In the beginning, strawberries have good lives. They live together on one big bush with all their brothers and sisters. They get plenty of nutrients from the rain and soil and become large and red and juicy. Each day they live outside in the sunshine, maybe a breeze blowing over them, tickling them and making the strawberries laugh. The strawberries laugh and talk and joke amongst themselves, because nobody else can hear them. They speak through a connection only strawberries have.
But sometimes it is not so nice. In the forests, colonies of strawberries are destroyed by caterpillars rampaging through their leaves. Animals come and swipe their friends and family away into their mouths, which to strawberries is like a dark, moist cave with sharp stalagmites hanging from it.
Then there are the ones who are grown on farms. They live blissfully, not knowing the horrors many of their people face in the woods. Occasionally one of their friends is taken from them, but the strawberries just assume they are sick and are being taken care of somewhere else. They live good lives for a few months, which to them is a lifetime.
Soon, the inevitable happens. The strawberries are plucked off their bushes, trying desperately to cling on. They are shoved into a basket, a box, a car. The strawberries are quiet, the occasional whimper or hiccup not allowing there to be complete silence. After the ride, they are sent off to be packaged. Blasted with a typhoon of water, whisked off to be boxed. Some are tossed in clear plastic containers. These strawberries will be cut up for a fruit salad, or sugared, or just eaten plain.
Others are wrapped in suffocating white plastic, unable to see anything. They feel themselves being lifted, the pressure of other strawberries being stacked on them makes it harder for them to move and breathe. The strawberries are set down, the ones on the bottom in pain from the weight of the others above them. Soon after, the cold begins to creep into the bags. Numbing their small strawberry bodies, they begin to feel stiff and hard. They try to scream for help, but the same treatment is being applied to the other strawberries as well. After a long while, the frost coated strawberries hear bumps and thuds. Muffled voices fling open a door and grab the strawberries, not at all gentle.
The strawberries are set down once more, but now they feel warmth spreading across them. The frost on their bodies seems to be melting, but then they are picked up again. They’re spread out across a hard surface. The ones on the bottom feel cold air blowing at them through vents.
While the strawberries await their fate at the supermarket, there are many casualties. Not able to survive to the cold, many strawberries give up and die, frozen in an eternal nightmare. The living strawberries cling on to a shred of hope that they will be alright, as hands move them around, dead strawberries covering them. The strawberries are terrified, but unable to move, the bodies of their loved ones remain on all sides of them.
One by one, the bags are picked up and payed for, taken home for many different fates. Some will be used in fruit salads, some eaten cold or room temperature, made to top desserts, or made into the most dreaded punishment to the strawberries. Smoothies. Chopped, thrown, whipped around, cut and sliced and crushed. Liquified bodies, the dying screams of the others the last thing they hear.
Those strawberries have one of the most painful and long deaths. First, the strawberries are chopped, but only in half. See, strawberries can endure a lot of mutilation, due to the seeds they have. Each seed is like a small heart. Although painful, they will survive. Next, the fruit is poured into a large dish. Finally able to see again, they try not to hit the blades at the bottom of the container. Sometimes, ice covers the blades, but other times, ice is dumped over them, crushing them once more so soon after escaping the packaging.
As they are slowly picked off one by one, that small shred of hope fades, turning dull and colorless and then disappearing altogether. While the container turns pink with the liquefied remains of its family and friends, the last strawberry says its last words, the last words of his people, and words that now only it can hear.
“The blender prevails once more.”