Saturday, October 31, 2015

when pumpkins talk: a halloween special

Clem is green, Herbert is orange, and one day they got to talking.

Herbert: It’s been a fine autumn, Clem.
Clem: Yes … I suppose …
Herbert: Ah. You are unsure?
Clem: Well, yes, because it isn’t over yet, you know.
Herbert: No, it isn’t over yet.
Clem: And you know the tales. Of how it ends. You know.
Herbert: Yes, I know the tales. Such tales! All summer long in the pumpkin patch we hear such tales. My, how pumpkins talk!
Clem: Yes.
Herbert: All those disturbing tales of Jack o’ Lanterns.
Clem: Yes.
Herbert: Well, Clem, I wouldn’t worry. Tales are just stories, you know. I can tell you, there are no such things as Jack o’ Lanterns.
Clem: You sure?
Herbert: Never seen one.
Clem: But, are you sure?
Herbert: Stories, my boy! Just stories! Horror stories of knives and stabbings, of being gutted with a spoon. What nonsense! Having your innards ripped out? Cooked and roasted and baked into pie? Balderdash! Fairy tales of horror, no more, no less.
Clem: And then the part about being turned into a head, a human-like head with a fixed expression. Imagine! One expression your whole life, whatever the knife carves, then forever smiling or scowling or showing all your teeth or even no teeth! Or forever surprised! Forever—oh! It gives me the shivers. The shakes!
Herbert: Just stories, my friend, just stories. And anyway, not really forever. After all, once you are gutted and carved you quickly begin to rot—let’s face it. As the stories go it’s one night aglow and then kaput, you’re done. Left on the stoop to rot, an empty shell of your former self staring giddily or madly or scarily into space, lips pruning and curling in on themselves—Ha ha! A pumpkin with lips! Can you imagine? But of course, long before you rot, long before your face caves in, long before your flame is even out, some evil-minded kid may come by and kick your face in or just pick you up and slam you down in the gutter. There. That takes care of it.
Clem: Oh, Herbert! Please! It’s too horrible …
Herbert: Clem! My dear fellow! Calm down! Stories. Just stories. Horror stories, to be sure, but do not fear. You see where we are, on this lovely porch with such a delightful view of autumn fields and sunsets and deer, not a gutter in sight, let alone an evil-minded kid or mad carver with knife. No, Clem. We are safe. Besides, tales of Jack o’ Lanterns are just the stuff of idle pumpkins lolling around in patches under that hot summer sun, nothing to do, just making up stories …
Clem: I don’t know, Herbert. I don’t know.
Herbert: Nonsense! That’s all it is, nonsense! Pumpkins talking nonsense! Ah, now, here she comes, that nice lady who set us down here to enjoy this lovely view … What? Say what? Hello? Hello? No! No! Wait!
Clem: Uh oh. Could be over.

Herbert is orange.

Clem is green.

And as they say: silence is golden.