Fruitless | The Five-Star Origin Story Part 1
The Five-Star Origin Story Part 1
Joe woke up to a veil of darkness, unsure as to where he was, and unsure of how he arrived. He struggled to writhe in the cold dirt in which he lay: he couldn’t move, he couldn’t see, and he couldn’t focus his mind. A persistent ringing echoed through his mind, but it was overtaken by the symphony of chaos from all directions. In a matter of seconds, his thoughts were lost in the noise.
He questioned if he was actually dead-- unlikely, but not completely out of the question. The inability to see, hear, or move was more than enough to make anyone question the cruelty of fate. Luckily, his worries were soon laid to rest as harsh, sudden light dispelled the darkness from his vision. More than enough proof that he wasn’t dead. Not yet, at least.
However, the sudden brightness caused a pain sharp enough to nearly split his stem. Just what he needed...
Joe’s gaze shifted to his oblong body. The musculature of his arms and legs impressed him: like they were chiseled from marble taken from the statue of David itself.
That, however, was where the similarities ended.
As his eyes adjusted to the light and his stem-ache subsided, a small amount of feeling was restored to his hands and feet. But the sensation-- it didn’t feel right. It was foreign, like he was wearing a pair of cheap gloves he couldn’t take off. Even as squeezed his hands, he couldn’t make a proper fist. The frustration was unbearable. It was like waking from a deep sleep with an entirely numb body. Endless questions flashed through his mind: How did I get here? Where the hell am I? What’s going on?
Slowly but surely, Joe regained feeling in his limbs. Finally, he could stand up on his own. His limbs weighed a thousand pounds-- and his knees were shaking like he really did weigh that much, but he could move them
Joe watched helplessly as a muscular chicken breast diced a carrot into a million bite-sized chunks, only to end up on the business end of a fork wielded by an unruly asparagus. The origin of the symphony finally revealed itself; Joe was smack-dab in the middle of a raging food-war. Battle raged in every direction, the cries of the wounded and dying no longer hidden by his deafness. It was all-out madness, and he could barely stomach the brutal violence. Joe buried his face in his hands, hiding from the animosity surrounding him.
The carnage was like a blood-stained cage; foods sliced and diced each other indiscriminately. It was impossible to escape the horror -- even the ground was covered in repugnance as countless chopped up and smashed foods littered the battlefield. Their juices and sauces painted a colorful, yet dreadful image.
Joe’s banana-heart nearly stopped as a thick, beefy steak barreled towards him. He gripped the fork so tightly it nearly snapped under the pressure. He must have been twice the size of the banana. His arms made Joe’s look like toothpicks. It was clear from the maniacal grin on the steak’s face that he wasn’t looking for a friend; he was ready to make a banana split.
Anticipating the steak’s charge, Joe stumbled backwards. He tripped over his own
feet and fell onto his backside. The steak screeched to a stop just short of him..
“Aren’t you gonna run or something?” The meat asked, genuinely curious.
“I-I can’t…” Joe told his arms and legs to move, but they wouldn’t listen.
“They won’t move...”
“So you must be the fresh fruit...” The devilish creature grinned from ear to ear, and grabbed Joe by his aching stem. He winced, letting out a muffled scream.
“You’ll be an excellent sacrifice, banana. Big Angus will be pleased with a prize like you.”
“Please! I don’t wanna die!” Joe cowered in his foe’s intimidating shadow.
“If that’s really true, then why don’t you get up?” The steak crouched in front of him, stabbing his fork in the ground. “Here, I’ll even give you a head start!” The steak laughed heartily, lifting Joe and setting him on his feet. His knees trembled worse than earlier, unable to take a single step. Why did he insist on torturing him? Why couldn't he just-
At that moment, something sparked within Joe’s peel-- the subconscious limits his mind imposed on his body lifted. His legs moved automatically, carrying him away as fast as they could.
“How are you-- you’re not a fresh fruit! You’re a damn liar!” The steak bounced to his feet and pulled his fork free. He cocked back his weapon-- sprinting full speed towards his prey.
“You’re slow as molasses, you bastard!”
The steak moved with blinding speed, appearing directly in front of the fleeing Joe. Through clenched teeth, the steak unleashed a powerful thrust. Joe winced as the fork struck his front, not expecting the blow to send him flying off his feet.
He sailed through the air, landed on his side and slid into a boulder with a thud. There was no way that the meat’s thrusting power failed to pierce a measly banana peel. Joe looked down at his body in shock-- only a shallow dent in his peel, and no leaking juices to speak of. Even as he ran his hand over the slight wound, he couldn’t find the injury with touch. He could certainly feel it throbbing, though.
“How? That’s not possible!” The steak shouted as he jogged towards him, anger seeping from his gaping mouth. “A banana peel isn’t stronger than a fork!”
What kind of banana am I? Joe looked down at his hands, clenching his fists again. They were slowly starting to feel less foreign. Maybe, just maybe…
The steak hovered over him. He held the fork-spear high in the air, ready to finally impale his prey. “You’re as good as peeled!”
What a delicious and cruel world: a sour introduction!
(To be continued in Chapter 2 “The Five-Star Origin Story Part 2”)
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With the guidance of an old apple, the knife on his back, and the countless foods against him, will Joe be able to traverse the Foodlands and turn the tide of this fruitless war? Or will he end up fried?
Written by Tom Ford & Kale Dorchak