Debbie and the Large Pumpkin

Once upon a time, there lived two mice who were the very best of friends. Debbie and Gwenie were inseparable. They did everything together: the mundane and the exciting. They would talk and laugh endlessly and it was said they even breathed in time. It would be surprising if someone thought they didn’t have a telepathic connection.

They were the very best of friends at birth, and to all it seemed they would continue to be the very best of friends until they were buried side-by-side. That is, until last September, when the annual city-wide pumpkin-growing competition began. Debbie decided she’d enter because it could be fun. Gwenie didn’t think it was worth the effort, but as any good friend, she encouraged Debbie. Neither of them expected this pumpkin-growing competition to be the end.

***

Debbie wanted to win this competition. She needed to be the Pumpkin Champion. She didn’t know why, but the title seemed more important than life itself. So she gave her life to the pumpkin. She watered it and gave it fertilizer. She put the pot on wheels and rolled it around the yard to follow the sun across the sky, her little mouse muscles straining as the wheels forced their way through the grass. She whispered to the pumpkin, loved it. At night, she stood on top of it and wielded her rake to fight off any animals that might come to devour it.

Debbie did not eat, she did not sleep. Gwenie brought her food like clockwork, but she never smiled. Debbie now breathed in time with the pumpkin, not Gwenie. Debbie was snappish and skittish, never allowing Gwenie near the pumpkin and never straying far from it. After a few weeks of this, Gwenie stopped trying to speak to Debbie at all. She left the food on the back porch and vanished.

Debbie was not always with her pumpkin. Everyday, at a random time (to throw off sabotagers), Debbie set a crate over her pumpkin to protect it and left the garden. She peered over her neighbor’s fences, scoping out the competition. As she watched the pumpkins, a sense of victory filled her. Her pumpkin was significantly larger than any of these ants. Except for Tessie’s pumpkin. Tessie was outside at all hours, polishing her pumpkin. Her pumpkin appeared as large as Debbie’s.

***

The day before the Ultimate Public Pumpkin Weighing, Debbie was pacing circles around her pumpkin. Most of the pumpkins weren’t even a quarter of the size of Debbie’s. Debbie’s pumpkin had outgrown four pots and she could barely push it around the yard anymore. But still, she was not guaranteed the Pumpkin Championship. Tessie’s pumpkin was just as large. Debbie just might get second. Debbie could not lose everything she had worked toward, everything she had ever wanted.

That night, Debbie drilled a small hole in the top of her pumpkin and dropped pebbles inside. The pumpkin was halfway full when she ran out of pebbles in her yard, so, in the middle of the night, Debbie took a wheelbarrow to Gwenie’s house and stole all her rocks. Gwenie did not see.

***

Debbie won the Pumpkin Championship by a large margin. Her pumpkin was nearly five times as massive as Tessie’s (thanks to the rocks). Tessie ran from the competition sobbing as Debbie accepted her ribbon. Nothing had ever felt so good.

The next day, Debbie invited Gwenie over for pumpkin pie in celebration.

“Congratulations,” Gwenie said when they were seated at the table.

“It was nothing.” Debbie shrugged like it was actually nothing.

Gwenie gestured to the pie with her fork before taking a bite and saying, “We’re eating your pumpkin.” It pleased Gwenie to eat the horrid pumpkin.

“I had nothing else to do with it.”
“I thought you loved your pumpkin,” Gwenie exclaimed. Debbie had chosen the pumpkin over Gwenie, so it must be worth something.

“Meh.”

“You’re not wearing your ribbon…,” Gwenie observed.

Debbie laughed. “I’m not going to brag about winning a dumb ribbon for having the biggest pumpkin. What would people think of me?”

Gwenie blinked in surprise. “We haven’t spoken in months because of this pumpkin! You broke our friendship for the pumpkin and you don’t even care about it anymore?”

Debbie cocked her head. “We’re friends.”

“Are we? I’ve been talking to Katie down the street lately.”

Debbie frowned. “Oh. Well.”

“I’ll forgive you if you say you regret it,” Gwenie said. She wanted to salvage their friendship.

“I could say that, but it wouldn’t be true.” Debbie shrugged.

