The Great Pumpkin Massacre

Submitted into Contest #117 in response to: Write about someone whose busiest night of the year is Halloween.... view prompt

9 comments

Horror Holiday

(Content Warning: Blood, Gore, Murder, Violence, Spooky terror.)

It’s Halloween once again, and soon the kids on Dead Wood Street will be out trick-or-treating. The night will be full of imagination and wonder as sweet treats are handed out. The old can be young again as they watch the little ones stagger around in costumes of fright and glorious splendor.

Indeed, All Hallows' Eve is a night of spooky pleasure and merrymaking. It is believed that ghouls, ghosts, goblins, and demons can walk among the living on this day. Others think it’s just a cacophony of lies that the department stores conjured up to sell candy. Don’t be fooled by this absurd notion, my friends, for I tell you, it is the truth.

While it is an evening where everyone can dress up and gather tasty treats, it is also a bustling night for the supernatural. In fact, for one lonely warlock named Alatar, this darkest of days is always his most immersive. His job was quite simple. Alatar was tasked by the dark elders to wisp away his magic here and there to allow an easy transition for the lost souls to walk freely.

Alatar never faltered and delivered his magic freely with every passing year, but he longed for fun and maybe a bit of mischief. This year, he had a plan to break away from the never-ending gears of time and do something that he wanted to do.

Dead Wood Street; can you think of a better place to break free from the chaos? Neither could Alatar. When he arrived at the small dead-end suburban community in Ruby City, his inner self was screaming at all the juicy possibilities. He was wearing a purple hooded robe with a cowl that bathed his face in darkness. The only noticeable feature was his glowing yellow eyes. He was tall and lanky but walked with a defiant grace that was arrogantly beautiful.

The street looked like any other in suburban America. Freshly mowed grass, neatly trimmed bushes, and Halloween decorations as far as the eye could see. Alatar laughed at the monotonous visage as he walked the perfectly swept sidewalks.

Alatar came to a steadfast stop when he saw a young girl wearing a pink ballerina costume crying on the ground. Looking down upon her with judgmental eyes were two rambunctious teenagers dressed as skeletons.

“Look at you!” yelled Sue, one of the tormentors.

“Yeah, don’t you know it’s Halloween? You’re supposed to dress up in something scary!” boasted Alice.

In between sobs, Mary uttered, “N-no you d-don’t. I’m a pretty ballerina….” 

“Ha, ha, ha!” laughed Sue. “Why don’t you put some blood on that outfit, and you could be a killer ballerina instead?”

“I-I’m pretty just the way I am,” cried Mary. 

Alice had heard enough. She reached down and grabbed Mary’s pumpkin bucket full of candy and dumped it all over the ground. “That’s all the candy you got so far? That’s really pathetic!” 

“Yeah,” Sue chimed in. “Just look at our bounty!”

Sue and Alice held up two black trash bags filled to the brim with tasty treats. Mary’s bottom lip quivered, and another tear rolled down her soft cheek.

“You don’t even have enough for us to steal!!” snapped Alice.

“Come on, let’s go!” Sue ordered. “I bet someone else has more candy we can steal.”

Before leaving, Alice kicked Mary in the stomach, causing her to gasp for air. Hand in hand, Sue, and Alice giggled and trudged forward without a care in the world. They walked a few feet down the sidewalk and bumped into Alatar, who was watching the scene.

“Hey, you big dumb jerk! Watch where you’re going!” Sue yelled.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with you anyw-” Alice trailed off as she looked up at Alatar.

Not believing her eyes, Alice nudged Sue with her elbow to look up. The only thing they could see was Alatar’s yellow eyes burning like a fire pit in Hell. They did not run away like cowards but found themselves frozen in place by fear. Using this distraction to his advantage, Alatar quickly waved his boney white fingers across the trash bags of candy to release a cloud of purple dust that sparkled in the moonlight.

Alatar waited for a moment to allow the dust to work itself into the black bags. Then he casually stepped aside to let the girls walk by freely.

“Thanks!” yelled Alice in a sarcastic tone. Sue just giggled and walked on.

