Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

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kenaipi
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RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby kenaipi » Wed Nov 01, 2006 7:55 pm

In the last days of October, warfare broke out on the streets of Fairhaven. Crumpled orange globes were shown no mercy by marauders in the shadows. A few surviviors smiled from railings or grinned toothily from stairs but the jack-o-lanterns were a dying breed in this part of town.

I thought about who was behind the senseless attacks as I walked my black lab around the neighborhood. Velvet had to sniff at every last pale orange shred of smashed pumpkin we came across so I had plenty of time to develop a theory. I coaxed Velvet around the corner, now a single block from my Craftsman bungalow. The night had not been kind to this lane. Fresh kill. Frost covered the battered remains, leaving them icy and faceless. I grabbed a dead oak branch and poked at one sinister head squashed into the curb.

"What happened to you?" I asked.

Velvet tugged me toward two happy faced survivors leaning against a mailbox post. They both had long curved stems and frozen seeds spilling out of their mouths like drool. We kept walking, stopping, sniffing and poking. Nothing but crumpled angry, grimaced and sneered faces. An unhappy lot of pungent pumpkins.

Enough. I would not allow this to continue to degrade the neighborhood. I would uncover the truth.

My camper had a wide view of the avenue. The top bunk was cramped but it didn't matter. I was ready. The pack of kids who rode their bikes and whooshed around on skateboards in a roving herd was my top choice for the nighttime destroyers. I'd seen a few tire tracks in the street mash.

I woke from a doze and wiped the condensation off the window so I could see. A few lights shone but it was mostly dark.
But it was not still. The action had already started.

It was too fantastical!

Months of biding their time tethered to the vine, their personalities carved with great care, the jack-o-lanterns were freed once again to the outdoors and they took advantage of it. I watched with fascination as a small gang of Happy's rolled up to a frightful faced pumpkin and spit seeds and rock with machine gun force. It broke apart under attack and lay with its face imploded. The Happy's stopped and smiled at one another.

Astonished, I watched for a half hour as the grinning pumpkins destroyed the creepy faced ones. Finally they rolled back to their homes with satisfied smiles and took their places like nothing ever happened.

engprof
 

RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby engprof » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:45 am

All of the Jack-O-Lanterns on the neighboring streets had been smashed. Upset by the thought that my street, and the pumpkin I had so diligently worked on, might be next, I took to my bushes like a spy in a bad movie. Baseball bat in hand, I sat very still and waited, shivering, but unwilling to let anyone destroy my prized piece of seasonal art.

From my hiding place I am shocked! I can’t believe my eyes! A headless horseman, reminiscent of the character in Washington Irving’s ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ was destroying my neighbor’s pumpkin. He rode up to the porch. Smash! He brought a branch down on top of the pumpkin. Like the ones previously attacked; it disintegrated into what appeared to be a million pieces.

Uh oh…he’s riding into my yard. Shaking, I step from the Azalea bush and confront the night-time marauder.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“I am looking for a head,” he replied, “so far I haven’t found one that suits me.”

At that moment, the headless horsemen reached down and plucked my prized work of art off my porch and placed it atop of his cape, where his head should have been.

“Now this is me,” he said riding into the night.

A wave of pride washed over me. I walked into my house, ego all aglow. The headless horseman recognized my talent for creating impressive Jack-O-Lanterns, so much so he had elected to use mine as the replacement for his head. I resolved right then to craft an even more impressive pumpkin next year, on the offhanded chance he returns for a replacement.

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RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby prismfx » Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:26 am

"Who smashed those pumpkins? Ha..ha..ha why me of course" I said as I sipped my cocoa and read the headline of local newspaper. My daughter who had been sitting, rose and headed to the window to look at all the destruction around the neighbor's houses. Pumpkin guts were everywhere.

"It all started last year when I was minding my own business looking out my window." I began. "Mr. Fletcher think I didn't see him last Christmas when he allowed his flea bag to pee on Mrs. Green's Christmas lights, short-circuiting her winter wonderland scene. And Mrs. Green thought I didn't see her sending her kids into the William's yard to pull easter eggs off their tree. And I know the William's were responsible for the 3 alarm fire that started in the Ms. Hines garage, when they set off fireworks for the Fourth of July.  My neighborhood has gone mad. They're all crazy I tell ya. So I figure before they get me, I'd get all of them. So the night before Halloween I went out and smashed those pumpkins. And I'll do it again..ha ha ha..I cackled.

Mom are you okay? my daughter said frantically looking for my meds.