Untitled Part 1

I stir the tea with a red lollipop,watching the brown swirl into a soft velvet. Clink! The “pop” part of the snack fizzes into a flurry of small, soapy pink bubbles as I hit it against the inside of the ceramic cup. With a playful smirk, I carefully lift up the white stick remaining, noting it’s end, burnt in a hue of electric purple.

I call, “Olth? Are you responsible for this sorcery?” My smile twitches, in a state between proud and furious.

Olth skips down the curved stairway, her black sneakers blending with the dark carpeting of the steps. A grin cuts through her oddly geometric face, teeth sharp and pointed. She nods, “Yes. I am. I was hoping you would drink it, first.”

“I’m not that gullible,” I say, my lips in a mock pout.

“You were about to…Allete, I mean, just look at your lollipop!” She snickers, her tall shadow towering over me. Even if she was a bit bigger, I was older and the more responsible one. She giggled a bit, her nonsensical joking followed by a cute sneeze. It reminded me of her young years.

“Wait. You just sneezed…” I stutter, my panicked side kicking in, “Where is the teapot?”

Olth’s yellow, somewhat reptilian eyes dart to the maple wood table, now empty with the exception of the poisonous drink. Her sharp teeth curve into a frown, skin paling from a purple-grey to a lighter shade. She seems to shrink.

“You teleported it, didn’t you?” I grit my teeth, clenching my fist.

“Yep,” she mumbles. Even her words seem small.

“Where to?” I ask, releasing my anger into a somewhat petty guise, stroking her hair like a dog’s fur, hoping desperately that Olth would impress me again and actually know to where she teleported the item.

“I don’t know,” She whispers, microscopically.

“You are such a chore,” I whine, whipping out my broomstick and witch’s hat. I put the hat on, muffling my messy chocolate brown hair. Olth was always jealous of it (she only has unidentifiable white noodles after all) so I pull some out of my cap, clearly agitated.

Sinking in guilt, the tall reptilian girl sulks towards the circular gold framed window, unlatching it to let in the cool May air.

Olth and I board my broom, with me in the front, ready for lift off. A puff of wind elevates us into the sky, blue and dotted with white puffy clouds.

“What’s wrong?” I question, gazing at Olth’s expression, as sad as melting ice cream. She whimpers. I can’t stay mad at her, so I tuck my hair back in my hat and say, “It’s alright. We’ll get the teapot before anyone drink out of it. Focus on searching, okay?”

Olth gives me a foxy smile, getting to work, her jet black pupils becoming slits in concentration. With her, I scan the town, glancing between the clotheslines, the brown brick buildings and the slinking smoke-stack trains. The breeze plays with my hat, threatening to to let it drop to the ground. I fight the urge to fix it, maintaining two hands on my broom stick, flying responsibly.

“I don’t think the teapot is up here,” Olth tells me, tapping my shoulder.

“Oh!” I waggle my eyebrows, “Do you want to dip down? For losing a teapot?”

“Am I that predictable?” Olth giggles as I ascend upwards above a cake white layer of fluff. Tiny dew drops sprinkle our faces as our broomstick pokes a hole in the cloudscape. My bestie yells in exhilaration; the sound of an adorable mix of a snake’s tongue and a kitty’s growl.

“Are you ready?” I declare.

“Y—”

I dip down before she can finish, the wind tearing at our faces, stomachs dropping as we went hurdling towards the ground. The broom fans out, losing a few yellow hairs. With a rush, our vehicle turns from vertical to horizontal, our legs only two inches from the brick.

“Woohoo!” I pump my fist up, energized and swiftly turn my broom towards the building, going up and down between colorfully decorated clotheslines. I howl in laughter at Olth, watching her battle a woman’s undergarment, trying to claw it off her face, “Fllll-y a bbit slewor!” she screams.

I fly a bit faster, just for kicks and giggles. “That’s what you get for losing the teapot,” I say, my voice hanging off the edge of “pot” as if asking a question.

“Tek thiz off mi faece firrst!” She demands. I stop the broom, tossing the undergarment away with ease.

“Better?” I ask.

She nods.

