A Taste for Pumpkin Spice and Murder

Written in response to: Write a murder story where the murder weapon is the knife used to carve a pumpkin.... view prompt


Crime Thriller Suspense

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

You Are Invited To

A Taste for Pumpkin Spice and Murder

(Most Happening Halloween Party in Tarrytown)

8:00 P.M, Cornelia Mansion

I read the brochure once again, “It says ‘most happening’ but I don’t see anybody around.” I purse my lips. “There’s nobody here except for us.” Layla already looks bored. 

“We won’t find that out unless we go inside.” Nico gives my phone to the man standing in a jumpsuit that is similar to the one in the Squid game, however; his is all black. “We will return your phones at the exit.” The man informs everyone. 

“Is it mandatory to leave our phones here?” Cheyenne eyes the tray where the guy has kept all our electronics. “Yes, if you want to enter the party.” She pouts at his proclamation. “Don’t worry, he let us keep one camera. Now, let’s go, people.” Joe ushers everyone inside the doors.

“It’s pitch black here, plus they took away our cells. How are we supposed to see?” I hear Cheyenne’s voice. “Hello?” Joe calls out in the dark. 

Instantly, the candles inside a few hanging lanterns light up. “Is this a horror house?” I ask. The mansion is turned into a maze and is decorated with carved pumpkins, skulls, spider webs and blood. Lots and lots of fake blood is spilled on everything.

“It seems so.” 

“We came here for a horror house?” 

“Where’s murder? There’s just blood.” Jeremy swipes his finger across the splash of blood on a pumpkin. 

“Let’s check it out.” I walk ahead, excited for jump scares. “Piper, wait for us.” Nico follows me. “There is really no one in here.” I hear Layla from behind. “We’ll be out of here in 20.” I smile at her. “Don’t get too immersed, it’s just a horror house.” She warns me. “I won’t.” “We’ll go to britt’s party after this.” She announces. “Sure. Let’s just check this out first.” 

We find the exit in twenty minutes. “What is this place?” I frown at the exit, “There wasn’t one jump scare or literally anything scary in there. Just pumpkin and blood!” I push the exit door angrily, not expecting a corpse to be hanging down with blood oozing from his heart. 

My heart picks up after seeing Jeremy’s face, “Ohmygod! Jeremy, you scared the shit out of me.” Following my words, there’s a scream from behind. Must be Cheyenne’s.  “Bro, that was a good one.” Joe hollers. “I agree.” Nico chuckles. Jeremy’s hands are tied at his wrists to support his dramatic hanging, there’s a pumpkin carving knife in his chest with a lot of fake blood dripping out of the wound. 

“You know, this is enough unless you want blue wrists tomorrow.” I tell him and pull the carving knife out, hoping to find a fake blood pouch instead a wet squelching sound fills my ears. In the brief moment I see the layers of his insides. 

“Ohmygod, Jeremy!” My heart begins beating frivolously. Screams start filling the room as I’m pushed aside. For a long minute I’m taken back to that night, the same darkness, the same squelching sound. Only a different person this time. 

I shake out of it and focus on the present. “Is he dead?” Layla looks a little pale. Joe presses a thumb on Jeremy’s wrist and holds it for a few seconds before he nods his head. “How? He was with us! When did he even…?” Cheyenne sobs. 

“Call someone.” I tell Joe. “Where are those guys we met at the entrance? How did… Ohmygod!” Cheyenne is barely breathing. “Cheyenne, go with Joe.” Layla orders.

“Are you sure he’s dead?” She asks Nico, stepping close to the body. He simply nods his head. “Let’s take his body down.” She glances at me with a knowing expression, I look away. “Piper, help me untie his knots. Nico will hold him.” 

I realize I’m still holding the knife; I throw it away and silently get up. When I’m untying the knot around his wrists, I see there’s a note inside his fist. “Wait.” I tell Layla and remove the note from his fingers. It’s a bright yellow sticky note. 

Did I refresh some past memories?

~ E

My eyes scan the one line over and over again. “Piper? What is it?” Nico questions. When I don’t answer he takes the note from my hand. “E as in Elliot?” Layla’s question echoes in my mind. Elliot. 