"I'll be fine, just move you're blocking my view of the window." I said.


andrew.v.spencer
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Through a spoon darkly

Postby andrew.v.spencer » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:00 am

Miriam clutched the spoon. The sacred spoon. "The spoon of doom."

"You can't use that again. Not tonight." Chad said.

Miriam rolled along hammering into him. "Says who?"

Rocking on the floor clutching his shins and howling Chad pointed down the street. Miriam's gaze followed the spun copper line of his pointing finger.

"But that's just a vegetable." She searched for the word. "A pumpkin."

Chad tried to get up, Miriam rumbled over his fingers, they crackled.

"The last pumpkin." He said flattening his fingers and sliding them out. "That's why we're here."

Miriam peered into the spoon again, the reflection warped and inverted. "I see them."

Elongated shapes moved in a staccato staggering motion. Stick things. Miriam felt ill. Her eyes danced to the sad impassive pumkin, some light guttered there. It knew, the last of it's kind. The stick things moved forward, they made an animal noise, high and repeated. Dark intent radiated from their long limbs.

"No." Said Chad. He alway said no. Miriam folded him up and tucked him behind her ear.

The reflections through the Haze were fully enspooned now. The pumpkin cowered terrified, the stick things hawked their terrible noises, one held an object to smash down. There was no time, there would be no mercy. Miriam popped the spoon in her mouth.

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RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby eagletom » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:36 am

“Walt, what’re you doing in the bush?”
“Jimmy, how’d you know I was here?” Walt pushed aside some limbs so I could join him.
“Your wife told me. I’m not crawling behind some bush. Come on out. We need to talk about getting you reelected,” I told him.
“After I catch the pumpkin smashers, I’ll be a hero. As we seasoned pros like to say, it’s in the bag.”
“No, it’s not in the bag. It’s still in the cart!” I looked around. “Walt, someone could see me talking to a bush. Is that a good idea?”
“You could organize a parade for me,” Walt added.
Walt won his first mayoral election based on the ineffectiveness of the incumbent to get anything done. His second election was against a philandering pet storeowner who admitted to an affair with the night manager.
“You need to address the issues, Walt,” I pleaded.
“What? So there are a few potholes in the streets. I already have a plan for that.”
“Giving away a bag of cement and a bucket is not a good plan,” I said. “Let’s go back to your place, drink some coffee and come up with a story for The Post about the problems in our schools.”
“If I tell the kids no more cinnamon rolls or sodas at school because they’re fat, you think that’s going to get me some votes?” Walt finally stepped out of the bush.
“About time,” I said.
“Maybe I’ll tell the teachers it’s the parents fault and tell the parents we need to hold the teachers more accountable. That ought to get me a third term.” He looked around. “Those smashers are probably hiding out watching us right now. I think you blew my cover.”
“It’s probably just a few kids out having some fun. You remember doing stuff like that, right?”
“I might’ve put a burning bag or two on some porches and rang the doorbell in my time. But these Jack ‘O Lantern busting desperados are organized. I can see a pattern.” Walt started to duck back into the bush. “If I can nab these culprits I won’t have to worry about public park safety for at least a year.”
I pulled at his arm. “Walt, let me do it. If somebody sees you hiding in a bush then it’s all over.” He stopped resisting. “I have my cell phone. If I see anything I’ll call you and you can come out and catch them, ‘K?”
He thought about it. “OK, Jimmy. But make sure your phone’s on vibrate. You don’t want the perps hearing a ringing coming out of some bush!”
I snuggled in behind the bush and waited until I saw Walt go inside his house. I crept out and brushed some leaves from my jacket. Then I quietly walked to the house at the end of the street where I spied a candle-lit pumpkin on a porch that needed smashing. Walt was right about one thing – I was organized.

torpedomask
 

RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby torpedomask » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:16 pm

Having spent a good deal of time painfully carving this year's Jack 'O Lantern, I wasn't about to let the "Pumpkin Pulverizers" as the paper had dubbed them get to mine. My plan was simple: I would stake out my promanatly displayed Jack 'O Lanter, complete with easy street access, from behind the Rododendrins surrounding the front of my house.

Skillfully, being sure not to disturb any leaves or leave any tracks, I slithered behind the bushes. It was nicer than I thought. The view was good and the camoflauge was better. Thank god I hadn't followed my own good advice to trim them down. I cleared off a spot in the dirt and got comfortable. Then I waited.

