Just in time for Halloween, Untreed Reads has released Benson Phillip Lott’s short story, “Pumpkin.”
Description: In order to save its own skin, a devious pumpkin plays an evil mind game with the person who bought it. A short story from their Spectres horror line.
Raymond stands in the middle of the kitchen clutching the steel kitchen knife as he stares at the pumpkin on the carving board. Had it really just spoken to him? And how does it know his name?
“I know everything, Raymond,” the pumpkin assures him. “I know about the argument you had last night with Jeanette. I was listening when the two of you were upstairs, hollering at each other in the bedroom. She denied her relationship with the football coach…what is his name again?”
“Stephan,” Raymond whispers, his hands shaking (especially the one with the knife). “Stephan Hughes. He coaches our son….”
The pumpkin has yet to be carved a face and yet, somehow, Raymond can sense the damn thing is smiling. “Ah, yes…your son. Jesse, isn’t it? Such an interesting young man. Are you aware that he is a homosexual, Raymond?”
Raymond boldly steps forward, raising the blade. “That’s not true! You shut up! Who are you, anyway? Why are you speaking to me?”
The pumpkin makes a disapproving sound, something like: tsk-tsk-tsk. “Raymond, Raymond, Raymond. I’m very disappointed. You should know me by now. We see each other almost every day. Every time you look in the mirror…”
Raymond lowers the knife, shifting his weight to one side. “What the hell are you talking about?”
The pumpkin is silent.
“I want you to tell me who you are,” Raymond demands. Cold beads of sweat appear above his forehead. Any minute now, his wife and son will enter through the front door, returning from Jesse’s football practice.
It was Jeanette’s day to pick him up. Although, now that Raymond thought about it, she had been volunteering to pick up Jesse on his days as well. Yes. That’s right. That’s how last night’s argument began, where Raymond’s suspicions had initially started. Somehow he had forgotten about it. That is until the pumpkin so kindly reminded him.
“You’re suspicions are correct,” the pumpkin informs him.
You can purchase a copy at a 24% discount until the end of the month here: Pumpkin