Alatar walked over to Mary, who was still trying to catch her breath, and knelt down beside her. He waved his hands over her like a pianist playing a big concert, and soon her anguish disappeared. Mary could breathe once again and said, “Thank you,” to the strange man.

Before leaving, Alatar noticed Mary’s empty candy bucket and waved his hand once more. The bucket rumbled and overflowed with fresh candy, much to Mary’s delight. The surrounding kids couldn’t believe it either, and when they looked for him, Alatar was nowhere to be seen. Not one for fanfare, Alatar transported himself to a nearby roof, so he could watch the upcoming chaos.

Sue and Alice were off to the next house to collect more sweets, but the candy-filled garbage bags began to move before they could reach the door. Collectively the girls dropped the plastic sacks. Something was in there… 

As the bags rocked back and forth, the wide-eyed teenage girls took a few steps back. The plastic sacks erupted like a bursting volcano, and candy flowed everywhere. Sue and Alice didn’t know what to think. They were expecting a cat or maybe a Halloween toy to jump out, but there was nothing.

Aside from the exploding trash bags, all was well. The girls laughed despite themselves and knelt to pick up their sugary sweets. Suddenly, a chocolate bar wrapped in foil contorted itself until it formed arms and legs. Then, a peanut butter cup split itself in two and chomped its way out of the orange wrapper like a set of chattering teeth. That wasn’t all. The rest of the tasty treats followed suit as if under some magical spell. The candy was alive! 

Sue and Alice screamed and took off, running down the sidewalk. A green apple stood tall and extended razor blades that were placed deep within its core. A tiny roar could be heard as the apple tossed itself in the air. It flew straight and true until it hit Alice’s head. She didn’t know what hit her, and neither did Sue until she saw blood ooze from Alice’s eyes. The poor girl fell face forward and died instantly. Sue cried out for help, but no one paid attention. They were, after all, the neighborhood bullies.

Sue’s attention was now on the army of candy marching towards her. Her first instinct was to run away, and that’s precisely what she did. The deadly treats chased after her, and the other kids just laughed, thinking it was a practical joke.

All the while, Alatar sat with delicious wonder in his eyes. He was very proud of his handiwork. Not even the Grim Reaper himself could remove his triumphant smile. During this busy time of year, Alatar rejoiced in his newfound freedom.

A strange squishy sound interrupted Alatar’s moment of clarity, and he rose to investigate. A few houses down, a young man was smashing pumpkins in his back yard with reckless abandon making a mess of things. Alatar thought this was a strange thing to do, especially on Halloween night. He moved closer for a better look.

“Why can’t I carve the perfect pumpkin? UGH!!” the young man shouted.

The man’s clothes were covered in pumpkin seeds and pulp, and his face was filled with frustration. Alatar watched the man stab another pumpkin through the back window like he was trying to murder it. A few minutes later, the man stormed out from the house and smashed the pumpkin on the ground. Another sticky mess for the goo pile.

How barbaric, thought Alatar. Pumpkins are a sacred relic and should be cherished for what they stand for. I can not allow this massacre to continue.

Alatar waited until the man went back inside and made his way to the smashed pumpkin pile. That murderer is going to have a surprise now, ha, ha, ha! He waved his fingers once again releasing the purple dust, and smiled devilishly as the magic worked its way through the heap.

Making his way around the young man’s house, Alatar met Mary once more. She and everyone else were laughing hysterically at Sue as she ran from the angry mob of candy.  

“Oh… Hi Mister!” Mary said in between breaths. “I never got a chance to thank you.”

“That’s alright, my dear! Sometimes chance meetings can be a wondrous thing!” Taking a bow, Alatar continued, “Please, call me, Alatar.”

Mary pointed to the walking candy and asked, “Have you ever seen anything like that before, Alatar? It’s so funny!” 

“It is very amusing, but if you would like to see something even more hilarious,” Alatar smiled warmly and outreached his hand, “please come with me, my dear.”

Mary remembered what her parents said about strangers, but at her core, she felt conflicted. It’s not every day you meet someone who can magically make candy appear out of nowhere.

“Oh, don’t be afraid, my child,” Alatar said. “On this glorious night, I mean you no harm. My heart yearns for some company before the night is through. Laughing alone is sublime but laughing with someone else is divine!” 

