The Pain of a Pumpkin

Many Jack-O-Lanterns in their prime.

Art Station

Many Jack-O-Lanterns in their prime.

*The following article is satire.*

As the leaves turn orange and begin to decay off the trees, I know my time of death is near. For hundreds of years, pumpkin carvers around the world embark on the carving of the pumpkin, or more specifically, the creation of the Jack-O-Lantern. As a pumpkin, it is my sole duty to illustrate the monstrosity of Halloween culture. 

I grew up on a patch, just outside the village of Nendeln, Liechtenstein. In the mornings, I would feel the cool, humid fog rolling over my coarse orange peel. I was planted next to a kind pumpkin named Edwin; We grew big and strong together. Even though we knew that one day we would be separated from each other, the inevitability of the pain did not take away from our good times. 

It was a colder fall morning than usual the day that it happened. A tall, American man with two small females approached my home. As their eyes scanned over my people, I felt a dooming sensation that it was me who would be next. Sadly, my inclination was correct: a warm, sweaty hand of a child gripped my skin in a clumsy manner. As I was hoisted in the air, I looked down at my good friend, Edwin, whom I would be looking down at for the very last time. 

America was very different from Liechtenstein: busier, louder. I was brought into a household and placed on the dining room table. Without anything to do to stop my fate, I prepared for the malicious gutting, and carving that I would soon endure from the inside out. I did not feel fear, though. This is something that must be done. It is my duty as a soon to be Jack-O-Lantern to endure pain in order to reach enlightenment. 

I remained still as I was placed over sheets of newspaper. I felt calm; This was my purpose.

 It was a slow process. A dull knife was not a smart move by the American. As small hands reached inside of me, I felt each rip and tear of my insides being pulled out—until I was gutted. While it was painful, it was also thrilling. Carefully carved my features, I was given a human-like evil smile: original.

The American was on a sort of social media. As he was scrolling, I noticed a familiar peel. It was a photograph of my good friend, Edwin! And yet, he looked different from when I last saw him. His “face” was poorly structured- with a clown-like detailing and painted long eyelashes, he looked almost silly. Absurd. How dare they! His carvers made a mockery of the Jack-O-Lantern tradition. A sense of betrayal sunk through my faded orange skin. 

The night of Halloween was upon me; the night I had dreamt of for many years. I saw children running and jumping, laughing and crying, screaming and sighing. But people did not look at me, they looked through me, unappreciative of my beauty. All that I knew was that my purpose was almost over. The work put into carving me was simply unnecessary. My existence is unnecessary. 

The night was over and I was left outside for a couple more days. My skin, now green and molded, was deteriorating. The American picked me up and walked towards the trash. Avoiding touching my mold, the American held my weight disproportionately. He could not bear my weight any longer. As I fell through his hands, descending towards the ground, I was not sad or upset, but  apathetic. My life was completed. My body hit the ground, shattering and mashing. Chunks separating with orange goo. My body was gone and so was my passion. The life of a pumpkin is not worth living.