Horrifying reversal: A pumpkin is trying to carve me

Conor Bartol, What terrible fruit hath grown from the seed of evil

I consider myself a maestro with the kitchen knife, the seed scoopers, the gut grippers and the pumpkin peelers. I picture myself as a connoisseur of Cucurbitaceae, a sculptor cutting away at a gourd until I unlock the beauty within. Alas, my hubris was my undoing.

After the work of my last sculpture was done, it sang to me. “Oh, creator,” it said. “Oh hacker, oh mutilator. Thank you, for your cruel cuts have given me eyes to see and a mouth to speak. I do so wish to return the favor. I will give you the gift you gave me, oh butcher-father. I shall carve you now and make you as beautiful and terrible as I.”

I knew not for certain how the pumpkin came to unnatural second life. I suspected it was my own knife strokes that wrote the language of malice and cruelty into its very flesh — the candle within the flame of evil that drives it. It learned to walk swiftly, speak cruelly and smile balefully from the mouth I carved in its warty visage.

I hid in the graveyard where there was no risk of any spooky surprises. Alas, it hunted me down to make me a jack-o’-lantern man and to light a candle in my head.

Now, I must face it. My only hope is to undo what I have done. It will not be easy — its vines are swift and strong, its eyes lidless and it always listens for the tremors of footfalls. But I may have a chance, albeit a slim one, to extinguish that candle flame for good and smash the evil gourd to bits. If I fail, then all is lost, and this will be my final message.

I beg you, this Hallows’ Eve, to leave the pumpkin patch be. The dark desires they contain may not bear fruit so long as they rest there. But cut them open, carve them up, leave them hollow and their hate will awaken. Their vengeance will fall upon us all.

It is here now. Goodbye.