Alatar reached beneath his purple robes and pulled out a pumpkin lollipop. “My favorite!!” Mary gushed.

She accepted the gift and grabbed Alatar’s pasty white hand. With a twirl of his wrist, a swirling purple smoke transported them to a nearby rooftop. “Wow, that’s amazing! How did you do that?” asked Mary.

“Magic, my dear! On this night of nights, my powers usually keep me busy, but I’ve always yearned for excitement and fun!”

“Why do you stay so busy?”

“It’s my job, you see, and sometimes you have to go against the curve.”

“What do you mean?” Mary asked, dumbfounded.

Alatar puckered his lips and whispered, “Shhhh. Look over there.” Pointing at the smashed pumpkin pile, he continued, “It’s about to begin.”

Mary’s eyes flashed with excitement. The pumpkin pile shook, shifted, and quivered until it grew to an enormous size. It developed a triangle nose, cat-like eyes, and a sharp jagged smile. The great pumpkin grew and grew until it was bigger than a house. It moaned as it breathed its first taste of fresh air.

The young pumpkin smasher ran outside to see what was happening and came face to face with the great pumpkin.

“What the Hell is going on here?!” he shouted. “I smashed you to bits!!” 

The pumpkin's response was swift. “Smash this!” Its voice was low and threatening.

The great pumpkin pounced in the air and smashed the man into a million tiny chunks. It rolled off the man in one fluid motion leaving a massive crater in the ground that was filled with blood. Mary flinched, not expecting the carnage or the bloody stain on the pumpkin’s skin. She turned to Alatar as the giant orange monster laughed heartily, making the ground vibrate.

“Oh no!” Mary cried. “That wasn’t fun to watch!”

“My dear child, how old are you?” questioned Alatar.

Mary scrunched her lips and proclaimed, “I’m eight and three-quarters!”

“Very good! Then you are old enough to understand that retribution comes at a high price. You see, that man murdered several pumpkins by smashing them to bits. Now…. He got what he deserved, ha, ha, ha!”

Mary did not cry, weep, or stutter. “So, that candy chasing Sue is real?”

“Indeed. A punishment long overdue, I think.” 

“All the kids like to pick on me,” sniffed Mary. “They’re all mean poopie-heads, and I hate them all!” 

Alatar directed Mary’s attention to the pumpkin lollipop he had given her earlier. “If you take one bite of this scrumptious treat, it will give you powers of your own. Then you can make them pay.” 

Mary lifted her eyebrows and peeled back the clear wrapper. Without thinking, she took not one bite but two. The lollipop was sweet and flowed down her throat with the greatest of ease. Her stomach tightened a few times and then gave way to a peaceful weightlessness. Mary held her hand up in the moonlight and twinkled her fingers. Light purple sparks flickered before her blue eyes.

“You see, my dear. Now you have the power, just like me. Oh, ha, ha, ho, ha!!” 

“What should I do with it?”

“Anything you want, my child.” 

She thought for a moment and sent a wispy strand of purple smoke out towards the people in the street. The purple smoke was like a serpent that coiled itself around each person one at a time. Everyone shook like an earthquake, and their faces itched like they were having an allergic reaction to something.

The itch was too much to handle. Everyone dug their fingernails into their flesh, scratching and clawing away the skin until nothing remained but pumpkin heads. Every face had a different design, and a faint light could be seen within.

Alatar’s face lit up like a firework; he was brimming with joy. “That’s very clever, my dear!” 

Mary smiled ear to ear and replied, “What would you do to them?”

“Oh, my child. Shall I show you?” 

“Please, oh, please, will you?!” begged Mary. 

“Very well, I hate when people beg!”

Motioning towards the great pumpkin, Alatar waved his hands like he was conducting an orchestra, and the monstrosity obeyed his commands. The great pumpkin growled ferociously as it rolled through the back of the house, smashing it to pieces. When it emerged in the front lawn, all the pumpkin heads turned to face their king. They did not know that a massacre was about to begin.

The great pumpkin rolled and twisted itself through Dead Wood Street, chasing down Mary’s tormentors. The orange monster squished every person one by one leaving nothing behind but bloody puddles. In fact, the great pumpkin grew bigger with every fresh kill, absorbing their energy.

