Tales from the Pumpkin Patch…
by Marilyn Flower
It was Halloween night–almost. I know, I know, that’s a little late to start carving, but then again we weren’t sure the powers that be were even going to allow trick-or-treating in our zone, what with the pandemic and all.
We live in Zone 6, which allows 6 peeps at a time, all masked and 6-feeted apart, but within that restriction. They finally announced an hour ago on PBS, that we could have a modified TOT–trick-or-treat for kids 6 and under, accompanied by parents, of course.
And the treats had to be double-bagged so as to be easy to disinfect before opening–or they could wait four days. Knowing kids, they ain’t gonna wait no four days. But, it could slow down the rush and moderate some of those unmitigated sugar highs.
All that to say, I was late getting the pumpkins carved. But carve them I did. Two fat ones, one with a scary, saw-edged pointy-toothed mouth, and narrow mean eyes. The other, your typical one tooth jack-o-lantern grin smiley face, bug-eyed wonder.
I wiped out as much of the seedy goop as I could, got votives to light them up, and set them on the porch. With the front lights off, they gave off just enough light to see where the candy bowl was, but not too much to dilute the spook.
I went inside to get my pointy witches hat and put on some green face paint when I heard the first batch of kids approach, parents in tow. As the clamored onto our porch I heard strange voices shriek at them.
“Don’t touch that bowl or you die!”
And another, higher-pitched parakeet-ish squawk. “The candy’s poisoned, the candy’s poisoned, the candy’s poisoned, the candy–
Kids screamed and ran.
When I got out there all was quiet. No one on site. What the–?
I sat on the stoop and waited.
After a bit, the next batch came up. Two Disney princesses and a Ninja Turtle toddler. Cute! As the clamored up onto the porch those voiced started again.
Before I could find the source, the kids began to wail.
I turned around slowly.
There, on either side of the candy bowl–my two pumpkins.
Guarding the candy, huh, guys?
I reached over to grab a Mars Bar.
“Don’t touch that bowl or you die!”
“The candy’s poisoned, the candy’s poisoned, the candy’s poisoned, the candy–
SHUT UP! I yelled at the top of my lungs. It only edged them on. They did not shut up.
Nothing I tried worked. Removing the candy dish did not. Taking them inside did not. They just got louder.
I hated to do it but I put them in the dumpster. Carefully. It was my artwork after all. No effect. They just got louder. The farther I took them, the louder they got.
If I had a shotgun they would have been target practice, but we don’t shoot firearms in Zone 6. Not allowed. I so wanted to call the police but I figured they were busy with real crimes.
I wiped the garbage goo off of them, and in my irritation, shoved them into each other and put them in the fridge, hoping the heavy door might muffle them enough to get some decent shut-eye.
Wearing earplugs and my white noise headphones, I finally dozed off.
Till somewhere in the distance, a baby wailed. And another. And another. Holy sh*t…
In a groggy fog, I made my way downstairs. It was coming from the fridge. I was afraid to open it. But I would need cream for the coffee I’d be drinking to wake up and keep going. It was a writing day after all.
I gingerly opened the door. The wailing went full boar. A whole friggin’ nursery full of baby pumpkins, with little round o’s for mouths, wailing at the top of their–wait, they don’t have lungs…and I don’t have ears, right?
I grabbed the cream, now curdled, slammed the refrigerator door, and sat down on the kitchen floor, crying my eyes out…yes, I still had eyes…
But for how much longer?
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Tales From the Pumpkin Patch by Marilyn Flower <<—YOU ARE HERE