The Pumpkin Story – C. Williams

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On the radio, Bill’s Pumpkin Bonanza was running their 5th ad of the day. It was streaming in from the window sill in the kitchen. I ironically performed an autopsy/taxidermy on one very large, orange pumpkin. I say ironically because they were advertising how easy their pumpkins are to carve, and this one was fighting me like it was alive. Is that irony? I’m not sure. I stabbed the steak knife into approximately where its eye-hole would be and left for the garage.

It was hard to breathe in the garage. Dust and dampness. I could hear kids screaming in the streets as they played some game. After moving a few boxes around, success! The power drill was lying ready on a shelf. Also, a hammer. This pumpkin carving stuff is exasperating. My girlfriend left me a sweet, lovely note about how much spookier our front yard would be with a pumpkin on the porch. “There were already cobwebs,” which was a jab because there were cobwebs. Just not ones you’d find in a Halloween decoration shop…unless it was February…the point is there were real cobwebs on my porch and I’m supposed to sweep them.

I located the drill, bits, and even some candles, and made my way back to the living room. The snarling, half formed mouth of the soon to be jack-o-lantern laughed even with the steak knife protruding from its face. I gave the drill a few test pulls of the trigger. It whirled to life. I was tempted to laugh manically, but my inhibitions reduced it to me chuckling at myself for the notion. No matter, this grinning pumpkin’s ass was mine. I dove straight away at it yanking the steak knife and starting in with the drill.

After a few minutes I sat back, a mess of guts and gore covering my hands, my face, and the floor around me, and examined my work. It was beautiful and gruesome. The contours around the jaw ripped and stretched at exaggerated angles. The eyes were hacked-into voids. There was some careless scarring from getting a little too forceful with the drill and slipping off onto the face of it. Overall, I was pretty happy though. I reveled in it’s grotesqueness.

Towards dusk I thought the yard would look good with some spooky body parts strewn around it. I even dug holes to make it look like hands were trying to claw out of the dirt. I had just put the jack-o-lantern out and lit a candle in the mouth when a few patrolman pulled up. I was sure they were going to ask me about a prank or something kids in the neighborhood might have done. But they didn’t. It didn’t make much sense to me as we drove away, and then I, perplexed, looked at the pretty, blond hair of the jack-o-lantern. I hadn’t remembered doing that.

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