Melvin the Falafel

Everyone has a dream, but can evey dream be realized?

Follow Melvin the chickpea throughout his life and transformation into... Melvin the Falafel!

Chapter 1

Melvin, the Short-Lived Falafel

by: TheSprout
Everyone has a dream. Some dream about becoming a great chickpea. Others dream of becoming a great cooked chickpea. And still others dream about being a raw chickpea and taking the world by storm. However, there was one chickpea whose dreams differed from all other chickpeas' dreams.

Melvin the chickpea had a dream unlike anything ever heard of in the chickpea world before. He dreamed, not becoming a great chickpea, but rather a finding love in a loveless world.

"Chickpeas don't fall in love," Melvin's friend Farley explained. Farley dreamed of being the most raw chickpea there ever was. He would one day be featured on a salad that was being eaten outdoors, only to roll off the salad plate at the last minute and into the grass, where he would become a great chickpea plant. Then, he would be remembered in chickpea history as an immortal chickpea plant.

"Farley, maybe chickpeas can fall in love. Or maybe I was a human in my former life," Melvin replied. You see, chickpeas all followed the Coolest Chickpea in the World, who taught that chickpeas were reincarnated 33 times before they truly passed away. This was believed because chickpeas usually had such a short life span. They never remembered their previous lives, but they remembered how many they had. And, chickpeas kept the same mind throughout their lives.

Melvin and Farley were young chickpeas in their first lives, so they were attending the famed chickpea Preparation Academy, in which chickpeas underwent memorization of the various ways they could be prepared before their next life. For example, if a chickpea was going to be prepared raw in a salad, he or she was taught not to roll around too much. After all, if humans knew that chickpeas were a more intelligent species, the world would probably come to an end.

Preparation Academy was where the two young chickpeas forged their friendship. Farley had always dreamed of being a true raw chickpea and leaving a legacy for all other chickpeas to follow. He could see them learning about him in school.

"Now students, we will learn about the great Farley chickpea plant, an example for all to follow! Now listen as I tell you how he rolled off a plate and into the ground..."

Melvin, on the other hand, hated being a chickpea.

"It's so constricting. I mean, what's the point of being a chickpea and being cooked and eaten?" Melvin said one day. Farley's mouth dropped as he looked at the romantic chickpea before him.

"Melvin, watch what you say, or you might come back as a human," Farley warned. Even though no chickpea was ever known to be a human, it was the greatest fear all chickpeas shared. However, Melvin didn't know what to do. His little chickpea heart ached for romance and love, but he knew that was an impossibility.

Farley always ridiculed him, and it just frustrated Melvin more. Nobody ridiculed Eliza the half-wit chickpea who wanted to be a Mexican jumping bean. Why did Farley and the other chickpeas have to give him a hard time?

So, as he progressed through Prep Academy, he grew very depressed and simply wished to die. Sometimes, in exceptionally dark moments, Melvin picture himself being in a food processor, his body slashed apart as he was prepared for hummus. He wished that would happen for all his 33 lives, so his misery would be put out quickly.

Before he knew it, his time at Prep Academy was finally over, and he and the other young chickpeas were going to receive their assignments. Some would become hummus, others would stay raw, and a select few would simmer in a warm soup. The ceremony was long and drawn out, and Melvin spaced out until he heard his name.

"Melvin the chickpea, please approach."

"Melvin the chickpea, your assignment will be... to remain raw. Congratulations and we know you will make all chickpeas around the world proud."

When Melvin walked back over, Farley was bouncing in his seat. Melvin just shrugged and sat back down.

"Melvin! This is great! We're going to be raw buddies! Can you believe it?! It's just so -"

"Farley the chickpea, please approach." Farley hopped over and beamed with pride and excitement.

"Farley the chickpea, your assignment will be... to become a falafel. We know you will make all chickpeas around the world proud."

Farley walked back over, his little chickpea eyes wide open and afraid.

"A falafel?! I can't be deep-fried! I'm destined to be raw! How did this happen?!" He wailed. Melvin patted him on the shoulder.

"I wish I had your fate. I don't want to live, and I don't want to be eaten."

So, Melvin and Farley spent their last night sulking and watching chicktoons and drinking rubbing alcohol on their watermelon. After a few drinks, Melvin started crying.

"I just... I just want to die! This is so miserable! I'll never find love now!" He sobbed. Farley started sobbing too.

"Me too! I'll never be a raw chickpea! Why couldn't we have gotten each other's assignment?! It would've been so perfect! I'm gonna miss you so much, Melvin!" Farley cried out. Suddenly, Melvin stopped.

"That's a brilliant idea! Let's switch names and take each other's assignment!"

Farley looked up at Melvin with tear-streaked chickpea eyes.

"You would... You would do that for me?" Farley's eyes were as wide as chickpea eyes can be. Melvin nodded.

"I do. I will."

"I can't let you do that for me. That's too nice. Maybe I'll be raw next time around. It's okay."

"No, we have to switch. I think it's part of our destiny, and we must follow it. Besides, you have to set the legacy, and if you die once that won't happen. But you have to promise me one thing, Farley," Melvin started. Farley nodded.

"Anything, Melvin. Just tell me."

"Farley, make me proud of you. Don't let anyone eat you. And maybe I'll see you next time around, and maybe I'll have fallen in love. But even if not, at least someone's dreams will be fulfilled."

"I... I love you, man. You can count on me. I'll make you proud, I will. I promise."

And with that, the sun rose on preparation day.

----------

"You chickpeas are admired for sacrificing yourselves for the better cause." The chickpea attendant was reading from his clipboard.

"You will be written down in history, and I know that your dreams, whatever they are and however odd they are, will be fulfilled before your 33 lives are up. Your willing sacrifice will become a legend among the next generation of chickpeas. Thank you for your service."

And with that, the chickpeas were picked up and sent to a restaurant where they would lose their first life by becoming scrumptious falafels.

-----------

"Aaah!" Melvin screamed. He felt the burn marks on his skin. Being deep-fried hurt.

"AAAH! What are you doing in my room?! Get out, you creep!" Someone screamed.

Melvin looked up to see the most beautiful thing he had ever seen... A woman.

"How do you see me?" He asked, but then he looked down at himself.

"Aaah! I'm a human!?!?!?"

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