulip.
His new home was to be an aqua Coca-Cola glass. Tepid water filled the glass followed by some ice crackling as it hit the water. Nothing like a refreshing, cold drink on a hot day. Monster Tulip gulped some water and smacked his lips with an, “Ahhhhhh!”
“I hope you’re feeling okay now, Monster Tulip.”
“Thanks. I am… What do you want me to call you?”
“I like to go by D…the letter, not the name, but don’t ever ask my real name.” Monster Tulip almost seemed to curl his petal lip as if I’ve confused him. “Just call me DJ.”
Monster Tulip nodded. “So…what have you got to eat around here?”
“Any food you feed me would be plant food, DJ. I’m hungry, though.”
I don’t know why I glanced around the kitchen. It wasn’t like I could whip up some scrambled eggs or something for a flower to eat. “Let me think about it and I’ll get back to you.”
“Don’t take too long, DJ. I’m hungry.” Monster Tulip bared all of his teeth, a petal version of a smile I suppose. Scary, nonetheless.
I backed out of the kitchen slowly as if Monster Tulip was a MacGuyver bomb rigged to go off any minute. Slow and steady. Step by ever careful step. Maybe Monster Tulip wasn’t the one I should have picked.
Life became bustling. Running here and there. Walking around the neighborhood, scoping the plant life for ideas as to what the heck a planet would eat. I didn’t step foot into the kitchen until later that night. The voice scared me.
“Feed me, DJ. I’m starving.” Monster Tulip danced around in his glass. His leaves were pumping like arms in a nightclub to a song with a heavy beat. His head bopped side to side as he hummed some tune I didn’t know. One leaf sliced through the air towards me, the other went behind and up over his blooming head. “Ta da!” was yelled as if I was supposed to applaud the best choreographed dance ever.
So I clapped. It was cute.
“I’ve entertained you, DJ. Now feed me.”
“What do you want to eat?” I have no idea why I didn’t think to ask the first time.
“Food. Nothing plant-based because I am not a cannibal. I’m like a velociraptor…a total carnivore. Find me something like chicken.”
Chicken? Okay. What do I have that’s like chicken? Other than chicken, I had only one bird in the house. “Oh, Jewel.”
Blue feathers rained down as our resident blue cockatoo flew around my head before landing on my finger. “I made it in record time.”
“Yes, you did Jewel.”
Monster Tulip licked his lips and nodded, anxious to taste his first meal. But I couldn’t let her go. She was a rarity and my pet. Before I could change my mind, Monster Tulip snatched her from my hand with his leaf. He held her over his open mouth and before I could save her, he slurped her down like a Big Gulp. A few feathers were coughed back up, reminders of my favorite bird.
“Feed me, DJ. I’m so hungry.”
“Seriously? You just ate my bird. No more for you.”
Monster Tulip whistled. Not a song or as simple as one trying to act innocent. Nope. This was a call whistle. We didn’t have a dog, so who was he calling?
“No. Boga! Get away from him.”
Boga, being the big dog-like lizard he was, didn’t listen. He ran up, wagging his tail, tongue flopped out. Drool everywhere. Before I could pick him up, Monster Tulip had him in his grasp and swallowed him down. Bummer.
“Have you had enough?”
Monster Tulip gives a nod, a sly satisfied grin breaks though his petals. “I’m good for now. Thanks, DJ.”
Mourning two of my favorite pets by seven o’clock the first night. I never thought it would happen…not like that. Not with my pets. What’s Obi Wan going to do without Boga? Rio would be so upset over the loss of his girlfriend…I’m a horrible owner.
The sun set sometime after I cried myself to sleep.
I startled awake after having a nauseating nightmare where I was gagging on pretty cobalt blue feathers. The sun beamed through my window as though a cop was shining his flashlight into my dark bedroom. Time to go talk to Monster Tulip.
