The most recent version:
JACK AVENS is sixty-five and bored with life. Despite the fact he has a flourishing vegetable farm and a loving wife, FERN, he can’t shake the feeling of dissatisfaction deep in his bones. Living next door to Jack is his farming rival and reformed alcoholic, HAL STORMTHORD. Jack and Hal have never seen eye-to-eye, due to the fact Jack suspects Hal has secretly been in love with Fern for the last three decades.
After a wretched day in the fields, culminating in the disappearance of Jack’s beloved dog, CHANG, he discovers a carrot. He picks it up, ready to throw it into the compost pile, but is transported to another realm instead.
He learns Hal is responsible for pulling himself and Chang into this dimension inside of the carrot, which is a distorted version of Jack’s farm. Hal is waiting for Jack in the thyme patch, explaining he has constructed his diabolical scheme with the hope that their loss will drive Fern into his arms. Meanwhile, Fern has discovered the carrot in the real world and plans on eating it for dinner. If she consumes it, Jack and Chang will be trapped in the carrot-world forever.
Hal set up his carrot-world so only those who consumed garlic twenty-four hours prior can enter. He then snuck garlic into Jack and Chang’s food so they would get sucked into the carrot. Garlic is a food Fern despises, so she will remain unaffected as she cooks the carrot into dinner.
Jack sets out, hoping he can find Chang and escape the carrot with her. He reflects on the terrible things he did to Hal years ago, when they opened their farms. Spiteful over Hal’s feelings for Fern, Jack sabotaged Hal’s farm. At the final Farmer’s Market of the year, he tied Hal up and forced him into a game of “Tomato Toss”, where people threw tomatoes at Hal to win a prize. Demoralized, Hal sank into alcoholism.
Jack enters a decimated city. As he navigates through the treacherous downtown, he is abducted and his mind gets trapped between two false realities, one where he believes he is an Italian Mobster, and the other where Fern has left him for Hal. He breaks free of the dual-realities, waking up in a basement laboratory with the city collapsing around him. He has no answers as to who captured him or why, barely escaping the city before it is reduced to rubble.
Chang awakens in a village far from Jack, with no memory of who she is or how she got there. The village is populated with animal-human hybrids who sense nothing is amiss; to them, Chang has always been there. With her mindset now more human than dog, Chang continues on with a life she has no recollection of, growing discontent. Hal takes advantage of her in her confused state, coming to her as a dragon in her dreams, manipulating her into thinking Jack is evil and must be destroyed. At first, she does not want to believe him, but as time passes, her lingering memories of Jack fade entirely, and the only thing she has left are Hal’s lies. She joins Hal in a castle in the mountains above the village, where they wait for Jack to arrive.
Jack comes to a sea, believing Chang is at other end of it. He boards a ship, which resembles a giant kohlrabi plant, to gain passage across the water. On the ship, he discovers a secret deck, which houses a laboratory similar to the one in the city. He finds a file folder containing information on a deadly retrovirus. The ship’s captain is responsible for creating the retrovirus, infecting members of the crew with it for experimental purposes.
Jack confronts the captain, who confesses he is part of an organization called the Daedalus Corporation, the same organization responsible for capturing Jack in the city. The captain states the Daedalus Corporation’s sole purpose is to destroy the world, before unleashing the newest strain of the virus through the ventilation system. Chaos ensues on the ship when the virus is released. Jack barely escapes, getting knocked unconscious in the process and washing ashore close to the village where Chang awoke in.
Hal can create the carrot-world because he is a higher-dimensional being able to manipulate time and reality. An unfortunate incident left him stranded on Earth, with no memory of his previous existence, leading him to believe he was human. As the years passed, he began to build worlds — something he thought was all in his mind — as a means to cope with his feelings for Fern. Bitter in his old age, he decided to exact revenge on Jack by creating the carrot-world and trapping him in it.
Jack learns the Daedalus Corporation is actually Hal’s own kind, THE ASCENDANTS, who have been trying to put a stop to the carrot-world. Unknown to Hal, his world has become unstable. If it collapses while Jack and Chang are in it, they will be erased from the timeline, creating an alternate one where Fern and Hal end up together but entirely miserable.
Because the carrot-world is based off Hal’s mind, it perceives the Ascendants as a threat. Everything Jack sensed as dangerous was, in reality, Hal’s people trying to help him escape and put an end to the carrot-world. The deadly virus was their last-ditch effort to stop Hal, but it failed. Hal has become too powerful for them, leaving Jack the only one who can defeat Hal.
Jack locates Chang and Hal in the castle. Hal ties him to a pole, announcing he has set up his own game of “Tomato Toss” as Jack did to him years prior. His game has one special rule: for every tomato that hits Jack, a part of his life force is drained from him. This will leave Jack nothing but a hollow shell of his former self as he rots for eternity in the carrot. Hal then instructs Chang to throw the tomatoes and destroy Jack.
Chang’s suppressed memories of Jack surface and she comes to her senses, recognizing Jack as her true master and Hal as the villain. She attacks Hal with the tomatoes, distracting him so Jack can find an escape. Jack finds a bulb of golden garlic in the castle. He thinks garlic was what trapped him and Chang in the carrot, so perhaps garlic will offer them a way out as well. He throws the garlic to Chang, who then launches it at Hal, rendering him inert. With Hal defeated, the Ascendants are able to infiltrate the carrot-world, taking Hal back to their own realm before he can do anymore harm.
As the carrot-world crumbles away, Jack and Chang return to his farm, where Hal has been written out of the timeline. Jack reflects on his time trapped in the carrot, realizing he and Hal were similar in a lot of aspects, but what set them apart was Hal’s inability to let go and move on. He hopes Hal will find a peace he never found on Earth now he is back where he belongs. Jack decides to retire and go on a road trip with Chang and Fern, ready to live the rest of his time in contentment.