Arlie had just left his local bar. He always stopped there for a beer after work. He was heading home and looking forward to the Halloween holiday weekend. He liked this time of year the best. The air was cool and crisp. He felt happy. As he passed a huge pumpkin patch, it was getting close to sunset. Maybe it was the beer buzz he had, maybe it was the Halloween holiday coming up that made him quickly pull his old pick up truck over. He gazed out at the pumpkin patch. He could see a few pumpkins left, scattered here and there, across the field.
The field was empty. No people in sight. No houses close by, either. He was overcome with the urge to get a pumpkin. He wanted to enjoy this Halloween with a cute carved pumpkin, he decided. What was the harm? Obviously, these pumpkins were left behind and since Halloween was the next night, he couldn’t resist. He would be quick.
He hopped out of his truck and walked into the pumpkin patch, looking over the pumpkins as he went. He was also looking over his shoulder, to see if anyone was watching. Not a soul in sight. He spotted a large round pumpkin that looked pretty darn good. He walked a few feet further and then he saw it. He laughed out loud. It was a pumpkin shaped like a beer bottle. A large beer bottle, but still, it had that perfect shape. He had a cool idea. He could carve x’s for it’s eyes and make a drunk pumpkin out of it. How clever that would be. He would put a beer bottle with a candle stuck in it inside the carved pumpkin. Yep. That would be fun. Funny, too.
He walked a bit further and spotted another funny shaped pumpkin. It looked like a shrunken head. It was pretty creepy looking, actually. He stepped forward to pick it up and his foot got tangled in some tough old pumpkin vines. He fell face first into the dirt. He was staring at the shrunken head shaped pumpkin. It was about two inches from his face. Suddenly, two golden eyes were staring back at him. They blinked. Alfie screamed and scrambled to his feet. He took off running back to his truck, never looking back.
He cranked up his old truck and sped off down the road heading home. To heck with a pumpkin, he thought. He knew he had drank a beer but, there is no way that one beer caused him to see that. He was shaking and trying not to freak out too much. He arrived at his house and went to get his work tools out of the back of truck. His mouth dropped open. There was the beer bottle shaped pumpkin. In the back of his truck, sitting there, pretty as you please. He did emit a small scream. He tried to choke it off, not wanting to alarm his neighbors. How in the world did it get back there?
Alfie went inside his house and grabbed another beer, quickly downing it. Maybe another beer will make it disappear, he thought. His courage fortified, he went back to his truck. Yep. It still was there. He sighed and shivered. Well, should he get it out and proceed with his pumpkin carving plan? Seemed he might as well. He carefully picked the pumpkin up and turned it over, examining it carefully.
There was note attached to the bottom of the pumpkin. It said “Carve me carefully and x’s will delight. Be careful where you place me on Halloween night.” Alfie could not believe his eyes. How in the world did someone know what was only in his head? Should he? Did he dare? Did he dare not to and just toss the pumpkin into the trash? Risk wrath from some unknown source? In the end, he decided that he better go ahead and carve the pumpkin. After all, it was a gift. Or was it? He wondered.
Alfie took his time and carved the pumpkin very carefully, as instructed. Big x’s for it’s eyes, a large drunk’s nose, a big eerie grin and he was finished. He got an empty beer bottle and placed a candle in it. Then he sat it in the pumpkin. It was ready.
The next night, as it grew dark, he lit the candle and placed the pumpkin outside, on the outer edge of his porch. It really did look good. A drunken pumpkin, glowing brightly on Halloween night got the attention of many kids and friends in the neighborhood. His buddies came by and laughed in delight at the drunken pumpkin. One accidently kicked it and the pumpkin seemed to slide on it’s own, sideways. It never turned over and it’s glow seemed to grow bright orange and only toned down after the man left. No one noticed this but Alfie.
Alfie declared the drunken jack’o lantern a success. He went to bed and left it burning. When he went out on his porch to get the morning paper the next day, the drunken pumpkin was gone. A smashed beer bottle was there but, no remnants of the candle could be found anywhere. Very strange. Alfie got a call from the friend who had accidently kicked the pumpkin the night before. He had later fallen down and broken his leg. Yep. The same leg that had hit the pumpkin. Only Alfie suspected the significance of that.
As Alfie drove to work, he passed the pumpkin patch and wondered. It looked the same. He pulled his truck over and crossed the road, into the pumpkin patch. He was not sure what he was looking for but, he just felt that he had to. He spotted the large pumpkin that he had not chosen. He walked further and there it was. The beer bottle shaped pumpkin. It sure looked like the same one. He shivered. He turned and left the pumpkin patch. The next Halloween, he promised himself, he would just go to the beach. And he certainly never wanted a to carve a pumpkin ever again. Happy Halloween, my friend. Remember, pumpkins aren’t always where you find them.