I enter the kitchen to see Chewbacca dangling over a gaping mouthed Monster Tulip. “Wait! No!” I was too late. Chewbacca was sucked down like a grape from a vine. “Monster Tulip, what have you done?”
“I was hungry. You weren’t here. I took it upon myself to get some food.”
“Well, I hope it was delicious for you.” I think my sarcasm was lost on the plant.
“It was delicious. Just a little chewy.” Monster Tulip licks the yellow petals and turns his attention to Han–poor, sad Han. “Feed me, DJ.”
“No! You aren’t eating him,” I say. “Han, you need to go! Get out of here!”
Han’s head bobbled in my direction. “It’s no use, DJ. I can’t fly this thing without my trusty co-pilot.”
Monster Tulip chomped down on him. The crunching was agonizing as he munched springs and crushed metal. Drops of blood and fuel dropped on the counter as Han and the Millennium Falcon were consumed like nachos at a basketball game.
“That’s it! No more! I’m cutting you off, Monster Tulip!”
Doors slammed through out the house as the screaming banshee I was went looking for something I could use to stop my plant from eating the rest of us. Duct tape may have worked, but everything I duct tape comes undone. Hot glue is too dangerous. Gorilla Glue…might actually work. But it was dried in the bottle. Fine.
I roped off the room with some police tape I had in the garage. I cannot confirm nor deny if it was used in another Monster Tulip episode. Just we had some… I told everyone to stay out of the kitchen until I could get back with some fresh glue. “Monster Tulip is very sneaky…just watch yourselves.”
Why is it you go to the store for one thing and wind up buying thirty-five other things? And then forget the one item you went for? Gorilla Glue didn’t even come close to making it in my basket. So when I got home, I was going to unpack the car and run right back for a tube.
The bags dropped from my hands. Crash. Clank. Glass breaking. “Benny?”
Benny the Beaver was slurped down. He managed to survive Boog and Elliot, but not Monster Tulip. The sad part was Monster Tulip wore Benny’s two teeth like dentures.
I should have never laughed at that toothy grin.
“Guys, I thought I told you not to come in here.”
Jasper and Edward stood on the counter. They both pulled the ultimate dad maneuver–arms crossed over their chests, shaking their heads slowly, chins locked in anger. They were a just short of grounding me for two weeks.
“DJ, how could you buy a Monster Tulip?” Edward asked. “You know they’re uncontrollable and…”
“E, watch out.”
Monster Tulip slurped the glasses right from Edward’s face. He treated them like candy. Two licks and a crunch later, the glasses were swallowed away.
“That was close, Edward.” Jasper stood by the glass. He face was serene and his demeanor was calm. I was staring at a lake on a still Texas day. “Let’s just take our time and think things through. I can’t tolerate the thought of killing another being. Not anymore.”
Jasper’s emotion control pulled us under. Monster Tulip fell asleep first. I couldn’t say who was next between Edward and myself…
I woke to cloudy skies on the other side of the kitchen window. Edward and Jasper were gone. Monster Tulip was staring at me, watching me as though I might be his next meal.
“Feed me, DJ. I’m hungry.”
“Did you eat Jasper and Edward?”
“No. They were gone when I woke up. Now feed me, DJ.”
Breakfast…”Here.” The bright yellow box hit the counter. Crunch Berries. Hardly a plant food, but it would have to do. “Have a bowl.”
His nose turned up. “No. I’m not a cannibal.”
“It’s all I have. You ate everyone else.”
“Feed me, DJ. I’m hungry.”
“It’s this or nothing.”
Monster Tulip gave me the cold leaf. He wouldn’t talk to me and I refused to have any more friends become his meal. A few days had passed, and he was still on hunger strike. I offered the crunch again. He was so weak, he couldn’t answer. His petals became flaccid, lifeless. He couldn’t speak, and when he tried, the first one fell.
“Oh, Monster Tulip…why do you have to be so stubborn?”
There was no answer as Monster Tulip took his last breath. He made his final request in a raspy, quiet whisper.
“Feed me, DJ.”