“No.” Nico dismisses. “It’s not him. Let’s call the police.” 

“They took our phones.” Layla reminds him

“We’ll go back.” 

“Let Cheyenne and Joe come.” She takes my hand in her own and squeezes. “It’s not him.” She whispers in my ear. I nod, knowing very well it isn’t him. It can’t be him. 

We wait for what feels like forever before Joe shows up. “Where’s Cheyenne?” Nico asks when we don’t see her with him. “Cheyenne?” Joe questions puzzled. “She was with you.” I sense a little panic in Layla’s voice. “No, she wasn’t.” Joe shakes his head. “She went after you.” Her voice rises an octave. “Where is she, if not with you?” I ask, my eyes wander towards Jeremy’s dead body. 

“We have to find Cheyenne.” Layla declares. 

“What about Jeremy?” Half of my dress is covered in his blood. 

“We’ll come back to him.” Joe takes Layla’s hand, Nico takes mine. We move towards the big staircase silently. Earlier, Joe had taken the other path which led to the entrance, and apparently, it’s locked. So, the staircase is our only option. 

“I still can’t believe Jeremy is dead.” Joe mutters when we finish searching four rooms from the first floor. “There is something wrong with this place.” I whisper as we move to the last room. “No, I think this is a trap.” Layla pushes the door ajar. “I think Layla is right.” Nico agrees. 

I stop Nico, “You think it is someone related to Elliot?” He looks at me with uncertainty, “I don’t know, Piper.” I sigh and close my eyes. 

We hear Layla gasp from inside. “What happened?” Nico rushes. “Is it Cheyenne?” I rush after him, only to stop in tracks at the sight of a gigantic frame hanging in the middle of the wall. 

“Who do you think must’ve hung this picture here?” Joe touches the frame carefully. “It’s even got the date on it.” He notes. 


“This was the only picture we took that night.” Layla recalls. “All seven of us. Including Elliot.” 

“This is a trap!” I exclaim, shaking my head. “We have to get out of here!” 

“We will. After we find Cheyenne.” Layla cuts me a look, which appears more like a warning. “Let’s find her, instead of looking at this.” I retort, not wanting to wait here another minute. 

Nico catches my hand; I look at it and then meet his eyes. The always soft brown eyes look hollow in the mansion’s candle lights, tonight. I wonder if it’s just me. Picturing him and everyone around me in a bad light. I pull my hand out of his and climb the stairs in a hurry. He doesn’t say anything as he matches my speed. 

I barge into the first room I see on the second floor. I take in a sharp breath when I see Cheyenne. “Piper, you should-” Nico stops mid-sentence. 

“Shit.” He swears under his breath. 

I breathe heavily as I go to check Cheyenne’s pulse, “She’s… she’s not breathing.” I tell Nico. She has been killed the same way: with a freaking pumpkin knife in her chest. 

The same way as them both. 

There’s a sticky note on the bedpost. “The killer sure is talkative.” I comment scornfully, scanning the note. 

“You thought you’d leave him before his body even got cold, and there’d be no consequences? That I wouldn’t haunt you?

~ E.” 

“Do you think ghosts are real?” I ask Nico, he gives me a weird look. “What does the note say?” “That whoever that E is, he/she is going to haunt us.” I crumple the note and throw it away. 

I haven’t been sure of many things in life, but right now I’m certain I can be the next to have a pumpkin carving knife in my chest. And that is not how I want my Halloween night to end. 

“We have to get out of here, before the killer finds us.” I rub my temples and try to recall if we saw any glass windows on the first floor. As far as I remember every window was packed with wood slats.

“This is a well-set trap. The killer knew what he was doing.” I shake my head. “Where did we even find the brochures for this party?” I demand from Nico who looks at me quietly. “Say something! I feel like everyone is dying because of me. Because of what I did that night, the killer is taking revenge on everyone!” He gently pulls me into his arms and kisses me gingerly. “We’ll get out of here.” I sigh heavily and nod in his chest. 

“Where are Layla and Joe?” I looked behind him, “I thought they were following us.” The anxiousness starts building up in my chest again. “I thought the same.” 

“How did they both disappear at the same time?” I step out of Nico’s embrace and trudge towards the room where we saw the picture frame. “I don’t think they disappeared.” Nico’s footsteps fall behind me. 

