This is a little tale that I wrote the first draft of way back in 1995. I added to it a little bit a couple of years ago. Hope you like.
Smackeyjack by Jason Foster (VonGrimm) (1995, 2010)
I am a little pumpkin, and I do my pumpkin dance.
It’s the day of Halloween and Momma’s got me all ready to go trick or treating. My face is painted orange. I can’t wait for Daddy to come home and see me. He’ll be so proud of me. I’ll show him my pumpkin dance and he’ll laugh and clap and we’ll all eat candy and watch scary movies.
I am a little pumpking and I do my pumpkin dance.
We’re carving the Jack O’ Lantern. We’ve cut open the top and scooped out all the seeds. Now we’re making the face. Momma lets me cut out the eyes with the knife. It’s hard and the knife doesn’t want to go along the lines. It’s hard to stay inside the lines. So hard.
Daddy comes home and he’s angry. He yells at Momma. He yells at me when I do my pumpkin dance. He throws the Jack O’ Lantern at the wall. Momma cries on the couch alone. She looks up at me as I walk over to her. She says “Smackeyjack.”
I am a little pumpkin and I do my pumpkin dance.
Daddy was gone after that. Momma said Smackeyjack came and took him away because he was bad.
Smackeyjack was born on Halloween. At least that’s what the legends say. But the only legends I know are the ones my momma used to tell me. The ones about Smackeyjack. Late at night, when I was lying in bed, Momma would come in my room and tell me stories about Smackeyjack.
About how he came in children’s rooms at night and stole them away. How he would come and get me if I wasn’t careful. Then, momma would go back to her room and fall asleep. I would stay awake all night and watch out the window for Smackeyjack.
One night, I saw him. He was looking back at me through the window. I pulled the covers over my head and screamed for momma to come. I screamed and screamed but she never came. But Smackeyjack did. He came and got me. I never saw momma again.
Now children, you’re not scared, are you?
The huge, dark clothed man looked around at the children seated in a circle around him. His round face was painted to look like a pumpkin. It would almost be humorous if it wasn’t so creepy. The room was dark, but lit by several candles. The children quietly murmured no.
The man was pleased. The were following his story. Some glanced out the window. But they believed. And why shouldn’t they? It was true, after all. Smackeyjack had come for him that night. And Smackeyjack had stayed with him all his life. Now, he took care of the children Smackeyjack brought back with him.
Now I am a big pumpkin and I do my pumpkin dance.