The innocent act of scattering seeds ushered in the dark events. A wayward vine stretched beyond the garden’s bounds, where it ripened unnaturally. Guided by the eldest sister, who’d been laid to rest and forgotten in the woods beside the tended plot, the pumpkin became something with darker purpose. While it matured upon her grave, she gave it new purpose.
The middle sister found an apt pupil in the angry old man who lived in the odd little house on a quiet cul du sac. She tutored him while he slept, and when he awoke; he did as he learned…until he got it just right. On All Hallow’s Eve, he placed a bowl upon the porch, along with a sign. Then they waited for the reckless and the greedy to disobey a simple request.
The youngest sister, imprisoned in the place that watched her die, found release through a boy in the wrong place at the wrong time. With him for transport, she set out for the place that would see the first act in their tribute.
The final contributor in the devious plot were the people of Grimm’s Point themselves. They chose the young girl who would pay for the sins of the fathers. A cruel prank, meant only to tease, signed her fate. For the very first time, a harmless tradition lived up to its promise.
Karl chased Jenna up the porch, growling at her through the latex wolf’s muzzle. Jenna squealed a mixture of amusement and fear. The day hadn’t begun well, and she was still on edge. She dodged his reach and unlocked the front door.
“Stop it. Isn’t it enough you made that kid drop his candy?”
Karl slipped the mask up onto the top of his head.
“I tried to give it back, but he took off.”
“And then you left your brother behind at the haunted house.”
“I looked for him. He left with his buddies.”
“You better hope so. If not, your mom’s gonna be pissed.”
“Whatever. I said I’d take him with. I never said I’d bring him home.”
Karl followed Jenna into the house, dumping the giant bag of candy onto the table in front of the couch.
“What do you want to drink,” Jenna called from the kitchen.
“Got any milk?”
“Yeah, I like a big glass of milk with dessert.”
Jenna entered the room, two glasses in hand. Karl popped a DVD into the player.
“What’d you pick?”
“Final Destination 5.”
“Seriously, on the day I get 12 Coblins you want me to watch a movie about people stalked by death?”
“Lighten up. You’re fine and it’s just a movie.”
The two got cozy on the couch as the movie began to play. Karl began digging into the candy, tossing the things he didn’t like onto the table.
“No thanks. I’d feel guilty.”
“I didn’t mean to take the kid’s candy,” Karl mumbled around the fun-sized Butterfinger he’d stuff into his mouth whole.
“That’s beside the point. I’m not really hungry anyway.”
Karl finished his chocolate, prepared to wash it down with a big gulp of milk. As he brought the glass to his mouth he noticed something that made him pause.
Jenna saw his peculiar expression “What is it?”
“Something in my milk.”
“I dunno, a black spot.”
“Let me see.” Jenna took the glass from him. “Hmm, maybe I should dump it out and get you another glass.”
“Why? Just take whatever it is out. The whole glass isn’t bad.”
“Seems like a bad sign. I’d feel better if I brought you a fresh one.”
“Give it here.”
Jenna handed it over reluctantly. Karl dipped a finger into the glass and pulled out the foreign object.
“Looks like a coffee ground. No big deal,” he said, flicking the speck onto the table with the “bad” candy. He took a large sip, and then set the glass down. The whole episode forgotten, he went back the treats, looking for his next selection.
Jenna watched him incredulous. Guys are unbelievable. Nothing ever gets to them. She wished she could be more like Karl.
“Oh, gummy worms! I haven’t had those since I was like ten.”
“The bag looks a little sketchy. I don’t think I’d eat those if I were you.”
“They look fine to me.” He pulled a long green one from the package, and made a production of dropping it into his mouth. In the low light, Jenna imagined she saw it wriggle as it disappeared between her boyfriend’s lips.
“I can’t watch.” She tried to watch the movie for distraction, but what she saw there was more disturbing.
“Can we put in something else?”
Karl didn’t answer, but he did make some strange noises. Jenna look at him tentatively. She just knew he was trying to gross her out.
He had a peculiar look on his face. It looked like he was trying to spit, or perhaps he was going to be sick.
“Are you okay?”
He nodded “no” in response.
“Are you’re choking.”
