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Horror Fiction Holiday

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

I twirled the knife in my hand, the sharp blade reflecting the dancing flames of the candlelight. Then, with a devilish grin, I stabbed. The blade pierced the hard exterior of the pumpkin and easily slid through the soft flesh. A euphoric feeling crawled up my arm, washing over me - making my smile widen. Keeping a tight grip, I moved the blade in and out, cutting a perfect circle around the stem; each movement purposeful and precise. Soon, I was able to remove the top, exposing the inner guts.

"Look, babe," I said, lifting the pumpkin for her to see, "This one's gonna be messy."

My wife sat at the other end of the table, our line of sight slightly obscured by a series of lit candles and Halloween decorations. When I heard no response, I lifted the pumpkin higher.

"Lucy, look."

Still no answer. She stared down at the pumpkin in front of her, her matted hair half-covering her pale face. She still wore the black and orange Halloween sweatshirt from the day before. I lowered the pumpkin and frowned.

"Still mad at me, huh?"

This time last year, was such a happy memory, filled with festive songs, sugary treats, and quirky traditions. Lucy and I enjoyed every moment of it, smiling and laughing as we carved our pumpkins and adorned the front porch with our creations.

My grip on the knife tightened as the silence lingered. Eventually, I shoved it back into the pumpkin and continued carving with short, choppy strokes. I cut three triangles: two to serve as the eyes and one as the nose. I popped those pieces out and placed them into a large bowl.

"Look, I'm sorry, alright," I said.

Lucy kept staring down at the pumpkin, eyes filled with sorrow.

"Please look at me," I said, "Tell me what's on your mind. I don't understand why you are being like this."

A couple of flies landed on the pieces of pumpkin I had just removed. I swatted at them with the knife but they evaded the attack and flew off to another part of the kitchen to await their next opportunity. I shoved the blade back into the pumpkin, the euphoric feeling returning as it slid through the flesh. I carved the mouth as a simple smile with a single, goofy tooth protruding from the upper lip. Once complete, I stuck my hand inside the pumpkin, popped the piece out, and set it in the bowl. The flies returned. I swatted them away. Lucy didn't move. I slammed the knife down on the table.

"Talk to me, dammit!" I screamed.

After a second of no response, I shot up from my chair and glared at her.

"It was your fault for what happened to you, not mine! I had to do it! I had to! I told you not to come in. You knew the risks of snooping!"

She didn’t respond. A fit of anger grew hot within me. Without thinking, I picked up my pumpkin and hurled it at her as hard as I could, expecting her to defend against it. A look of horror came over me when she didn't. It cracked against her chest and she fell out of the chair. The pumpkin fell with her, splitting in two as it hit the tiled floor.

"Now look what you made me do," I shouted, but as soon as the words left my lips, I was overcome with regret.

"Lucy?"

I stepped around the table and looked down at her unmoving body. Her neck had split open yet was still connected by the few stitches that managed to survive the fall. Blood oozed from the open wound. Maggots writhed within.

I dropped down to her side, frantically trying to put her head back in place.

"I'm so sorry! Forgive me! Forgive me," I said. "I wasn't thinking again. I wasn't myself."

I ran across the kitchen, threw open the junk drawer, and pulled out the sewing kit.

"Look! Look! I'll make you whole again! I promise."

I held the kit up for Lucy to see. Her beautiful blue eyes had lost their color days ago, fading to a dull blueish-gray. They stared in my direction. 

"I will make you whole again. I did it once before, remember? I can do it again," I said, lip quivering, "Please believe me."

Just then, there was a knock at the front door. I froze, staring at my wife's ghostly eyes. Slowly, I placed the sewing kit down on the counter and looked at the digital clock above the stove. It was too early for trick-or-treaters.

The knock came again, louder this time; the hollow sound reverberated within the house.

"Just a minute," I shouted.

I stared down at my wife’s nearly-severed head. 

"Not a word from you," I whispered, "Or else I won't stitch you back together."

I walked over to my side of the table, picked up the knife, and placed it in my back pocket. After covering it with the back end of my Horror-Fest T-shirt, I left the kitchen for the entry hall. The visitor banged on the door once more. A nervous itch crawled down the back of my neck.

"I'm coming," I said aloud.

I put on a smile, grabbed the doorknob, twisted it, and pulled. My guts knotted when I saw a police officer standing just beyond the threshold. She was alone, her uniform matching the dull colors of dusk setting upon the neighborhood. The lights of her patrol car parked in my driveway weren't flashing. I relaxed a little.