I look both ways, although there is no broom traffic today and in the midst of honking cars, I see a curious looking man sitting on a mini-fridge, moving the dinosaur magnets on the front as if they were puppets in a play. He opens the fridge, taking out a can of cola and for a split second I spot…

“THE TEAPOT!” Olth yells, shaking my shoulders, “The man! The mini-fridge!”

I take off, swooping under a billboard sign before landing on the sidewalk. We run over to the man, but as we do he stands up and picks up the fridge.

“No! That teapot is ours!” I yell.

He takes a long, hard look at us, his eyes squinting into nonexistence. Slowly, he bends down.

“Thank you!”Olth cheers, giving out a toothy grin.

And he gives the fridge to a little child on a red bicycle.

Olth and I exchange “what the blobfish” glances before jumping on the broom and racing after the pint sized kid. He cycles through a bustling road of traffic, the wheels on his tyke moving much faster than they should be.

Cars all around him stop and honk; some even crash into each other in a desperate flee to avoid the little devil. Our broom zig zags behind him, my partner in crime grabbing for the fridge and failing to do so on every account. She finally latches onto kid’s bicycle handle, attempting to squirm her way to fridge without falling off. Her hand brushes the side of the fridge, her hand glowing purple. She starts to say something under her breath but before she can, the boy accelerates, pulling Olth’s white noodly hair.

“OUch!” she screeches, in full on hyena type sense, “Stop that, kid! That teapot is ours!” She grabs onto the very edge of the mini fridge, body over extending between the broomstick and the bike. I take siege of her hips, as the child pedals frantically, dragging us behind him. In the end, the kid sends us tumbling down, Olth breaking my fall and I breaking my broom’s fall.

“Hey,” The little man’s voice is much deeper than expected, “What are you doing here? Why does a witch and a stupid animal want this prized petite fridge for, huh?”

Olth growls.

“We want the teapot inside…please,” I tremble as he walks up to me.

“Ha!” The kid lights up a cigarette, “You’re a such a peculiar witch. Most witches I know don’t even have sense of humor.”

“What witches do you know, you stupid kid?” Olth roars, covering me in an instant.

“Many,” He responds with cool, calm composure, “But, I certainly don’t know any of your kind. You are interesting.”

“So… can you at least check the fridge for a teapot?” I ask, my voice tiny against the verbal fighting.

“Only in exchange for your creature,” He bargains.

“She’s not a creature,” I declare firmly.

“You didn’t let me finish, you snob,” He states, “I was going to say ‘Only in exchange for creature and for you to come to the market with me!'”

“Why would you want that?” I shoot a question at him.

“Because you two are entertaining and we need entertainers for the auction tonight. The idiotic poor men always get bored and cranky.” And he deflects it, swiftly.

A Not So Scary Short Story (I was busy eating candy)

Michael pulls on his tie.

Rewind.

His hands, however, are stiff in his pockets.

Rewind.

A chair loudly drags along the floor.

Rewind.

A book is flipped open.

Then it closes, the chair slides into place, and Michael walks out the door, whistling a hollow tune. The picture on the TV screen ripples, the pixels uncoordinated, a mess of color, until it gives a little “beep” then fades away. It is black.

I stir my tea, putting in my fifth scoop of sugar. The liquid bubbles, unsatisfied with the calories I have been ingesting over this murder case. I take another look at the video again, clicking the red “rewind” button on the front of the remote. The screen blinks to life, the now deceased Michael’s room displayed on the monitor.

Thirsty for more evidence, I scoured the screen for more, hungry for answers I could write down in my notebook. I heard the rapid-fire clicking of a pen, click, click, click, click, click. But I don’t see it on the TV screen.

The lights turn off. The constant clicking gets louder.

Beep! The video screen fades away.

My pen is gone.

Rewind.

The button isn’t working this time around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenge

I poke Spinette’s body in the side, making sure she is actually asleep in case her chainsaw-snores are actually a ruse. A rare smile blooms over my face as I contemplate the revenge I am about to take.

Spinette has recently dragged me to a party, as she does every so often.

It was not pretty.

I crouch down and let a beautiful spider climb onto my palm. I whisper to it, telling it what I want it to do. The spider descends on a silken thread from my hand to the floor to gather my other friends.

I slip out the front door and head to my house to wait for the scream…