Continuing our series of short fiction set in, or influenced by London. This week’s story is by eight-year-old Lara Rizzolo Blackman.
In five a day London, we all know the drill for the juiciest vegetable competition. Every year someone wins, they get a prize bla bla bla. But the competition is Mango's favourite thing ever and even though he isn't a vegetable, all of the fruits are invited. Each day, Mango wakes up and crosses the day off his calendar, waiting for the 8th of July which is the big competition day.
Bright and early one healthy day, as always Mango goes to his calendar and realises that it is the 8th of July!!!!! He opens his wardrobe to get his smartest clothes and runs off to Hyde Park, but in his excitement, he forgot something — his breakfast. And to Mango, breakfast is the second most important thing after the once a year competition.
Don't tell Mango I told you, but he is rather plump. So it doesn't surprise anyone that Mango goes to that competition — because at the end you get free Shredded Wheats. After he's returned home for his first Shredded Wheat of the day, he runs off for the second time. When he got to Hyde Park he saw everyone with a glum face. Is it me running late he thought? Mango asked one of the members of the audience why is everyone so sad? They said it was because Celery was missing, so they could not do the competition. Then the announcer (Tomato) said can I have a plump fruit to come up to take over for Celery. Everyone pointed at Mango, so with a loud YAY he ran up onto stage and did his best muscle man pose.
Suddenly flying through the air came Pig from Meat village! He pushed Mango over just like he wanted to take over from Mango!! Then the rest of the meats turned up and joined Pig! It was obvious that they hated the food that they were being given in the countryside. But when Cow spat out a string of celery everyone saw that he had eaten Celery!
At that moment I came flying through the air. Everyone stopped and stared. There are no such things as humans in London, so the fruits and vegetables call us aliens. AAAAAAAAHHHHHH everyone shouted, ALIEN!! They all ran off, even the animals, and left me there. Luckily I managed to catch Mango and I began to eat him but he had loads of layers, like chocolate, caramel and marshmallow. EW! I hate sweets!!! I ran away shouting FAKE FIVE A DAY FAKE FIVE A DAY. So I left greedy Mango to eat himself.
Copyright, Lara Rizzolo Blackman, image by Sabine Thöle in the Londonist Flickr pool.
We’re still after your stories, which you should send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries must be no more than 1,000 words, and must be set in London, or strongly inspired by the city. Full details here.
Previously in this series
For children/by children
- The Lion: Something’s up in Trafalgar Square.
- Lyndon The Greatest Thief in London: A light fingered robber meets the Queen.
- Beyond the Central Line: Notting Hill Gate looks different today…
- The Makings of a Killer: A dark encounter in Southwark.
- Places to Hide a T-Rex in London: About time someone tackled this one.
- The Modern Fire of London: A sneezing dragon is a dangerous thing.
General London fiction
- Mark: A struggling actor becomes a hero of the people.
- The Guardian of Travellers: Victoria Coach Station passengers take the advice of a sage.
- Graphic Novels: A celebrated novelist finds inspiration in Shoreditch Library.
London at Night
- The Soho Nocturnes: Sebastian Groes tries to shatter the concrete dream that is London.
- The Station Clock: Peter Watson takes a slow walk to Euston.
- Asparagus and Syrian Gold: A guy on a blind date takes a risk… but will it pay off?
- The Race: Susanna James races against the dying of the light.
- Sirens of the Tideway: Emily Williams recounts a ghostly police chase.
- Mark: A struggling actor becomes a hero of the people.
Christmas in London
- The Ghost of Christmas Replete: David Croser shares a Christmas tale set in the bleak midwinter.
- Keep the Change: Lee Hamblin takes a sneaky taxi ride.
- Night Bus Dreams: Michelle Surtees-Myers is picked up by an enchanted night bus.
- The Patient Banker: Tom Dean has a visitor call in at a houseboat.
- An Afternoon Some Time Ago: Nathan Good takes a nostalgic ride on the London Eye.
- Easy Pickings: Kay Seeley is being vigilant on the South Bank.
- Stepping Stones: Alison Chandler goes on a night walk.
- One Summer in London: Angela M. Rodriguez steals a very personal item and then wears it at Notting Hill Carnival.
- Blackout on Fen Street: Seth Insua wishes away the city.
- The Man From BEER: Which bits of London would you delete? By David Ritchie.
- London Falls: Liz Hedgecock unleashes a digital wipeout on the city.
- They Walked: Adam MacLean ponders what would happen if London’s building just got up and left.
- The Wallbuilder: A great wall was built around London, not everyone was happy, by Jonathon Dean.
- Tastes Like Chicken: Glen Delaney retreats inside London’s oldest fortress.
- The Conqueror: Rebecca Sams filches a legendary London object.
- The Busker Ascends: Darren Lee brings plague to Leicester Square.
- Amelie: Narges Rashidi considers the interactions of three people on a District Line tube.
- Shelter Drawings: Stuart Snelson’s tale of a mysterious Circle Line artist.
- Tracks and Albums: Richard Lakin attracts the attentions of the British Transport Police.
- Seeing Red: Anthony Fitzgerald on the woes of a cab driver.
- Instant Karma on the 263 to North Finchley: one seat left on the bus. Next to you. Raving drunk gets on. By Ronnie Capaldi.
- The Sender of Second Chances: Anthea Morrison records a chance encounter on a bus.
- Two Four Eight: Lance V Ramsay envisions an Orwellian dystopia in the lingo of future London.
- Old Nichol: Jill Fricker evokes the woes of the old East End.
- Clissar: Grazia Brunello dips into the future of north London, through a glass darkly.
- Harvest Festival: A spooky Halloween tale in the London suburbs by Helen Craig.
- Ordinary Days in London: Madelaine Hills on a Docklands disturbance.
- Bishopsgate: Oliver Zarandi visits the site of a bomb.
- Sirens Of The Tideway: Emily Williams recounts a ghostly police chase.
- The Perfect Gift: A Christmas fairy tale in which London’s statues come to life, by Katherine Wheston.
- The City Inside: Tom Butler has some curious metropolitan anatomy.
- Jazz Code and the Tube: The ambivalence of dating, by Jenny Mackenzie.
- A Free Man: Melanie White’s flash fiction piece considers a recently single guy at a bachelor party.
- Clean Living London: Ursula Dewey rolls her sleeves up for some housework.
- Swipe Right: Does Tinder have the answers? By Heidi Scherz
- The Writer and the Dancer: Close encounter at a flat party by Vincent Wood.
- St Peter’s Gate, Knightsbridge: A nocturnal romance at closing time, by Theo Klay
- First: A romance begins inside a London gay club. By Lance Middleton.
- Natural Disasters: Can you find love at the supermarket checkout, when your customer’s buying porn? Yoel Noorali enquires.
- NO! SUSHI: A relationship breaks down during a Japanese leaving party, by Clare Kane.
- Compatibility: Stephen Lynch conjures the awkwardness of flat hunting.
- An Extract From the Diary of Kay Richardson, Actor: The surreal tribulations of a washed-up London thesp, by Tom Mitchell.
- The Further Adventures of Kay Richardson, Actor: More from the feckless thesp, by Tom Mitchell.
- The Further Adventures of Kay Richardson, Actor (Part 2): Our debauched hero tussles with mannequins.
- You Were Not In When We Called: A Christmas tale from Megan Toogood.
- The Do: Alan Fisher gets party phobia.
- Direction: Kevin Acott goes on a time-shifting pub crawl.
- RTA: Ryan Cartwright is involved in a traffic accident where all is not what it seems.
- Vegan Pigeon Eater: Rae Chambers sees a south London cafe get an unwelcome visitor.