Once upon a time a head of lettuce rolled off a table and into the lap of an old man. He looked down at the crisp green leaves laying between his thighs and drew in breath sharply. He removed his glasses, wiped the smudged lenses on his threadbare vest and looked again. He was right — there in the curls and bumps of the lettuce was the face of his long dead wife.
He held the side of the head tightly just as he held his wife’s head as she died. The leaves that formed the mouth fluttered and there was barely the sound of a whisper.
"What is it Metilda? Speak up."
But the leaves did not move in reply. He took the lettuce to the vegetable garden, his wife’s pride and joy. In fact she was buried deep beneath the loamy surface. There he found a huge pumpkin just like her lumpy torso. Squash and cucumbers identical to his wife’s own limbs. Carrots; bumpy and hairy like her fingers. Tiny dark potatoes just like her toes. He laid it all together in an unholy assemblage of his now vegetative wife. Ugly, miscoloured and bloated — just like she had been.
He looked down at her and smiled.
"Metilda honey, rise. Come to me. Rise."
The carrots curled, the marrow creaked and the lettuce head opened up the gaps where her eyes should have been. She rose unsteadily to her potato feet, lifted her cucumber arms and reached out to him with her carrot fingers. With one swing of his hoe the old man broke open her lettuce head. She fell backwards onto the ground. He stamped on her pumpkin chest. Her guts poured out. He mulched her — fingers snapped, arms crushed, feet mashed — until she was nothing more than a carcass of fragments and a damp, sticky patch on the soil.
The old man laughed and went back inside. He left her to rot just like he had done before.