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Halloween Story Winner: Jack’s Lament

Skyler Huson, Guest Writer

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I thought my only purpose was to bask in the October sun, and drink in the chilly fall rain. Growing steady, plumping above green leaves that tickled the ridges on my side made me proud. I was the largest in our patch, and I had no reason to suspect this to be a curse.

There came lumbering pairs of stalks, all different, but each end would take turns crushing the vines that gave me life. Some would come so close, I almost ripened with fear while some never ventured near me at all. It was a cruel fate when smaller stalks branching off the towering roots of these strange creatures lifted me out of the patch. I felt a tug, then a twist, but when a glint of a shining object blinded me, I seared in pain. My life source was severed, and I was drained of every hope. There was no going back, I was doomed to death.

I watched helplessly as the creatures transported me. I was rested on a ground raised halfway to these creatures, but found no rest. A fear was spreading quickly through the bulbous form of which I was once proud. Glinting objects lined the ground and was held, menacingly lurching forward. It raised to my head and came slicing through me, sawing in and out of my hard skin to form a circle. The pain was of nightmarish proportion, excruciating to my filled core. They removed my scalp, bringing with it a slew of my innards and seeds. I almost fainted at the sight of myself– my insides. Not a moment of reprieve was given from these monstrous tools. The foreign cold slid against the walls of my face, across my chest, and down my back. The severance of my working parts to living gourd was more than gut wrenching it was gut removal in its entirety. To feel the inner workings of myself be ripped from the whole at the top of my head was unbearable. Yet, it persisted.

The creatures were not done. As if to taunt me, they carved the shell that was left. Three, maybe four, sections were punched out of my skin, as if they were having fun torturing me. I was numb. There was silence. The creatures stood, marveling at the dilapidated heap that I was. It was as if they saw beauty. There was a glow in the distance, and for a moment I hoped for the familiar sun that raised me. But it drew closer, and closer, until finally, the glow in the stalks of the murderous creatures was placed with absurd gentleness through the opening in my skull. It burned like the harsh sun in dry days, but wrongly on the inside. There was darkness for a long time, but when I awoke, I was outside once more. I looked out to passing creatures and saw my kind, carved and glowing as I, looking back at me with dead eyes. I knew my fate.

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Halloween Story Winner: Jack’s Lament