Communication is impossible by design. You try to scream, but how can you with no lungs? Nothing comes out; the sensation itself purely psychological. Comparable to a phantom limb, your voice only feels like it's leaving your non-existent throat.
Countless strawberries are jostled around, flung across the clear plastic take-home container you inhabit. Wearily, the nerdy-looking brunette holding your prison cell releases a long-held sigh as she walks the remainder of the way home. She's well put together but somewhat disheveled from the day's events, her silky hair tied away into an inconspicuous bun. She looks tired; another day working two part-time positions was likely wearing on her. At least, that’s what you gathered from her coworker's idle chatter.
You’re awash with panic and uncertainty, but it started as an ordinary day. Nothing crazy, just leaving home early in the morning to prepare for the latest stop in the endless federal inspection cycle. Another day in paradise, as your boss sometimes liked to joke.
Back in the present, she opens the door to her apartment as you furiously think back to the events following your arrival. You've been reliving that last moment without stop. The scene plays out again and again in almost perfect clarity, "Wish I was that strawberry," You dreamily wished, taking the standard tour of the plant as you’d done nearly a hundred times previously. Perhaps you’d spoken too loudly, as the nearby picker took a sneaky bite between packing them away. The look she gave you said it all, her expression dripping with disgust. Almost instantaneously, you found yourself surrounded by fruit, paralyzed in this edible sarcophagus.
The transition was so abrupt; suddenly able to feel each seed coating the strawberry you’d taken the place of. Equally as noticeable is the dryness in the leaf crowning your head. And miraculously, you're somehow able to see the grin of the lady you'd commented on. A gift, or perhaps a final curse from the stranger you’d disrespected. It's the last acknowledgment of humanity you ever receive. She drops you from just above the picker's basket, and you're quickly buried under the weight of your similar-looking relatives.
Your head is swirling with questions that would be forever unanswered. Who was that beautiful woman you'd encountered, and how could she possibly bend the laws of reality so easily? And more importantly, does this mean other forms of magic are out in our world? Excellent questions that would never be explored or expanded upon. Unfortunately, Strawberries don’t have much in the way of staying power. Nor do they have a long shelf life.
It's not long before you find yourself at the bottom of a restaurant's restocking order. Initially intended for an expertly prepared dessert, only to be offered to the part-time waitress a few days later as a way to reduce kitchen waste. You hadn't made the cut, but maybe this was a blessing in disguise! You have hope for the first time since the change occurred. You try everything in your power to jostle your body, anything, to get off the path of your intended destination. But it's no use, finally giving up as she walks down the relatively empty street.
Heartbroken, you're forced to watch in silence as your new owner walks the rest of the way home. Reaching the relatively plain wooden door, she sighs, lack of sleep finally catching up with her. But she doesn't make the expected move towards her bedroom. Instead, she walks through the kitchen and reaches for the idle work laptop, booting it on with a click of a button. Taking a seat at the kitchen counter, your waitress slowly scrolls through something you aren't privy to before cracking open your container on the linoleum countertop beside her.
It's dark, with only a tiny white light illuminating most of the room. Unpainted nails dip down, brushing up against you only to snag another strawberry nearby. Unceremoniously, she raises your unlucky brother to her mouth, letting it hover idly for a moment as she focuses intently on the screen. ClickClickClick, she makes a few quick motions with the mouse before taking a generous bite of your companion. Her teeth sink in effortlessly, juice exploding across her tongue as her mouth rends the strawberry cleanly apart. You feel the urge to shake, stunned by the power of her mouth.
It's terrifying yet strangely alluring all the same. The whites of her teeth look almost otherworldly from so close, a dull sheen coming off each tooth if one were to get a close enough look.
After seeing such a grand demonstration, you can’t help but become entranced by her lips, observing as it savors the contents of that last juicy bite. It calls to you, her hand lowering to invite another guest inside for a permanent stay. Except, she doesn’t take you. The monstrously large hand instead grabs for the fruit you’d been propped firmly against until now, whisking it away towards her waiting mouth.
Watching it happen from your position in the plastic carton leaves you oddly envious as she effortlessly rips your nearly day-long neighbor's fragile skin apart, swallowing everything all at once with a strong gulp. You can even see it trailing down her neck, if only just barely. It's hard to even fathom someone so innocent-looking, so mundane, being so deadly. It's a sharp contrast.
The hungry twenty-something absentmindedly reaches out again. You prepare for the worst-case scenario as the hand comes back for seconds. But you're saved once again, her fingers brushing past and grabbing yet another fruit to munch on. She sticks it into her mouth, navigating her computer with one hand. From the glare from the screen shining in the reflection of her glasses, you gleam that she's likely checking her emails. At least, that's your best guess from the relatively simple layout of the page.