What must have been five hours later I woke up shivering. I guess I got a little too comfortable and sure enough, my street had been hit. The Pumpkin Pulverizers had struck. Cursing myself quietly I crawled out from behind the bushes and into the warmth of my home. It was then that I heard a knock on the door.

"Police" a voice shouted at about the same time I looked through the peep hole. I opened the door.

The police looked at each other, nodded and handed me a photo. I looked at the image, the image of me smashing a pumpkin and I could do nothing but stare.

"One of your neighbors down the street snapped these about two hours ago"

My mind struggled to figure out how this could be. I couldn't speak.

"If you don't mind, we'd like to ask you a couple of question."

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RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby black_petal » Fri Nov 03, 2006 5:35 am

For the past three mornings now the neighborhood Jack O' Lanterns had all been found bludgeoned to death where they sat. First Maple and Pearl Streets were hit. Then Park and Elm, Prospect and Church, and my street, Landon, I guessed was next. So what could I do? My kinds and I had worked hard on our Jack O' Lanterns and I'd be damned if anyone was going to bash their heads in.

So I put the kids to bed early and prepared myself for the night ahead. I dusted off my husband's old BDU's and put them on. I then hid my blonde hair beneith a dark knit hat, took my camera phone off the charger and went outside. My husband thought I was crazy for trying to apprehend criminals dressed like G.I. Jane in the middle of the night, but I just told him , "You knew I was crazy when you married me," and continued out the door.

The moon was just a sliver in the sky and the only sound that I could hear was the occasional neighborhood dog barking at a stray cat or something. I got down in the prone position beneith the hedgerow that grew along the length of my porch and waited for the culprit or culprits to make an appearance.

I dozed off and don't know how long I laid in the dirt before I was startled out of sleep.

Smash.

Bash.

Ha, ha, ha.

I was instantly on and prepared to jump out, snap the picture and catch the jerk in the act, but what I saw coming up the street toward my house made my heart skip a beat and jump into my throat.

It was big and orange and scared the hell ouf of me, but still I couldn't let it destroy my children's beloved Jack O' Lanterns. So, I jumped out of my hiding spot with my camera in the ready postion and snapped a picture of the creature just as it raised it's club.

"What are you doing?" I shouted, almost peeing my pants as I confronted it.

"They look like my mother," It said in English, which surprised me, "and I hate my mother."

I laughed and wasn't so scared of it anymore, as I hated my mother too and completely understood. "What are you?" I then asked, curious to learn more about it.

"Just a scientist and a traveler sent to study other worlds," It replied with what looked like a smile. "I landed three nights ago, in the woods, over there." It pointed to the east. "Those things were everywhere. I could't let them live."

I laughed again and explained the concep of Halloween, Trick or Treat, and Ghouls and Goblins to It and It appologized for all of the trouble it had caused. It then turned around and disappeared into the darkness.

A few minutes later I saw It's ship rise out of the nearby forest and zip away. I never saw It again after that and never told anyone. Even with the picture who would really believe that I saw an alien so close to halloween?

October Sky
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RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby October Sky » Fri Nov 03, 2006 8:28 am

I blinked. No...it couldn't be. I know I've ranted that presidents have done nothing but bad to the country for months, but George Bush smashing pumpkins in my yard? Now this was just too much. Holding my breath, I watched closely, waiting. Surely this was more than it seemed...after all, where was the security? Or maybe this was all just some bizzare dream. But, you know, I began thinking, he was suddenly looking younger...

And then it happened. Reaching up, Mr. President tugged first at his chin and then at the sides of his face. Slowly but surely, the pale flesh began pealing off to reveal...my little brother?

A sigh of relief escaped me before I could help it. So maybe neither I nor Bush was crazy after all. Behind me, a car door slammed, reminding me that much more of reality.

"You know," my dad began in a teasing voice, "you should really be more sympathetic of predidents."

"You knew he was doing this?" I asked, nodding towards my little brother, who was pulling out a mini Hersey Kisses from his pants suit pocket.

My dad smiled.

"Don't worry," he assured, "he's grounded until next year."

I nodded, only half-assured. And half-ashamed. Maybe my dad was right...he'd always told me not to judge people until I had met them, but since I'd always assumed it would be impossible that George Bush would be smashing pumpkings in my neighborhood, I'd never thought much of it. But now, as I headed back into the house for my own stash of candy, I decided that maybe I wouldn't blame presidents for everything.

JohnOBX
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It’s a Smashing Halloween, Charlie Brown

Postby JohnOBX » Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:27 pm

 

 

It’s a Smashing Halloween, Charlie Brown

 

“Aren’t you waiting for the Great Pumpkin this year?” Charlie Brown carefully cut another hole in the fabric.  He couldn’t get them to quite line up with his eyes and the sheet was well ventilated.  

