After dinner last night, I told Cas about the pumpkin I found this morning. She didn’t take it very well. She started hyperventilating. Between her rapid, panicked breaths, she forced the words out.
“No I didn’t. You would have freaked this morning. And we can’t let mom and dad know. At least not yet.” I said. “I’m still helping. Relax and focus on your breathing.”
I set up in the corner again as Cas got in bed. Her breathing finally slowed down but a soft cry followed. She shut off the light, but I could still hear the occasional sniffle.
We both must have fallen asleep because I woke to the sound of a creaking floorboard sometime in the early morning hours. As quick as I could, I flicked on my pocket flashlight and aimed it toward Cas’ bed.
I caught a flicker of movement but nothing else. Cas was sitting in her bed, wide eyed, staring at something. When I followed her gaze with the flashlight beam, a little jack-o’-lantern was glaring at me with a toothy grin. On closer inspection, it also had the letter T scratched into it.
“Did you see it?” She whispered.
“Only a shadow. What did you see?”
“Same.” She was surprisingly calm as she said it. I think she was in a mild state of shock.
“This is madness. I didn’t mean for this to happen. But there’s nothing we can do right now. Let’s get what sleep we can.”
“I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep. But I’ll try.”
I needed a new plan.
My sleep was erratic last night. I got a few minutes here, twenty minutes there. At some point, a floorboard creaked. I didn’t know if it was a dream, a memory, or really happening. Then I noticed a deeper area of darkness at the foot of my bed. When I felt the slight pressure on the covers between my feet, I knew it was really happening.
I tried to switch on the lamp next to the bed as fast as possible, but the sheets tangled my hand. When I finally broke free of the sheets, I clicked on the lamp, the brightness shocking my eyes.
It took a few seconds for my eyesight to recover, but there it was. A little jack-o’-lantern. Smiling, laughing, mocking me. Wearing the T like it was the greatest joke ever.
These pumpkins can return to whatever cursed field they were harvested from. And they can take whoever is doing this with them.