After leaving it in an uncertain limbo for several seconds, she finally takes the second strawberry inside her watering mouth, first brushing it up against the soft ridges of her lips. It slides into a prepped guillotine, its tip sliced off with brutal efficiency. The piece disappears into her mouth as she chews in silent delight before swallowing with a dainty yet audible gulp.
It doesn’t take her long to dismantle the small fruit completely. It's systematically deconstructed, primarily by her four frontmost teeth. They shred and rend it with cold efficiency, tearing chunks off as her tongue pushes whatever's left toward her ruthless molars. A tiny bite, then another, followed by one more still. Soon, only the stem is left in her hand. She lays it on the table to clean up later, reaching greedily for another one.
After two equally close calls, you finally draw the short stick. You’re quickly lifted away, brought up to her poorly lit face. Her expression bears only cruel indifference. She looks you over, giving you only the tiniest inspection for any sort of defect.
Seeing the opportunity, you do everything you can to signal for help. Though, as it turns out, ‘everything possible’ doesn’t mean much when you can’t move your body. At the very most, you think you feel a seed pop free, but it's likely a trick of the mind. Maybe you really are no different than any other strawberry.
Her digits dig into your sides, unknowingly bruising your fragile form and pressing carelessly into you as she rolls you around her hand. Suddenly deemed safe to eat, you find yourself touching the soft pillowy surface of her lips. You slide in like the strawberries before you, knowing what's coming next but not entirely prepared for what could lie ahead. You’re scared, a dark slimy abyss waiting in your future.
Her teeth come down at lightning speeds, tearing a small piece of you off. Juice gushes out of your wound, splashing across the inside of her mouth. She chews at it, your mush floating around in a spit-covered mess, seeds caught in several spaces between her teeth. And you can feel it all. Even the seed she idly picks at with her tongue. The muscle thrashes outside the small gap with a startling amount of effort. Though ultimately, it's unable to dislodge the minor annoyance.
She swallows, happily moving you back towards her mouth to take a bite. Her teeth tear a more significant chunk this time, as just over half of what you consider your body comes to a slow boil in her stomach. The duality of the sights is overwhelming, forcing you to focus on just one at any given time.
She takes another bite, smashing your mush into seedy pulp, savoring the sweet taste your insides give off for a few moments before harshly tearing off your leafy stem. It's brutal, the sudden violation making you want to shriek at your loss of self. So much of you is scattered, would turning back even be possible any longer? The young adult hardly knows or cares. To her, you’re just another strawberry.
You simmer inside her stomach, floating amid a layer of saliva and chyme. The substance coats and mixes with your mass as she pops the last half into her mouth. She rolls you around, her tongue playing with your form as a temporary distraction from the mundane bullet point emails they’re having her read at work. All the while, teeth sit high above, waiting to be used at any second. But until they are, you hold out some ridiculous hope that, just maybe, she’ll be an unexpected rescuer.
However, all hopes are dashed as the teeth hanging perilously above decide to come crashing down, severing the only part of you that had still been somewhat intact. Her tongue immediately probes at the exposed pieces before pushing you back into the firing line. The muscle tasting you and molding around whatever is left of your once proud form.
A part of you enjoys her mouth; glad to be flavorful. Although, another more sane part of you is screaming inwardly for escape, knowing that if she swallows, getting back to normal would be significantly more difficult.
She swallows, and the sweet pulp she’d been so thoroughly enjoying is washed down the back of her throat, squeezing the rest of you into the depths of her stomach. The beginning of the end is so very dark.
Please, Hannah, you have to-
You stop trying to talk, the urge to cry welling up inside. No matter how many times you tried, words simply were an impossibility now.
Mourning the loss of your body, something manages to catch your attention. You see and feel something in here with you. You mingle with it, boiling together as the stomach lies still for the moment. Whatever it was, in the present, it lost all identity. Food churned to the point that it was ready to move on. Colorless and bland, is that to be your fate, too, you wonder?
On the outside, your stem is still on the table. You can finally see the computer screen as she angles it slightly to the side by an unintentional bump of her wrist. You catch her name on the upper right of the screen: Hannah. So that’s the girl who’d eaten you. Your consciousness tries to think of a way to use this to your advantage, but comes up empty-handed.
You’re entirely helpless within her scorching insides. Your fate decided long ago.
