Happy Halloween, everybody!
Hopefully this horrorgasmic experience will be a regular thing. Maybe I’ll follow it up with a Thanksgiving Terrorgasm or something.
Christmas Carnagepalooza. I’m likin’ it.
Anyway, here’s entry #1, a little sumpin sumpin to get us all in the mood. Lay down by that fire, baby, I’m fittin’ ta get freaky.
The Pumpkin Carver
© Copyright 2011
The great teacher spoke: “The wax binds. The wax breathes the life.”
The pumpkin carver had all his tools ready. His teacher sat on its pedestal, the anointed tools used in its birth sitting on the floor before it. They lied in a row on the strap of old, cracked leather.
The small shaping knife, powerful in its compact strength. The spoon for scooping the guts. The candle for giving life. The matches to impart the light.
The teacher whispered its wisdom in the pumpkin carver’s ear. It looks to the carver, looks to the girl with her hands and feet bound in chains lined deep with great gobs of wax. Thick vines crunched between her clamping teeth.
The pumpkin carver grabbed his knife. It was time for the shaping.
“You brace your challenge against the night, and the night runs before you.”
The teacher grins, the points of its orange fangs curling against its soft jaw. The pumpkin carver takes the little knife, looks to the girl in the mirror. She will be the standard by which the teacher judges.
The carver takes the knife, starts to open each cheek to the ear. The burning is immense, but not so acute as when the carver lines each cut with dripping wax from the work light candle.
The stinging shoots through his face with each little splash. But the thick red spilling from his mouth is plugged, and the carver can continue.
The girl is unconscious. Her panic has exhausted her, but she does not truly sleep. She’s fainted, and she will see his work soon.
The carver plunges the little knife below his right eyebrow and slashes up. The flesh stretches with the blade until the thin eyebrow twists to where the carver can glue it with fresh gobs of molten wax.
The girl comes to as he finishes the other eyebrow. She tries to hyperventilate, but her gag stymies her until she simply passes out again.
The carver applies more wax, and takes his knife further through his yielding flesh.
The teacher’s rind wrinkles at the eyes, in esteem of its pupil.
“You must open your body, so that your light may blast the fading light of your life through the darkness.”
The carver had one arm peeled, but had passed out from the pain of cauterizing it just as the girl started screaming again.
He was pretty sure he’d blacked out through most of the night. The girl’s chest was heaving in her attempts to gulp down air. Her breath hissed through her earthen gag.
He was still in pain, and his fluids found ways to seep through their wax bandages. Still, the work needed to be done.
The night needed its ward.
The pumpkin carver’s knife sank deep into his unblemished shoulder, the pasty skin staining red as he tore it down the bicep.
Beyond the red gash, the flesh looked almost orange in the light of the teacher’s elucidation.
“Remember,” the great teacher told him, “the wax binds. The wax breathes the life.”
The pumpkin carver was having difficulty pouring. The stream was finding ways to bypass his arm, miss the twisted, carven muscles. And the carver could barely stay conscious through each grating singe that dripped into his wounds. Sometimes it felt like hours would pass between the little drips and the smaller cuts.
Sometimes he looked to the girl, to reflect the terror that was his form into her eyes.
She was sweating and shivering, salivating through the vines. Her eyes has a look like polished glass.
The teacher spoke again: “You are the womb, from which the candle will burn. The candle’s light is the spark from which the soul will flicker.”
The carver returned to work. The girl shivered, freezing from heated panic.
The teacher had stopped talking again. The carver placed a fresh candle atop the mound of wax and light the teacher back to life.
Its eyes glowed bright as it took its birthing breath. Then its eyes settled on the pupil, and after a moment of thought it said:
“The light. The light needs room in which to shine. You are the womb.”
The carver sank the little blade in, for its final run across his flesh. He worked it slowly across his middle, and when he was ready, he dug his hands into himself and pried the rind apart.
The fruit glistened in the moist light, and he set his knife down, and took up the spoon.
The girl’s screams turned to choked gagging, and he thought he heard something liquid churning inside her. The room smelled faintly of bile through the candle fumes.
The spoon scraped away inside the carver, spilling its contents into the attendant bowl.
The teacher’s voice was raspy. Mold and heat were aging it rapidly. How long had this lesson gone on?
The carver was hollow, the severed ends of his scooped-out gore tapered off with the scalding wax. It took hours before he was strong enough for the last lesson.
The girl tried to scream, but it almost sounded like she was coughing. She’d vomited again, her sick spurting through her knotted gag.
It was messier than he would have like, but at least he knew his night would be fruitful when he finally took his post.
The candle was heavy, goddamn heavy. The pumpkin carver had to pull it over like he would haul a bag of concrete.
Finally he had it stuffed inside. He took the box of matches, took a matchstick, struck the head against the strip along the side.
The teacher’s light was fading. Its once staunch body sagged. Wrinkles marred its proud flesh. The room was growing dimmer in the light of its death.
The match glowed, faded. Sparked, glowed, faded again.
The girl sounded like she was trying the breathe again. Then there was that gagging sound again. Deeper this time. Choked.
The match sparked, glowed, faded. Sparked, glowed, faded.
The room was glowing dark.
The great teacher was dead. Its body had collapsed an hour ago, its light smothered in its leaking gore. White fluff sprouted on its corpse.
The carver had finally gotten the candle lit. The girl stared in horror, but the horror was empty. She’d choked on her gag, and died hours before the teacher had.
Stored breath whistled from her nose.
The carver has little strength. Crawling backwards, he made a step at a time. In two hours he was out of the basement and by the front door.
It was dark, just barely. Someone knocked, right on time.
He took the bowl of candy that would stand vigil with him this night, and swung open the door.
There was the piercing scream of children. The howls of parents terrified enough to throw their brood like shields against the horror at the door. Sometime later there would be the squeal of brakes from cars and trucks with flashing lights.
The night balked in terror, and everything ran before him.
He was the watcher, the sentinel in the night.
The lantern against the frightful dark.