“Yeah, the killer couldn’t handle them both at the same time.” I try to make sense. “Yeah, Joe’s 6’1.” Nico points out. 

“Joe!” He yells, making me jump in surprise. “You scared me!” I scowl at him. “Sorry, but if they’re somewhere close they might hear us.” I look down at the main hall which is partially covered with the shed created for the maze. “Layla!” I shout. Nico and I shout their names a few more times before we reach the room. 

The door is slightly ajar. I peer in through the open space, “I don’t think they are in here.” “Let’s check it out at least.” “Okay.” I say, even when I feel like I’ll puke if I see that gigantic picture frame once again. 

My eyes automatically go to the painting. It’s kind of hard to ignore it, because it's right there, hanging in the middle. I stare at Elliot, that night he was standing next to me, with a hand around my shoulder he was smirking at the camera.

“Piper.” Nico calls, getting me out of the trance. “Yeah?” “Was this there when we came here 15 minutes ago?” He holds a very familiar pumpkin carving knife in his hand. Gingerly, I take it from him and see my name carved on the edge of a deep brown wood handle. 

“We had buried this.” I rasp. “Yeah, exactly.” 

“He’s showcasing the skeletons we have buried long ago.” I give the knife back to Nico. “He knows everything about that night, he knows everything about us.” I mutter. 

Nico keeps the knife back on the desk and takes my hand in his. “Like he said, he is haunting us. We have to find them before it’s too late.” 

I squeeze his hand in response. One by one we explore every room on the first, second and third floor. Layla and Joe are nowhere to be found. “What if they got out without us?” I ask him. 

“They are not the ones to leave others behind.” Nico dismisses my doubt. 

“Let’s check the entrance hall.” Even if Nico discerns that I am acting a little restless, he doesn’t say anything about it. He simply takes the stairs and I follow his pursuit. It doesn’t take us long to reach the entrance hall, “Layla, Joe!” I yell, there’s no response, just a deep stillness residing permanently in the air. 

We come across the entrance door through which we had entered the mansion. “Layla.” I whisper. “Oh god.” 

“Oh my god.” I take a step back. Layla’s body is hanging by the door, quite similar to Jeremy’s. 

“He left another note.” Nico carefully plucks the sticky note off the door. 

“There’s no escape. 


He reads it to me. “I don’t think Joe’s alive.” He continues talking. “Do you think there’s a chance he’s alive? Should we check the maze?” 

It doesn’t matter. 

It doesn’t matter. Because we’re going to be next. 

I feel the shadows changing, I can feel it. Death. 

“Don’t you feel it?” I question Nico. “Surreal, that this is happening?” He asks me, I shake my head. “No, death. I can feel it.” 

When he doesn’t answer I peep at him, “Who do you think is killing our friends one by one?” 

First Jeremy, then Cheyenne and now Layla. I know, if we explore more, we’d find Joe with a knife in his chest as well. 

“Perhaps, it is someone who loved Elliot. And thinks what we did with him was cruel.” This is the first time in two years Nico has said something about that night. Before this he refused to speak of the night altogether. Elliot was his childhood best friend.

“You didn’t do anything cruel.” I speak. “It was me. It was all me. I killed him.” The words feel ghostly on my tongue. 

“I think this is the very first time you have said those words.” The shadows on Nico’s face are deepening, I notice. “I have.” I agree. 

“You know though, you are wrong.” He says after a beat. 


“You are wrong to say that we didn’t do anything. We all did Elliot wrong. He didn’t deserve dying like that. Yes, it was you who stabbed him in the chest with this knife, but it was us who did everything to hide your crime.” He removes the knife we found on the desk. The knife I had used to kill Elliot. 

Nico doesn’t stop talking. “I didn’t speak a word when Joe buried this. I should have. Joe should have. Someone should’ve. He was our friend-” 

“Nico?” I interrupt him. “What?” 

“What are you doing with that knife?” We both recognize the dread in my voice. He glances at the knife for a brief second and then gazes at me. “I never understood why you killed Elliot?” He counter-questions.

