The Grand Pumpkin Wizard of Appleton

Miss Allison’s 3rd grade class looked forward to going to the pumpkin patch in early October. Jack and his friends ran through the patch, lifting leaves and poking small fingers at all the pumpkins that they wanted. After lunch, Jack sat on a hay bale and laughed at a little round pumpkin that was cute, but just not as large as the others.

“I think I’ll call you Pum since you’re not big enough to be a pumpkin yet.”

“Class,” Miss Allison called, “it’s time to go!”

The students all cheered and promised the farmer they would be back for their pumpkins in time for Halloween.

“I’ll be back Pim,” Jack whispered before he left.

Pim was no ordinary pumpkin. He couldn’t wait to see the little boy again. Just the thought of being his jack-o-lantern filled his soul. For the next two weeks, all he did was think of the boy and the day when they would be together.

The farmer was nice enough, but he forgot all about Pim, who sat behind the hay bale and dreamed of the boy. Two weeks passed and Pim was about to give up ever seeing the boy again when he heard a familiar laugh. It was the boy! Pim tried to jump, but pumpkins couldn’t jump. All Pim could do was sit in silence and watch as the boy and his family walked through the patch and selected three large, perfect pumpkins.

The boy had forgotten about Pim. Pim’s heart sunk and the small pumpkin sulked in silence until night fell. I wish the boy and I could be together, Pim thought on the wishing star. Suddenly Pim felt different. Energized. Images raced through Pim’s mind. Images of the boy in his house, putting on black robes, and complaining to his father that his costume was missing something. The more Pim thought of the boy, the more strange Pim felt. Without knowing how, Pim moved! Pim, the small pumpkin that no one wanted could move!

Sounds of Halloween frights and trick-or-treating filled the air and Pim knew exactly where to go. Out of the deserted pumpkin patch, and down the dirt path, the little pumpkin hopped. Hopped to the boy.

Jack was heading down his block toward the best houses in Appleton when he noticed a little pumpkin sitting under a street light.

“It’s you!” Jack screamed as he picked up the little pumpkin and looked at it. “Pim! It is you! I told my mom about you but, oh, it doesn’t matter. I’m so glad I found you!”

Pim felt happy and overjoyed to finally be with his boy.

“You’ll make the best staff,” Jack said as he jammed the end of his staff through the little pumpkin and carried on down the road as the Grand Pumpkin Wizard of Appleton.

 

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Carving Time

It seemed so much easier with Alex and Jerry. Much less…messy. Buy the pumpkins, set them on the floor by the table. Cover the table with last week’s newspapers and cut a large hole in the top of each pumpkin. Alex liked a plain circle, but Jerry loved having a star. Scoop out the guts and pile them on the newspaper. Cut out a funny face for Alex and a scary face for Jerry. Sam is not Alex or Jerry. Sam is…well, Sam. Now the process involves smocks, plastic ceiling to floor drop cloths, and lots of scrubbing.

What You Need

The Cutler County General Store has served the fine people in the county for over five hundred years. Whatever they needed, it provided. The county never knew famine, war time rationing, or faced hardships when finding what they needed.

“I’m sure we have what you’re looking for,” Ed said, rummaging through a drawer of handles.

“I cannot image you not having what I need,” the customer said, “but time is, unfortunately, of the essence. Perhaps I should try the hardware store in Gatlin.”

“No, no, that’s not necessary. I know I have the perfect thing for you. Can you come by tonight? I will turn this store upside down today to find what you need.”

“Well,” the customer said, glancing out the store’s window, “it is getting late and I guess one more day will not make a difference. Okay, Ed, I’ll come by tonight.”

As the customer left, Ed couldn’t help but wonder where his special hardware that he used for just these occasions had gone to. He was certain they were there the last time they were needed.

“Well, Ed…look’s like you’ve got some work to do today,” he told himself, flipping the store’s sign to open.

All day long in between customers Ed searched high and low for the hardware. The late afternoon sun heated up the shop and as Ed propped open the store door to let the breeze in, the light glistened off a small, metal casket on the top shelf behind the counter.

“Oh, yeah, I remember now! It’s been so long since I needed it!”

When the sun had set and Ed prepared to close up the store, the customer walked in looking for his hardware.

“You know, it’s been so long since you needed silver crossbow spikes that I forgot where I put them. I’m sorry, Mr. Helsing.”

“Thank you for looking so hard for them. You always seem to have what everyone needs. Good night.”

As the customer left the store, Ed locked the front door and turned out the light to the storefront. He knew every inch of the store by heart and never worried about stumbling through the dark. With one last check at the front of the store, he twisted a statue slightly and walked through the secret door to his shop in the back to open for the night.

“Good morning,” he told his customers who had been waiting patiently for him to open.

“I’ll take some AB tonight if you have any in stock, Ed,” one customer said. “I’m hungry.”

“I was here first!” another customer shouted.

“Calm down everyone,” Ed said, raising his hands. “Don’t I always have enough to serve all your needs? Besides, Helsing came in for a fresh shipment of hardware today. It’s best if you lay low for a while.”

Ed walked behind the counter of his night shop, opened a refrigerator door, and threw a bag of AB to the first customer. When all the customers were served, he stood there proudly and reminisced about the first day he opened the Cutler County General Store all those years ago. It had been hard, but he managed to serve all the people in the county with whatever they needed.


This tale was inspired by FOWC with Fandango – hardware

Daily Writing Challenge #2

Welcome to my new daily writing challenge.

Yesterday the blog stopped by a pumpkin patch to select this year’s jack-o-lantern, but there were none to be found. That is such a horrible thought. To have a Halloween without a Jack-lantern. However, that thought reminds me of the fantastic and lovely Halloween cartoon The Pumpkin Who Couldn’t Smile.

In this Raggedy Ann and Andy story, there is a pumpkin that no one wanted left on Halloween and a little boy without a pumpkin. Through a tale reminiscent of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, the boy’s Aunt remembers how much fun she had on Halloween when she was his age.

 

The challenge for today is to tell a story or poem about the pumpkins that get left behind on Halloween.

 


To participate, simply take the prompt and see where it takes you. Then post your link in the comments below or link back to this post and create a pingback. On a side note…if you are not interested in this series, please let me know in the comments.