"Good evening, sir," The police officer said, "We received a call from a concerned friend that hasn't heard from Lucy in a while. I'm just checking to see if she is okay."

I nodded as convincingly as I could.

"Yes, she's fine, just busy setting up the house for the holidays. We’re actually carving pumpkins right now."

"Cutting it close, don't you think? I already saw some kids walking around the neighborhood."

"Been a busy year," I said with a shrug.

"Lucy is okay though?"

"Yeah, perfect."

"Could I see her? Just to make sure."

My heart skipped a beat but I kept it cool.

"She's kind of busy right now. She gets really focused when it comes to carving pumpkins."

"I won't be a bother," the officer said with a smile. "Just need to make sure she’s okay. Her friend sounded pretty concerned on the phone."

My pulse quickened, making my palms sweat. The hot anger returned, simmering in my stomach with an uncomfortable pressure.

Why wouldn't she believe me!? Why can't anyone just believe me when I tell them something?

"Umm . . . Sure," I said, motioning for her to enter the house. "Come on in."

"Thank you."

She stepped inside and I closed the door behind her, locking it ever so quietly so as not to catch her attention. Halfway down the hall, her nose curled in disgust.

"Is your sewer line backed up or something?" she said, "You might -"

She rounded the corner and saw Lucy's body laying in a rotting heap on the kitchen floor. The officer’s hand shot to her hip to draw her gun. Without thinking, I leaped forward and grabbed a fistful of her hair. She screamed as I yanked her off her feet and, with my free hand, took the knife from my back pocket, and raised it high. The officer managed to catch a glimpse of it as she struggled within my grasp. Her already terrified eyes grew wide.

"No! Please! Don't-"

I slammed the knife down into her throat, the rest of what she was going to say lost in a fit of bloody gurgles. The euphoria returned as the blade slid into her soft flesh. My hand moved on its own, drawing a cut across the throat. The moment I sliced the jugular, her body went limp as blood exploded across the floor. I watched it flow, a devilish grin stretching across my face as I continued to cut. Then, with a violent twist and a loud snap, I removed the head from the body. I held it before me, marveling at my work, but soon my excitement dissipated and the euphoria was replaced with horror.

"Look what you made me do," I shouted. "Why didn't you just believe me?"

I stormed over to the kitchen table, stepping over my wife's body and avoiding the splattered remains of my Jack-o-Lantern.

"Why won't anyone believe me!?"

I slammed the head down on the table causing blood to spew from the open wound. I stared at it for a moment and then the devilish grin returned as I spawned an awful idea. I walked over to the stove and pulled a meat cleaver from the knife block. Holding the heavy blade steady in my hand, I eyed my wife's pale stare and frowned.

"This is your fault too," I growled.

I walked back over to the table, lay the head sideways, and slammed the cleaver upon it a few times until I was able to wedge it in and pop the top of the skull off with a sickening crack. After scooping out the brain, I took the knife to her face, slicing it like a Jack-o-Lantern. As soon as I was finished, I carved a message into her forehead, took a burning candle from the table, and placed it inside the empty skull.

The light illuminated the empty sockets with a crimson glow. I smiled, picked it up, and set it outside beside the door. It was nighttime now so I turned on the lights. The entire porch came to life with a purple and orange glow. Down the street, I heard the children laughing as they set out in search of candy. A group of them approached my neighbor's house dressed in spooky costumes. Clothes still soaked with blood, I looked down at the severed head, reading the message I had carved aloud.

"Happy Halloween," I said with a smile.

Now that's something people will believe.

October 27, 2022 14:13

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7 comments

Delbert Griffith
12:12 Nov 03, 2022

This is a disgusting story - I loved it. Well done! A good author makes the reader feel something, and you did. Nicely worded.

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Kevin Alphatooni
16:48 Nov 03, 2022

Thanks! This is definitely a darker story than I usually write.

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Mavis Webster
01:18 Nov 01, 2022

Wow, that was pretty gory; I enjoyed it, nonetheless! I always do love an unreliable narrator. I just have to wonder what made him kill his wife? Great job! :)

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Kevin Alphatooni
15:43 Nov 01, 2022

Thanks. I was thinking of adding a passage about why he killed his wife but thought it would take away from his current predicament. Do you think it would have been better to add it in?

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Mavis Webster
00:37 Nov 08, 2022

I think the mystery surrounding it makes it more compelling, similar to the lack of murder on-stage with regards to Shakespeare's "Macbeth"

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Jett Caskey
18:17 Oct 27, 2022

this is a awesome story have a good day

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Kevin Alphatooni
18:43 Oct 27, 2022

Thanks

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