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The Pumpkin

Lamar Mitchell
9th grade, Illinois


The third place winner of our October 2020 National Teen Storyteller Contest, presented in partnership with the student-led and founded Decameron Project! We invited creative writers to share a flash fiction horror story.

It was a dark and stormy October night in the beautiful state of Wyoming and Farmer Tim was about to go to bed, but he was too excited because tomorrow morning he was gonna do something special. Tomorrow, Tim and his entire family were gonna weigh his biggest pumpkin. Tim had been growing this pumpkin for five years and after tomorrow his pumpkin might hold the record for the largest pumpkin in Wyoming state history. So the next morning Tim wakes up and brushes his teeth, washes his face, and eats a bowl of cereal for breakfast. Once Tim is done getting dressed he heads to the garage to start up his bulldozer. After he parked his bulldozer Tim wakes up wife Betsy and two sons Johnny and Jeffery. After everyone is ready the family heads to the basement to get the scale to measure the pumpkin. Tim starts lifting the pumpkin up with the bulldozer and gently places it on the scale. When Tim got off the bulldozer he was nervous because all his life he wanted to hold the record on the biggest pumpkin in state history. Tim looked at the scale and yelled 1,502! He finally broke the record for the biggest pumpkin in state history, and not only did he have the biggest pumpkin in state history, he broke the previous record by 50 pounds! Extremely happy about his accomplishment Tim goes back in the house and starts to make pumpkin pie to celebrate. Once done eating the pumpkin pie, Tim goes outside to run some errands. Around 9 PM when Tim is done running errands he takes a look at pumpkin and finally goes to bed.

The next morning Tim wakes and something strange happens. Tim couldn’t see his pumpkin out his window. Thinking the October fog was the reason he couldn’t see Tim heads outside to his pumpkin patch and to his surprise there was no pumpkin. After a few minutes Tim starts to think, “There’s no way somebody stole the pumpkin because I would’ve heard them, and it didn’t grow two feet and walk away so where on earth is this pumpkin.” But little did Tim know the pumpkin rolled away from the patch and was on a hunt to kill anyone in its sight. After not finding his pumpkin Tim went inside to get the keys to his tractor so he could look around his farm for the pumpkin. After driving around his farm for 30 minutes with no leads Tim decides to get back to sleep and try again later.

Tim called his wife Betsy, no response. “Maybe she went back to sleep,” said Tim. When Tim opened the door to his bedroom he couldn’t believe what he saw. In the corner of his room was the pumpkin but his wife was still missing. Tim ran out the door screaming for his two sons to come outside with their guns and meet him by the chicken coop. While waiting for his sons, Tim looked inside the chicken coop and to his surprise all the chickens were gone. “Okay so Betsy feeds the chickens every morning, the chickens are gone and Betsy is gone so the only thing I can think of is she went to go feed the chickens and saw they were gone and was going to find them when the pumpkin killed her.” A few seconds later Johnny and Jeffery joined their father in hiding behind the chicken coop with their rifles. “What’s going on and why are we hiding behind the chicken coop?” said Jeffery. “That pumpkin killed your mother and our chickens,” stated Tim. “What kind of sick Halloween prank is this?” asked Johnny. “I’m not joking, that pumpkin murdered your mom and the chickens and now it’s upstairs in my bedroom trying to kill me.” yelled Tim. “But luckily for us I have a plan. Since the pumpkin wanted to kill me, I’m gonna go to the bedroom so it can follow me outside, and once he’s outside shoot at it.” stated Tim.

Soon after, Tim heads upstairs to get the attention of the pumpkin. Once he’s upstairs he waits for the pumpkin to notice him and does a full sprint down the stairs. Once outside Tim yells “GET READY TO SHOOT!”.  Not even a second later the pumpkin rolled down the steps and was outside. After shooting at the pumpkin for about five minutes and not landing a single bullet the boys were almost out of bullets. “I’m out,” said Jeffery. “How many more do you have?” asked Jeffery. “Only two more” yelled Johnny. Johnny reloads his gun and aims it to the pumpkin. Johnny misses the first shot by inches. With the pumpkin now rolling full speed at Johnny he shoots again and hits the middle of the pumpkin. After hitting the pumpkin, Betsy and all the chickens were finally freed from the pumpkin’s stomach. Tim and the boys ran straight to Betsy and gave her a big hug. After cleaning up all of the pumpkin’s remains the family decided to never grow or eat pumpkins again.