They sat around the fire listening to the snaps and pops as the wood was consumed.
“Someone tell a scary story,” Elizabeth suggested.
Corey shifted on the log and held his hands out in front of the group. “It sat perfectly still on that cold October morning, its bright orange body in sharp contrast to the sugar white snow that had been falling all night. And it was quiet, waiting for that singular moment when,
‘Mommy, I found one’, said little Timmy.
‘Good for you.’ said Timmy’s mom.
So they loaded up their treasure and headed home. Suddenly, the one who had been sleeping woke to trembling movement. If felt the pain of something sharp poking into its underside.
‘Here we are said Mom. Why don’t you do it right away Timmy?’
Without warning it felt hideous pains in its sides. One, two, three places. One, two, three more! Then continuous stabbing pains in its lower side that went on for an eternity. It was in agony. At last the pain subsided.
‘Mommy will you help me with the top?’
The stabbing began again. This time on top of its body. But at least it didn’t last as long. It was beginning to grow numb to the pain. No, something was happening at the top of its body. It didn’t hurt, just felt wrong.
‘Here Timmy, I have all the insides scooped out for you.’
Then the pumpkin felt no more.” Corey grinned and the firelight flashed off of his perfect white teeth.
“That wasn’t scary,” complained Elizabeth.
“It will be when you go to carve your pumpkin tomorrow.” John tightened his arm around her in the deepening cold. Perhaps it was time to call it a night.
Sherry sat quietly sipping her cocoa. “I don’t know. The thought of scooping out pumpkin brains is kinda cool.” She dropped a kiss on Corey’s cheek.
Corey shifted his weight again. Sherry noticed, but continued to sip her chocolate.
Abruptly, Corey began to make strangled noises. Sherry dropped her cocoa. “What is it baby?”
He seemed to be choking on something. Within seconds he was turning blue.
Elizabeth panicked and kept dropping her cell phone trying to dial 911.
John was trying to see if he could clear Corey’s airway. What he found made him jump back. Stuck in Corey’s throat was the stringy insides of a raw pumpkin. John immediately reached in and began pulling them out as fast as he could, but there was so much. Corey was choking to death and there was nothing they could do about it. John just kept pulling frantically. Corey began to thrash about making John’s job harder. Finally Corey passed out, but John kept working. When he’d removed the insides of a truly large pumpkin it stopped. He and Sherry gave Corey mouth to mouth. Corey started to come around.
“Thank God.” Sherry held Corey’s head in her lap, tears streaming down her face.
Sherry started to gag. John and Corey freaked out. They immediately began clearing her airway of the offending material. With the two of them working it went faster this time.
Elizabeth was having a meltdown.
When they finally cleared all of the pumpkin from Sherry’s throat, they had to give her mouth to mouth as well.
By this time the paramedics were arriving. They checked Sherry and Corey over.
“Damn kids and their pranks. What will they do next?” One paramedic muttered to his partner.
As the paramedics were leaving the scene, the kids heard, “Man down, request additional assistance!”