“He’s not coming this year,” Linus said.

“Oh, why not?”

“He’s scared.  The Pumpkin Smasher almost got him last year.  I don’t think he’ll be coming to our pumpkin patch anytime soon.”  Linus said, absentmindedly rubbing his blanket against his cheek. 

“The Pumpkin Smasher?”

“Every year, the Pumpkin Smasher comes and smashes all the pumpkins, trying to spoil Halloween.”

Charlie Brown pulled the sheet over his head.  His ghost costume had more eyes than a potato, but at least he could see out of it. 

“We should do something about it, Charlie Brown.  If the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come who will fly through the air to deliver toys to all the good little children in the world?”

“I’ve got just the man for the job,” Charlie Brown said.

---

The WW I flying ace creeps through the the neighborhood, cloaked in the night.  He has been sent on a mission by the round-headed one, a mission that has taken him behind enemy lines.  He must rely on his wits and skills if he is to survive. 

A fiend is loose in the neighborhood.  A unconscionable smasher of pumpkins and dreams.  The WW I flying ace makes his way to a dimly lit street corner.  Music and laughter from a nearby pub tempt him, but he must never forget the danger.  Never forget the mission.

There is movement, but it is just a pack of goblins and ghouls.  He thinks he might recognize the witch, but it is too far.  Is she an ally or will she turn him in to the first enemy patrol?  

Movement on the other side of the street now.  Someone bigger, but moving expertly through the shadows.  The smell of decay and drying pumpkin guts.  This is the one.  The fiend, the smasher of pumpkins! 

An innocent pumpkin sits defenseless in a yard.  The fiend moves in for the kill.  The WW I flying ace must act now or it will be too late!

 

---

“What is that crazy dog barking at now?” Lucy asked.  She saw a tall woman running toward a large jack-o-lantern in the yard they just came from.  Instinctively, Lucy dashed over and plucked the pumpkin out of harm’s way, just as the woman kicked.  The woman went up in the air, landing on her back with a loud “oomph”.

The kids gathered around, flashlights on the dazed lady’s face.  Linus and Charlie Brown ran up and pushed their way through the crowd. 

“Oh, no,” Charlie Brown groaned.

“Miss Othmar?” Linus said, his heart breaking.  “But why?”

Miss Othmar shook her head, her voice like a muffled trombone.

“Mmumph mumphum mphumm mphumm muuph.”

 

--John

 

 

 

 


pureliztea
 

RE: Pumpkin Smashers 10/31-11/6

Postby pureliztea » Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:21 pm

I’m a homebody. I hadn’t been out in my yard for more than a few minutes at a time since there were lightning bugs to catch and mosquitoes to curse at. But there I sat behind a shrub I didn’t even know the name of, pretending to be the girl detective I’d worshipped as a young reader years ago.
I imagined that I was home alone on this pseudo-holiday because my boyfriend Ned was away at college. I could’ve hung out with my two best girlfriends, but Bess spends this night of saccharine temptation sweating it out at the gym (still trying to lose those last five vanity pounds!) and George—a fitness buff the rest of the year—stays at home to pig out under the guise of handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.
I twirled a frizzy chunk of hair around my finger and tried to picture it as strawberry blond. Just as I was dreaming up an excuse that Hannah the housekeeper would buy for why I was out here crouching in the cold spooky darkness, I heard voices.
“Carolyn, how many more of these do I have to trash to prove myself to you? None of these are even carved; it’s like a freaking pumpkin patch out here. They’re probably not even for Halloween. Probably some of those politically correct ‘harvest not halloween’ people live here . . .”
“Shut up! I’ve spent seventy years floating around in Muse-like transparency while you and two hundred other literary wannabes read too many Harlequins, then sit down and write one cookie-cutter caper after another . Now raise that baseball bat and bring it down on the pumpkin, hard! Then take this notebook and write down exactly what it felt like. Consider it ‘workshopping.’ ”
A wack muffled by wet pulp. Followed by the soft scratching sound of a pencil on paper.
“Now let me read what you have: ‘As I smashed the pumpkin, I realized that the messy strands inside looked like red hair. Not strawberry blonde like Nancy’s, but the ugly orange kind. If Nancy’s hair were that color, the outfits she’s always slipping into before heading out on an investigation should be blue, not green . . .’ Good lord. When will this Purgatory end?”

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