Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Have Become Carver . . .

. . . Destroyer of Gourds.

I light a candle in each one for you.

Every Halloween, it is the same.
I wait for the black of night to fall. I make my way to the Old Murphy pumpkin patch just outside of town. Once inside the fences, I look out over the field, admiring the crop.
It is then that I reveal the blades inside my bag. One by one, I remove each of the terrible implements from their wooden display block, admiring their fine stainless steel and full-tang construction that not only offer me confidence, but comfort for the awful task at hand.
And then my dark work begins.
The pulp and the seeds spray and splatter. The ease at which the flesh of each pumpkin separates under the edge of my steely friends causes a manic grin to crawl across my face. And as I carve and slice my way through the madness, I think of you, killed by that truck of pumpkins so many years ago. That horrible horn, the squishity-squish-squish of that awful murder under the pulpy mass of the Orange Menace, they haunt me still. Only this yearly ritualized squash-icide can halt that horrid scene from playing in the theater of my mind night after night.
It ends when every last gourd in the field has felt my wrath. There, among the muck and the slime of the patch, I sit among the carved pumpkins, all glaring at me with your face, tears streaming down my pulp-stained cheeks. Their maddening song has been silenced.
I then gather my tools and return home, satiated for another year.
Now, we are at the end of another October. The horrible yearning for pumpkiny death begins anew.
I hope you can hear the screams of the Cucurbita, and that they please you as much as I.

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