Sounds of footsteps and hurried, irregular breathing.
Omi feels his legs give out and is forced to slow down, then stop.
How long had he been running?
He leans against a fence to catch his breath.
His heart pounding in his chest.
He turns to see if what he is running from is still chasing him.
The street is empty, dimly lit by streetlights. The silence is almost oppressive, barely interrupted by his rapid breaths.
The boy rests his back against the fence and slowly slips to the ground.
His breathing becomes regular again, as does his heartbeat.
“I got away with it,” he thinks.
The boy snaps back to his feet, agitated.
“There’s no use running…”
Omi starts running again.
He turns a corner and ducks into an alley, hoping to escape by losing his trail through the side streets, but the alley is dead-end.
“NO!” the boy exclaims, clapping his hands against a wall, too high to climb over.
Omi turns around, resting his back against the wall.
His pursuer is at the beginning of the alley, blocking the way.
“You should have eaten more vegetables, Omi.”
The creature strides forward into the shadows.
“You didn’t clean thoroughly enough Omi.”
The boy loses his balance and slips to the ground.
The creature finally emerges from the shadows, showing its disgusting figure.
Full of mold.
With very long, thin arms.
“You should have eaten me when you could, Omi. Now it’s too late. You left me too long in the fridge…”
The broccoli extends his slimy hand, grinning evilly.
Omi trembles. Everything that disgusts him most in the world stands before his eyes, ready to touch him.
The creature emits a hoarse, evil laugh.
Omi screams, raising a hand to defend himself.
A guitar riff, followed by a trumpet blast.
The broccoli pauses for a second, then turns around.
“What are you doing here!?”
A warm orange light accesses the mouth of the alley.
“Se siente bien, hombre!”
Omi lowers his hand, to observe who has spoken, and an expression of joy and hope appears on his face.
Beneath a large sombrero, wrapped in a colorful Mexican poncho and complete with mustaches, is Pepe.
His left hand holds the sombrero lowered slightly over his eyes, while in his right hand he holds a burrito.
“PEPE!” exclaims Omi.
Pepe looks up at the boy, smiling.
“Have no fear, Omi. Because I’m here!”
The broccoli launches into the attack, but Pepe doesn’t flinch.
Confident, he intercepts the broccoli during the charge and hits it with a punch.
The broccoli flies backward, emitting a scream of pain and ending up a few steps away from Omi.
It tries to get up but slumps to the ground.
Pepe looks down at the now helpless creature.
“KEK!” he exclaims in victory.
Pepe approaches the boy, whose eyes are glazed over with emotion, and hands him the burrito.
“Vegetables are not disgusting when wrapped in a warm tortilla.”
The boy takes the burrito with both hands.
Pepe nods and turns his back, starting to walk away.
“Thank you, Pepe!” exclaims Omi.
Pepe stops, barely turns around and smiles, before resuming his walk.
Omi wakes up.
He snaps to his bed and turns on the light.
He looks around agitatedly and when he realizes he is alone, he sighs, relieved.
“It was just a nightmare…”
He gets up to go drink some water.
“What a nightmare…” he thinks as he fills his glass.
Before going back to bed, he stops in front of the fridge.
His eyes are reduced to two slits.
Quickly he opens the door.
On the lowest shelf, resting in the corner, is an inanimate greenish broccoli.
Omi snorts in amusement.
“Pfft! What was I thinking!”
He closes the fridge and walks over to the bed.
A shrill squeak.
Omi’s eyes widen, turning around slowly.
A rough voice escapes from the fridge.