by M. J. Joachim
As they looked up, all they could see was the bucket of slop being hurled at them again! Day after day, they struggled, digging through the dirt, crawling over each other, foraging for food. What purpose could they have, except to please their master? Most of them would be dead soon anyway. It was impossible to live for very long in these conditions.
Quite unexpectedly, several of them darted, startled by the light. Scrambling for cover, they tried to shield themselves. Forced to move, they found themselves literally thrown into a new arena. Only the strong survived. They others quickly withered and died. Only one was determined to conquer the conqueror.
Steadily, this one picked and chose only the best morsels to eat. Day in and day out, she worked diligently, carving her path in the filthy surroundings. Ever stronger, she acclimated herself to the light, slowly crawling toward it more each day, hiding in unsuspecting places as she moved.
The squeal of her master was one of pure delight, as she sacrificed herself once and for all. Her death leaving behind the bitterest of flavors, when her master bit into the first juicy, ripe tomato of the season.
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