On the night of October 31st, a Giant pumpkin watched Tommy, Brian and Johnny throw toilet paper and eggs at peoplesâ€™ homes. Two evil eyes scowled at the costumed children with hate. The tiny nose arched between the eyes. Blood oozed down the face. The flesh dripped down from the mouth, revealing smelly stringy pulp. The mouth curved back on both sides, displaying two rows of chiseled fangs. The green root lay motionless on the porch.
Tommy eyed the moldy glowing thing. His small hand caressed the eggs. He stared at the pumpkin in terror. He swallowed hard and glanced to see if his friends had caught up with him. They tossed toilet paper and eggs at someoneâ€™s house. Their Converse sneakers shuffled on the damp autumn leaves.
â€śHey guys, check this out. Egg it or what?â€ť Tommy said. His best friends, Brian and Johnny, both in the same class as him, came to a dead stop.
â€śDoes anyone live there? Who carved the freaky pumpkin? Looks like no oneâ€™s home,â€ť Johnny said. He peered in the bleak windows.
â€śWho cares?â€ť Tommy said. Fire flickered off of the pumpkin as Tommy approached it. He wound the toilet paper in his hand and drew his other arm back to throw the eggs. The pumpkin grimaced at the boys, as if daring them.
â€śDoes anyone know what happened to Michael last Halloween?â€ť Brian asked.
â€śHe went missing.â€ť Johnny said and shrugged.
Tommy threw the eggs. They landed with a sickening splat and dripped down the house. He threw the toilet paper next. He tossed his head back and laughed. The others joined him.
â€śLook at that pumpkin. Itâ€™s cool,â€ť Brian said. Wind blew the crisp leaves on the porch. The bare tree boughs creaked. Crows screeched at the full moon.
Brian waved his hand in front of Tommy but Tommyâ€™s gaze remained fixed on the pumpkin. Tommy sauntered up the steps. A spider crawled down the slimy pumpkinâ€™s face.
â€śTommy?â€ť Johnny said, coming to stand by his side. â€śEarth to Tommy.â€ť Brian and Johnny glanced at each other.
â€śLetâ€™s get out of here,â€ť Johnny said. â€śWe might get caught.â€ť
Brian checked over his shoulder and waved his hand. â€śTommy? Câ€™mon, bud.â€ť
Tommy was unable to tear his gaze away. Tendrils of the slimy pulp tugged on his arms and legs. The pumpkinâ€™s maw widened. The root snatched Tommyâ€™s leg and wound around his ankles. Tommy screamed. Brian grabbed Tommy by the arm.
â€śHelp him, Brian,â€ť Johnny yelled. His eyes widened in fear.
The pumpkin devoured Tommy whole. A horrible gurgling sound roared in the night. A terrible scream was heard from the pumpkinâ€™s bowels.
Johnny ran for his life. Brian stood on the sidewalk, crying. He had one last egg. He dodged the rootâ€™s vicious grasp. Brian fired. The egg cracked and spread on the pumpkin. He glanced at it one last time and ran home. Tommy was never seen again.
HeddyÂ Johannesen‘s nonfiction has appeared in Circle Magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer Ezine, and Canadian Stories.