Some people ran into their homes, but that was a cowardly mistake. The great pumpkin crushed every house until it heard the squishy squashy sounds of a meat bag exploding beneath its massive weight. Mary and Alatar’s laughter could be heard throughout the entire street as the chaos ensued. It was a glorious night and one that would never be forgotten.  

A sudden scream broke through the elation and pierced Mary’s ears. It was Sue, and she was still running away from the candy monsters. Sue’s legs were heavy and numb and as they betrayed her body. She fell to the pavement with a deafening thud, and soon the candy was upon her.

Sue begged for her life, but it was no use. The candy was hungry and attacked her like a pack of hungry rats. The sweet treats ate away her flesh, leaving nothing but a pile of bones and a sticky red puddle. 

“Well, now. I thought that was rather entertaining!” said Alatar.

Mary looked at him and held her finger to her lips. “Shhh, I’m not finished with her yet!” 

“Oh,” uttered Alatar.

He watched Mary summon the great pumpkin, and it obeyed like a loyal lap dog. The sheer size of the monster was devastatingly enormous. The ground rumbled as it rolled down the street. The only thing in its path was Sue’s gnawed bones, and it ran over her like the wrath of Satan himself. Her bones crunched and cracked, leaving nothing but dust blowing away in the midnight air.

Mary smiled at Alatar and said, “Now, I’m finished!”

Alatar took one last look at the destruction and said, “Finished? Oh, my dear sweet child… The night is still young! Our work is just beginning….”

“Ha, ha, ho, ha, ho, ha!!”

The End

Daniel R. Hayes  

October 28, 2021 18:53

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9 comments

Keya Jadav
20:30 Oct 30, 2021

Damn, now you could call this a true Halloween. Very creative descriptions garnished with deep phrases. My fav: Laughing alone is sublime but laughing with someone else is divine! This is a very great piece of work Daniel, a brilliant curve to the prompt. Love it as always! (And...Happy Halloween!!!)

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Daniel R. Hayes
20:50 Oct 30, 2021

Thank you so much Keya :) I'm so glad you liked this one. I wanted to write a good Halloween story. I got the idea from thinking about all those pumpkins that get carved up and tossed out. What if those pumpkins got revenge? Hahahaha! Thanks again and Happy Halloween to you!🎃🎃 👻👻

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Angel {Readsy}
09:12 Oct 29, 2021

I am astonished, how much creative the story is 5 stars to it

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Daniel R. Hayes
15:45 Oct 29, 2021

Thank you so much for reading my story and the wonderful comments! I'm so glad you liked it :)

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22:59 Oct 28, 2021

Perfect tale for season! I'm sure Charlie Brown and Lucy were devoured as well (I hope.) I'm thinking that Alatar needs a nice witch and settle down, have a few monsters together. Great plot twist when the candy eats poor Sue. I'm sure Candy Corn led the pack, followed by orange slices, Necco wafers, disgusting Laffy Taffy, and all the other candy that should be thrown out immediately (I'm looking at you, Smarties....) Best to you and your family during this perfect time of year for your magnificent writing!

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Daniel R. Hayes
00:21 Oct 29, 2021

Thank you so much Deidra! I think you just gave me an idea for the sequel, where I can kill off Charlie Brown and Lucy... hahahaha.... (cue the evil music!) 🤣 I did have more candy monsters, but sadly, I had to cut them out due to the word limit. I'm happy with the way it turned out though. A spooky fun tale for Halloween 😃 I hope you and your family (and let's not forget Russell Norman and his family) have a wonderful Halloween weekend!! 🎃 👻

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Angel {Readsy}
09:11 Oct 29, 2021

Magnificent , glorious imagery ,The old can be young again as they watch the little ones stagger around in costumes of fright and glorious splendor.

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Angel {Readsy}
09:10 Oct 29, 2021

End of the story is impressive, my favourite sentence is , Oh, my dear sweet child… The night is still young! Our work is just beginning….” “Ha, ha, ho, ha, ho, ha

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Angel {Readsy}
09:09 Oct 29, 2021

Your kind suggestions are required for my new story please.

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