5 comments

American Horror Holiday

He was free! This was the one time a year when they get cut from the vines. He rolled down the hill. He felt the freedom, he revelled in it! He could finally join others in this night. All Hallows Eve. He felt a tingle. The time was drawing near. He'd better get started.

He couldn't see where he was. He rolled around a bit until he found the right place.. So, he began to work so he got started: . there, that was better. He could see out of the left eye. He looked around until he found the next place...he could now see out of his right eye. He saw the full moon for the first time! This is what the stories were about, the stories that were passed around in the vineyards. The light of the full moon, the air was so fresh and crisp he could almost smell it. Enough daydreaming. He had very little time to finish.

He decided he wanted to smell everything, not just the fresh air so he needed a big nose, a grand proud nose that everyone would notice. He looked around. Ahh, he found it! Perfect! The nose fit him perfectly. Now, he needed a mouth. Did he want a smile? a lot of teeth? He looked around some more. There. Perfect. All the teeth fit. He smiled. He looked towards the open gate. He saw small pumpkins and witches walking around collecting candy from the houses. He'd read about that. He was getting excited to join them. There was only one thing missing. He searched for a long time before he found the perfect one! It was a bit small for his head, but he'd manage. He stood up gingerly, he wasn't used to the balance. He held on to the stone for a moment until he felt more steady. He took a step, then another. He slowly raised each arm. They were a bit stiff, but he could work with it. Now, he needed a bag or something to collect all the candy. He found an old paper bag in the garbage. It smelled a little, but he could always say it was part of his costume. He rambled slowly out of the gate and joined the crowd, little ghosts, witches and other pumpkins. That made him angry, he thought he would be the only one. He went over to the little pumpkin and said, "What are you supposed to be?"

"I'm a Jacko lantern, silly! " The little voice laughed and ran off to join its friends.

He was determined to be the only one since he had one night in the year to be free. He raised the carving knife and started to chase after the crowd. They took one look at him and ran.

He smiled, "That was easy."

He walked up to the first house and ang the bell, like he'd seen others do. The door opened and he said, "Trick or treat!" The woman's face changed. She let out a scream and slammed the door. He thought it must have been the carving knife he wielded "Okay, maybe that was a bit much. " He placed the knife in the paper bag and went to the next house. "Trick or treat!" He smiled, showing all the teeth. The man opened the door and screamed, shutting the door in his face.

By now, he couldn't figure out why everyone was being so rude and not giving him candy. He thought for a moment and remembered something he'd heard through the vine: When people want to introduce themselves, they smile, shake the other person's hand and tell them their name. He could do that. What did he want his name to be? He remembered what the tiny pumpkin said about being a jack o lantern so he would introduce himself as Jack.

He stood up, put in his left eye again as it was beginning to fall out and went to the next house. He rang the bell, stood up as straight as he could, smiled with all his teeth and held out the left hand. When the door opened, he said "Hi, my name is Jack. Nice to meet you. I'm here for trick or treat." The woman looked at him in horror, screamed and then fainted. Jack stood there for a while waiting for the candy. He started to tingle. No! He needed more time! He didn't want to stop yet! He began to feel a pounding pain. He grudgingly made his way back to where he had started. The clock was ticking in the yard. The bell started to ring. He had to make it back before the bell tolled 12 times. Midnight was his end. If he didn't make it back, he would burst into flames and all his work would be ashes.

The next morning, the headlines made all the morning papers, and it was the lead story in the news. GRAVE ROBBERS HIT FAIRVIEW CEMETARY. The police reported that 5 graves were desecrated last night. The graves were not actually robbed but the bodies were maimed. The first grave was of a Mrs. Mary Nelson who died in 1850. Her body had been placed by her gravestone. Her left eye had been removed. Police found other grave sites that had been desecrated. Mr. James Robeson, died in 1914 of consumption. Hs body was found a short distance from his stone, his right eye was gone. 2 other corpses were found next to their graves. A Mr. Nelson whose nose had been cut away and a Ms. Hannaford whose mouth and teeth were gone. The last and most heinous was the corpse of Jack Smith. His head remained in his grave, but his body had been taken.

Years later, the police had still been unable to solve the crime. They closed the case as all they ever found was a Jack-o- lantern that was propped up against the graves with the eyes, nose mouth and body of the victims, a carving knife lay beside it. Jack was smiling.

October 23, 2022 18:53

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5 comments

Eileen Turner
20:42 Nov 04, 2022

EOOO, as the kids used to say. Nice and creepy which was the point of the prompt. It, although not violent and nasty, put me in mind of the movie 'Pumpkin Head'. I can't say I really like that movie - your story is much nicer, but Lance Henriksen is a favored actor.

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L J
22:44 Nov 04, 2022

Thanks Glad you liked it! And BTW, I love that movie and lance hendrikson---

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Eileen Turner
22:19 Nov 06, 2022

OK, I'm an older lady, but Mitchum and Hendriksen both = total package - voice and handsome. Voice very important.

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Michał Przywara
21:19 Nov 02, 2022

A spooky Hallowe'en tale :) I think the most unsettling part of this is, Jack keeps mentioning hearing things over the vine, and he knows he only has the one day - this implies that other pumpkins are up to the same kind of shenanigans each year. Critique-wise, there's a bit of a shift of POV from Jack near the end, when we learn about the papers and police investigation. I see why this was done - to keep the nature of Jack's body a surprise - but it's a little removed from the action and so lessens the emotional impact a bit. Perhaps if t...

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L J
22:29 Nov 02, 2022

Thanks for reading it! You are right! That is an excellent point. I love your ending! Thank you for taking time. I always learn a lot from the suggestions!

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