Jack O. Lantern

October 28, 2009
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One night while carving the Halloween pumpkin Mrs. Bur’s youngest child, Suzy, came up to her with a quizzical face.

She asked her, “Mommy, why do we call carved pumpkins Jack-O-Lanterns?” At that instant Mrs. Bur’s older son, Derrick, walked in. Now, Derrick figured this was a great opportunity to scare his sister with some classic scare stories.



“Do you really want to know?” he said.


“Yes! Tell me! Please, please, please, plea……..” Derrick quickly interrupted “Ok! Ok! I’ll tell you.”


On a dusky Halloween night, New Mexico, 1873, the old farmer Jack O. Lantern was just finishing the day’s errands. He had previously given the horses some fresh hay and fed the chickens some of his chicken feed. He was walking towards his house when he lost his hat, due to a chilling wind that almost swept him off his feet. Jack grumbled angrily to himself as he brushed his small wisps of hair off his face. He trod heavily up his wooden steps into his small cottage, hungry for tonight’s supper which consisted of fried jalapeños wrapped in a tortilla with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and beans. This was one of Jack’s favorite meals, so he didn’t waste any time changing out of his dirt covered overalls and into his leisure wear. He was putting his stove on to fry his jalapeños when he heard a knock, knock knocking on his front door.

He said, “Who is it?”

There was no answer. Jack sighed heavily as he stepped towards his door. He opened it, only to find nothing there but the cool breeze tickling his nose. He seemed relieved to go back to his supper. He swung the door shut as he turned around. Halfway closed, the door stopped with a loud BANG! He almost choked as he stumbled to face the door. In the doorway there was a long cloaked figure. Jack couldn’t see his face. He couldn’t tell his intent.

Jack said, “What do you want!” starting to get a little ticked off.

The figure didn’t respond, or make any move. Just simply stood there gazing at him with a faceless mask that seemed to penetrate your soul.
Jack now took this as a threat, and ran into his bedroom to grab his shotgun. He came back, prepared to fire only to find the doorway empty save the swinging door. Jack was momentarily confused, until he felt a cold breath on his neck. He heard in a deep, bellowing voice


“Do you fear death?”


Jack dropped his gun as he turned to face his intruder. The tall figure was standing less than two feet behind him holding a long bladed axe! Jack started looking around the ground for his shotgun, but it was gone! The figure slowly stepped towards him looking with vile intent. The figure stepped in the light for only a brief moment, Jack saw his face. It was a hollow skull except for the faint light in the eye sockets, and then the figure struck out with the long axe and chopped off Jack’s head in one quick swipe.


“Eeeek!” Suzy screamed.


“Oh stop being a baby! After all, you’re the one who asked for the story! Derrick said through heavy laughter.


Amazingly Jack survived. Looking up from the ground, he could see his rigid body standing next to the cloaked figure. The figure walked over to Jack’s head, apparently to finish the job, when he stopped.

“Instead of killing you, I’ve thought of a better job. I despise the giving of candy and happiness on of all days, my birthday! As you might have guessed, I am the Grim Reaper! I can’t stand happiness, it weakens me. I’ve got a bargain for you. You will traverse this meager realm in search of your now detached head, and if you find it I will give you eternal life. But until that day, you shall haunt the children of this world stopping all laughter and happiness in your tracks, returning my strength. I will give you two advantages, a magical horse capable of taking you wherever you need to go in your frantic search. You will also have a pumpkin for a head, for you cannot eat or drink, only breath, see and hear until you find your real head. Ahhhahahahahahah! ”



And with that the Grim Reaper vanished into the air. Jack regained his vision and hearing through his new pumpkin head. Then he heard a galloping horse outside. Almost mechanically he got up and stumbled outside. He only had to run a few yards till he was standing next to the magic horse. The horse was a horror. It had no hair, only bones stuck together by some magical green substance. The eye sockets burned with green fire as well. It just stood there, daring him to ride with those penetrating eyes. He climbed unsurely onto the bone horse and rode off into the night.


“From then on forth, children started putting pumpkins they called, Jack-O-Lanterns, outside on their front porches to remind Jack when he rode by of his lost head. Jack searched frantically for his lost head, but to this day, rumors say he hasn’t found it.” Derrick finished. Suzy crept into bed as Derrick tucked her in.


Suzy hesitantly asked “It’s just a story….right Derrick?” Derrick never got to answer, interrupted by a sound in the night. Ahhahahahaha!


Derrick said “Suzy….your time has come!” Derrick’s mother yelled from the kitchen “Derrick! Don’t scare your little sister like that!”





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Fireman Sam said...
Dec. 9, 2009 at 8:53 pm
Excellent story! The characters are really well-developed in dialogue and action.
 
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