Author Topic: Pumpkin Story  (Read 964 times)

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on: 10:55 PM, 10/22/17
Halloween was taken seriously on the street I grew up. Every late August decorations began. Plastic skeletons were hung from trees, creepy scarecrows decorated the otherwise pristine suburban lawns, giant fake spiders hung from giant fake webs and both reapers and clowns peaked out from every shadow.
Costumes were planned for all year. The more elaborate the better. I remember dressing up like a walking spider web and a bipedal crocodile complete with moving fangs. Even then I was never as extreme as the ones who made two costumes: one that was relatively simple for early autumn and then wore something truly extraordinary for Halloween.
Pumpkins were of course mandatory, but not until the first of October. They were all bought from the same farm about an hour away owned by a crusty old man and his family. He sometimes walked up to someone with a specific pumpkin, telling them that this was the perfect one to them. I never got it, they were all pumpkins, right?
The rest of the day was then spent with family and friends carving the perfect face into the pumpkin. There would be music, dance, games and snacks, but the focus was always on carving the face. It always struck me as odd that we spent so much time it as the faces always ended up changing as the month went on. They slowly twisted into almost cartoonish expressions of suffering.
It never really bothered me as a kid, it was just a thing pumpkins did, though it sure didn't make me eat my vegetables when I knew they felt pain.
It was only after I moved for collage that I realized that pumpkins don't actually do that. It was an awkward moment when my newfound friends explained to me that pumpkins don't move and the adults must have been pranking us.
I had this friend -Tom- who was convinced something weird was going on with the pumpkins. When we were around 12 or so he would take any chance he could to go on about his conspiracy theories for hours until someone told him to shut up about it.
One Halloween -I think we were 14- he awoke me in the middle of the night by throwing pebbles at my bedroom window. He told me he would go investigate and that I should come with him. I declined, I had spent all day sewing and I still wasn't done. I really needed to sleep and I wasn't going to go along with his silly games.
I can't remember seeing him again after that. I think his family moved away or something. I sometimes wonder what happened to him.
The year after the farmer went up to me with a specific pumpkin, told me he had grown it just for me. My parents smiled and bought the pumpkin. I spent the rest of the day not talking to anyone, not playing the pumpkin carvingday games, I just obsessively tried to carve the perfect evil grin into the pumpkin even if I knew it would warp into suffering.
It didn't.
By the end of the month the pumpkin had an expression of seething rage.


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on: 09:03 AM, 10/31/17

Pumpkins do start looking sad when they start to rot.