At first, it had been a silly prank we were playing and then it just… we took it too far. I took it too far. I inhale deeply and close my eyes, “I don’t know, it just happened. He was drunk, I was drunk-” 

“You don’t kill people when you’re drunk, Piper. If you would’ve slept with him, I would’ve agreed it was a mistake. You don’t kill people when you’re drunk. For two years, I’ve tried to wrap my brain around this. Two years! But I just can’t understand, you know… I really can’t. It has driven me insane.” 

A thought crosses my mind, and it takes everything in me to voice it. “Insane enough to kill all of our friends?” 

“I was with you the whole time. I didn’t kill them, I simply ordered it.” I take a sharp breath at his confession. “I can’t say it didn’t help me clear my conscience.” 

“I don’t think you have one.”

“Oh, we’re the same now. I don’t think you have commiseration for any of our dead friends. You didn’t sympathize for Elliot, and I know you wouldn’t sympathize for anyone else. You are too busy trying to get out of here alive, to do that.” 

“Survival is a human’s basic instinct.” 

“Not at the price you are paying currently.” 

“What price would you have me pay?” I query, I don’t move an inch when he moves closer to me. 

“Don’t worry about that.” He pulls me in his arms, and I let him. “I love you.” I confess, not for the first time. “I’ve hated myself for loving you.” His words hurt more than the knife that is slightly digging into my stomach. 

“I’m sorry.” I whisper and knee him in his balls, his hand jerks in response and he stabs me in the stomach. I wail in pain but manage to scramble away from him and towards the door. I pull out the knife from Layla’s chest and stab Nico in the thigh. Then I pull the knife out of his thigh and stab him once again in the abdomen. 

Pulling out the knife again, I try to break the hinges of the entrance door with it. The more I move the more waves of pain shoot through my body. “Shit.” I can barely breathe; however, I don’t stop. I keep hitting on the hinges with the carving knife.

After a few attempts the blade of the knife breaks. “No!” I yell. I’m so engrossed in breaking the door I don’t realize Nico is standing behind me until his hands squeeze my neck. There isn’t any hard pressure on my neck, however Nico loses his balance and pulls me down with him as he descends. The knife in my stomach tears through when I land on top of him. 

“Ah!” I moan in absolute agony. 

“I’m not sorry… that it… had to- end like this.” He sputters blood and then closes his eyes. The pain in my abdomen becomes quite unbearable, so it becomes easy to give into the darkness closing up on me.

October 25, 2022 08:58

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Onkar Mehetre
15:20 Oct 25, 2022

Interesting story but End... unexpected!!!


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Surekha Kunjir
02:41 Nov 05, 2022



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Shravani Sajekar
11:36 Oct 28, 2022

Goosebumps fr!!!!


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09:23 Oct 26, 2022

The mercurial nature of the plot really added the spice to it. ✨


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Gauri Kale
08:14 Oct 26, 2022

YOU. ARE. THE. DEAL. I got the chills so many times toward the end of this short story. It completely blew my mind. It managed to surpass my high expectations AND be nothing at all like I expected. Or in Newspeak "Double Plus Good."Short stories aren't usually my thing but the way the author has subtly added plot twists it makes for a smooth yet thrilling read.


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Seema Choudhari
07:14 Oct 26, 2022

Good story 👍👍👍👍👍👍


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Manali More
18:42 Oct 25, 2022

Great story..!!


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Kiran Kadganchi
17:07 Oct 25, 2022

I think author should have mentioned the short flashback of that incident in the start of Piper's pov... Like " I am still not over from that horrible incident and here we are planning to visit a haunted house....... " Btw the story was amazing and the end was super unexpected.. I loved it ❤


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16:42 Oct 25, 2022

Such a Good Murder Mystery, Everyone should read it once..😊


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15:06 Oct 25, 2022

Mind blowing. Such a thriller🔥🔥.


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Arya Mali
09:47 Oct 25, 2022

Murder mystery is totally your genre😮‍💨 The story is totally mind blowing 🥹♥️


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Aarav Mali
09:43 Oct 25, 2022

The plot is gripping!!


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Pranjal Mali
09:41 Oct 25, 2022

The characters are very interesting, there's so much going on with them. And the end was so unexpected. I loved it❤️


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