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Statement of Andrea Balcom, regarding… a mango. Original statement given 10th October, 2012 at the Miskatonic College Occult Research Center, and sent to The Magnus Institute for further investigation. Statement recorded on 15th January 2016. Audio recording by Jonathan Sims, Head Archivist of The Magnus Institute, London.
I’m sorry if the paper is wet. I was offered the chance to give my statement verbally, but I guess that wouldn’t really work out, would it. So I hope that this written version is fine and that I’m not leaving anything…too bad on the paper.
I really like mangoes. It’s not like it’s that weird or anything, they’re a pretty popular fruit, but I really like mangoes. A while ago I had about a month where I only drank mango smoothies. At like, every meal. I told my doctor, assuming he’d be happy with my fruit consumption, but he just looked at me for a second, and after he left the nurse passed me a business card for a nutritional specialist. So I tried to cut down a little after that. Not that I really succeeded, I pretty much just switched out mango smoothies for cut up mango during breakfast and lunch. You’d think I’d have gotten sick of it at some point. Every week, I would buy exactly four mangoes in order of ripeness, so that way I’d never run out or have to throw one away during the week. I just really didn’t want them to rot. I didn’t want to waste my money, and I don’t know if you’ve ever smelled rotten mango, but it’s absolutely disgusting. So, I came up with my buying system. And it worked really well. I don’t feel like I have to say that it stopped working.
It started with one. One mango with one soft spot. I figured I’d overlooked it when buying it, and cut it off of the mango. I ate the rest right there, over the sink, figuring I could go one day without mango at work. I’m not sure if I mentioned before that I live alone, but given what I’ve written so far it shouldn’t really be a surprise. I left my kitchen that night, and I thought I caught a whiff of that rotten mango scent, but I convinced myself I imagined it. The next morning it wasn’t so easy. That sickly sweet smell hung around my trash can like mist. I took the trash out, even though the mango piece was the only thing in it, showered, and went to make my lunch for work. I cut into that day’s mango and almost dropped my knife. It had a rotten spot too, it even looked like it was in the same place as the last one. I had made sure they hadn’t been touching, and I specifically remembered checking that mango for spots. I didn’t want to throw out yet more mangoes, so I did the same thing I had done with the last one, cutting off the rotten spot and throwing it out, and cutting up the rest of the mango to take to work. I nearly gagged at how powerful the smell was, and I was considering just throwing the whole thing away, but I didn’t want to miss my mango. I sliced into it, but the flesh felt wrong. It was too…wet, and the consistency just wasn’t right, but when I tasted it it tasted fine, so I patted it with a paper towel and packed it in my tupperware. I ate it on my lunch break, and almost managed to ignore the strange texture. But it didn’t matter. I wretched as soon as I opened the door to my apartment. The smell of the mango reached every corner. The walls were…dripping. Rotten mango juice slid down the walls and pooled on the floor. I almost started to cry, I probably would have if I wasn’t so surprised. The weirdest part was that the first thing I looked towards was my counter, to see if I could still save the other two mangoes. I couldn’t. They were lumps of grey and green and violent yellow spreading across the counter. For a second I could’ve sworn they were moving, but it was more just…spreading. Covering every surface and filling the air with that heavy, humid and deeply wrong smell. I felt mango juice begin to seep into my shoes, and I honestly think that’s the only thing that snapped me out of my mango-stare. I grabbed my computer and pulled the door shut behind me, sliding down to the floor in my building hallway. I searched the internet to see if there was any rational explanation for what was happening. A mango blight? Something wrong with the air in my apartment? I looked down, and saw the dark, slimy patches my shoes had left on the floor. I could smell the rotten mango rising from the crack under my door like steam. But the whole time I was searching, all I could think of were the mangoes on my counter. I couldn’t go a week without mangoes. There were two perfectly fine, salvageable mangoes sitting on my counter. I tried to tell myself that that was insane, they were a rotting mess, but somehow I couldn’t convince myself. So I got back up. I reopened the door to my apartment. I gagged, but I walked towards the counter and I picked up the mango.
I dropped it almost instantly, but not before I saw a drop of that rot colored liquid absorb into my hand.
I thought I had gotten it out after several minutes of frantic scrubbing, but then I saw the beads of dark, sickly sweet sweat dripping down my arm. I inhaled through my mouth, trying to avoid the smell, but then I felt the liquid rolling down the back of my throat. It drips out of my mouth when I open it, and covers my lips even when they’re closed. I can’t escape the smell, and I know you all smelled it too. I even got the liquid all over your pen, I can barely hold it from how slick it is.
I have to go grocery shopping tomorrow. And I know I’ll be buying a mango.
I am a professional, and so will refrain from making any judgements about the statements sent to us by Miskatonic College, aside from saying that I find this statement difficult to believe. It’s just-
A mango? Really? If I did not have this very heartfelt and borderline saccharine letter from the head of the Occult Research Center I would have believed these statements a joke. While I do understand that not all institutions are as well funded as the Magnus Institute, I just-
Ugh. Nevertheless, I had Sasha do some base research on this statement as a formality, and she found that there was indeed a recall on mangoes grown in Southern India during the reported time of these events. In addition, according to the Miskatonic Institute, there was a significant amount of mildew present in the building that Miss Balcom inhabited. This, combined with the underlying mental health issues indicated by the subject’s attachment to the fruit seems to explain this statement well enough for me. Or, you could go with Martin’s idea of mango induced psychosis. Either way, it is abundantly clear that there is nothing supernatural about this statement or any of the statements so kindly sent to us.
I can’t for the life of me figure out why Elias seems to think differently.
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