James Arness as the Big Carrot


By Thomas Tilton

“If there are aliens out there, let’s hope they’re friendly,” I said, my attempt at levity after our basement screening of The Thing from Another World.

“He was a vegetable,” my son said. “Like a carrot.”

“The Thing? Yeah, I guess he was. James Arness as the big carrot.”

“If only the scientists could have controlled him, but he was too big and frightened.”

It never occurred to me to connect this conversation to my son’s burgeoning interest in horticulture. How kindly he spoke to his garden, and — after his diagnosis — how earnestly he insisted we bury him in it.

Thomas Tilton’s fiction and poetry have appeared in 365 Tomorrows, Speculative 66, Disturbed Digest, and elsewhere.

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