Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

Today’s theme is jack-o-lantern so I decided to get all nostalgic about pumpkins, as one does during Fall.

When I was little I used to always carve a pumpkin for Halloween with my dad and sister. Well I didn’t do so much of the carving, didn’t even draw the face on the pumpkin. My dad would do that, asking what kind of eyes we wanted, if we wanted it to be scary or funny, how many teeth we wanted the pumpkin to have. Drawing on a pumpkin is hard so my sister and I would draw a sketch of our pumpkin face on a paper and he’d copy it onto the pumpkin and carve out it’s face. I remember thinking about how amazing it was that my dad was strong enough to carve the pumpkin and wondered if I’d ever be strong enough to do the same.

But before my dad cut out the face he had to cut a hole around the stem, and that was where my sister and I helped. We were in charge of emptying the pumpkins, digging into it with our little hands, our sleeves pulled as high up on our arms as we could so we wouldn’t get messy. We always put old newspapers around the pumpkin and placed the seeds and mush on the newspaper to throw out later. I still remember the smell of it, so much like Fall, and how cold and gooey the insides of the pumpkin were and how sticky my hands would get afterward. One year my mom roasted the pumpkin seeds we pulled out, but I was too picky to try them.

We always waited until close to Halloween to get our pumpkin, it would rot if we bought and carved it too early, but it was always something I looked forward to year after year, something I always wanted to do sooner. We always had to put the pumpkin in the backyard at night though, so that it wasn’t smashed and destroyed like other pumpkins in our neighbourhood were.

I don’t remember when we stopped carving pumpkins. My sister and I got older naturally and became less interested in pumpkin carving and more in hanging out with friends. Last year I bought a pumpkin and painted it like a unicorn, which was still a lot of fun but not the same. I guess I don’t really see the point in it anymore, don’t know if I can feel the same excitement I once did when pumpkin carving.

Maybe pumpkin carving is just for kids, or maybe it’s just something I have to try again someday.

(Inktober Prompt List found here. Image found is my own.)

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