It's not long before you start churning, just like her previous meal. Its entire existence serves as a brief glimpse into your horrific future. Chemicals begin to slosh, mixing you around so thoroughly that you lose track of everything. Eventually, Hannah gets up with a yawn and heads to bed, throwing on some PJs and calling it a night.
You find yourself deep within her digestive tract, moving through her lower intestine as you’re being pushed from her stomach, a juicy strawberry no longer. Instead, you squeeze through as a paste-like mess. You feel wrong; your once proud form reduced to something so vile. Yet, it only worsens as you pass further through, Hannah now soundly asleep.
Eventually, you find yourself somewhere much different. It's dark, damp, and foul. You feel distinctly off. Maybe it's the process you’d just been through, or perhaps it was related to how scattered your pieces were. Either way, it's distinctly uncomfortable. Finally recovering, you're horrified to feel your form. Sludge-like, clumping as you begin to dry and harden. The very air around you is vile, offering zero sustainability. You quickly realize that the area isn’t much unlike you, as abhorrent as the comparison may be.
The feeling of utter disgust only grows as you clump together with pieces that aren't you, further solidifying your lack of identity. Glop drips down from the ribbed ceiling, giving you a sickening realization. You're no different than the gloopy sludge lining what you can only figure is her lower intestine. You're shit. Worthless waste. Tormented by this awful feeling of complete repulsion and lack of purpose.
Disgust eats at you, rotting and festering as you harden into a solid stool. Your once bright exterior is reduced to something that has no value. You just want it to end, trapped in the slow-moving purgatory of her bowels.
Suddenly, there's movement. You can scarcely believe it as the seemingly endless night fades into the morning, and Hannah wakes up to go about her business. Her activity is muffled harshly by the walls lined with filth, but after several minutes of back and forth, you hear a meaty thump.
There isn't anything for a few pregnant moments. A nearly dead silence permeates the dank air; the rhythmic sound of her insides is all you can hear. Then, all at once, there's movement. You pushed slowly through her tightly closed asshole, Hannah graciously spreading it open for you with a yawn. You freefall briefly, leaving her warmth and hitting the water soon after.
It's cold, freezing even. From one extreme to the next, you find yourself surrounded by the heat. A sensation that you'd unknowingly grown accustomed to during your short stay. From the cold depths of the water, Hannah's butt is so clear. Perched tightly between the porcelain of the seat. It's hard to believe you came from something so impossibly large and out of reach.
The buttons on the touch screen clatter as she checks who's online and catches up on her latest snap. You sit in limbo for a minute or so before a soft hand wipes away your residue, letting the toilet paper drop down into the bowl.
Standing up, you stare in horror as she looks down in momentary disgust, her nose wrinkling upwards as she swiftly reaches for the handle.
"DON'T!" You scream mentally, but it has no notable effect. You're no different than any other meal she's ever had, about to meet the same fate. Everything swirls faster than you can possibly keep track of, and you're sucked underneath the roaring waves with a powerful pull.
Hannah yawns again, pulling up her PJs before heading to the sink to wash her hands. She doesn't think about you, not once. Never any the wiser, you're used up, sucked dry, and flushed away by some girl you hardly knew. A girl named Hannah. Your stint with her is so short that you never even learned her last name. Someone with a busy schedule, one you helped out in the smallest of ways by powering her daily life, if only briefly. The rest of you is stored away, archived in the tiniest smidgens of fat just below the crest of her thighs.
Hannah finishes washing her hands, wiping the water on a nearby hand towel. She picks at the seed from earlier with her tongue, finally dislodging it with a satisfied smirk, and spits the last piece of you still unviolated by her insides in the sink.
"Oh shoot!" She says, letting the water run briefly to wash that gross thing from between her teeth down the drain. She remembers that today was the very same day she'd taken off to turn in those good plates for her car! Of course, that means suffering through the DMV. She groans at the thought before going about her regular routine. You accompany her, though it's no longer in the form of pulpy remains, but an inkling of energy where thighs meet ass. However, you don't last long. Burned off the very next week during a charity softball game.
Curiously, she sees a news report later on. 'Inspector missing! The plant refuses to give up security footage. Can foul play be ruled out?’ It raises an eyebrow but doesn't occupy her for long. After all, why would it? She didn't know anyone named Josh. And she certainly hasn't met any food and safety inspectors.
The case isn't investigated very long, quickly going cold as each inquiry results in minimal leads. There are whispers for a few years of foul play on the part of the strawberry plant, but that's all they ever were. Rumors and hearsay, nothing concrete. Before long, even the whispered stories faded into obscurity.