He brought his hands to his face and clawed at his lips. Green drool ran over his fingers, and dripped onto his jeans. He leaned forward. Jenna watched as he tried to stand. I think he’s going to puke. He was making a wheezy gurgling sound, and started stumbling around the room. Jenna wasn’t sure what to do.
“I’ll call 911.”
She began frantically looking for her cell phone. Ordinarily it was right next to her, but it was nowhere in sight. She lifted the sofa cushions, and looked under furniture.
“Oh my god, where is it?”
Karl dropped to one knee near the front window making guttural noises while he lurched back and forth. She gave up her search, and went to him.
She could see that the lower half of his face was so swollen he no longer appeared to have a neck. He was very pale and sweating profusely. The front of his shirt was covered with a mixture of saliva, and green sludge. All of this from a single gummy worm?
As she kneeled beside him, she noticed movement on the front lawn. Trick-or-Treaters? Maybe they had a parent with them who could help.
“I’ll be right back.”
He made no sign he heard or understood what she said.
Jenna ran to the foyer, and out the front door.
“Please, you’ve got to help. My boyfriend… I think he might die.”
The silhouettes of what looked like two women and a child began moving toward her in silence.
“He’s right this way.” Jenna took a few steps toward the house. The three followed, but without her sense of urgency. Something didn’t quite right with them. The hair on the back of Jenna’s neck prickled.
A low growling from behind caught her attention. She turned to look. She didn’t see any animal. The boy in the middle looked to be holding something. In the darkness, it didn’t look like an animal. Instinctively she backed away until her heels bumped the lowest step up to the house. The others continued moving forward. Finally she could see them clearly. The women were dressed very oddly. Their clothing old and very out of date.
The boy between them looked familiar. It took her only a second or two to realize it was Karl’s brother Kurt. He’d made it out of the haunted house. She was relieved and was going to say as much, but he didn’t appear to recognize her. He looked really angry.
“Kurt, your brother’s in serious trouble.”
Rather than answer, he held out the thing he’d been cradling to his chest. She couldn’t make sense of what she was seeing. She thought it was a pumpkin, but it looked wrong. It was grotesquely shaped, and very dark in color. It trailed long vines that wriggled and swayed in the breeze. But there isn’t any breeze. Something flicked from a hole in the side.
“Why aren’t you helping? What’s wrong with you people?”
Kurt smiled. Jenna thought his eyes and the tilt of his mouth weren’t right. It was like she was seeing someone else’s face projected onto Kurt’s. It was a slightly younger and feminine face. It flickered and then disappeared.
Jenna felt something touch her thigh. She couldn’t help but look down. One of the vines was trying to coil itself around her thigh. She retreated onto the bottom stair. Is this really happening? She felt like she was trapped in a nightmare.
The thing that looked like Kurt glanced at each woman. They smiled wickedly and nodded. Kurt pulled the pumpkin into his chest and in one swift move, hurled it at Jenna.
The shock, combined with the force of the blow, knocked her off her feet. She struggled to get up, but the vines quickly wrapped around her trashing arms and legs, subduing her. It’s alive! The pumpkin now sat on her chest, mere inches from her face. She could feel it throb. It moaned in what sounded like ecstasy.
Jenna felt something warm and wet flick her chin. She tried to see what it was, but the pumpkin was too close to see clearly. There were more tickles, like numerous tiny tentacles working at her face. She tried desperately to pulled way. The tendrils grasped her face, fluttering onto her lips and slipping into her nostrils. Her mind, unable to make sense of what she was experiencing, began to break down.
The living beard wormed into every orifice, chocking and smothering her. The pumpkin moved up onto her throat. She felt an opening in the shell latch onto her chin, and beginning gnawing at her face.
She whimpered as she reluctantly surrendered to the attack. There was no use fighting, and no one was coming to her rescue. As her mind fractured further, she surrendered to the madness, she had one lucid thought: Coblins.
This is all because of those damn dolls.
Well that's it folks. Thank you for your enthusiasm, comments and support of my Blogtoberfest challenge. It was a lot of fun to do. I may make this an annual thing. Don't know what will happen to this story. For now, I will file it away and perhaps pull it up again later for further development.
Tomorrow is day one of National Novel Writing Month 2012. I'll be up at 4 a.m. to get a good start on my 1667 word a day goal. I'll keep you posted on my progress and what I discover about my novel as I write.