“He had it coming to him,” Amy said matter-of-factly.
Jennifer couldn’t form words to respond. Her sister’s calmness raked her nerves. It wasn’t the first time she had feared her sibling.
Amy looked over her shoulder. “Aren’t you going to help me find the right one?” She turned back to the display of pumpkins and plucked a green one from the pile. She shook her head. “No, I really had my heart set on orange.” She set it to the side.
Jennifer mechanically picked up a round orange pumpkin with a curved stem. “What about this one?” Her voice came out a squeaky whisper. Her mind couldn’t purge the image of the black-cloaked headless body that sat in a chair outside Amy’s front door.
“Oh! It’s perfect! And about the size of his head, too.”
Her stomach flipped. “Did you really…?”
Amy narrowed her eyes. “He cheated. He’s dead to me.” She turned the pumpkin around one more time. “Yes, this is the one.”
Jennifer’s legs were numb, but she managed to follow her sister to the cashier. She watched Amy pay thirteen dollars and tuck the soon-to-be-head under her arm. “You coming? The party starts in two hours.”
She followed. In two hours, costumed guests would gush about how realistic the party decorations were. They would have no idea. They would ask where Steve was, and she would tell them he had to work late. They would believe her. She wished Amy had not confided the truth.
She watched as Amy expertly carved the jagged teeth of a jack-o-lantern into the pumpkin. “What did you do with his head?” Jennifer blurted the question.
Amy tilted her head. One side of her mouth lifted into a half-smile. “His face is the candy dish. Check it out.” She turned her attention back to carving.
Jennifer eyed the dish she’d taken the caramels from. She didn’t want to see, but couldn’t stop her hands from reaching for it anyway. She lifted it up over her head and gasped, sucking the caramel into her throat. It was him! She dropped the dish, scattering caramels and candy corns on the table. She felt her face redden and coughed but she couldn’t breathe. Amy’s arms circled around her waist and a sharp pull shot the caramel to the middle of the floor.
Amy let out sigh. “You’re awfully edgy, sis.”
“I-I need to go. This isn’t my thing.”
“Wait!” She smiled. “The head’s done. I just need to put it on the body. Come on, you have to see it!”
Always persuasive, Jennifer gave in to her younger sister’s pleading. She watched as Amy delicately placed the carved pumpkin on the cloaked shoulders. Steve’s shoulders.
Jennifer swore the shoulders twitched. She took two steps back. Was that a groan? The arms lifted, this time the movement was unmistakable. She squealed when the figure stood and glided toward her. She stumbled away, but tripped on an old tree stump. Sprawled on the ground, she cried.
Amy’s laughter echoed in the darkness. “Oh that was good,” she gushed. “This video will go viral!”
Jennifer stared in horror as the figure removed the carved head. Steve poked his head from the cloak and extended a hand to help her up.
Grasping his hand, she whispered, “D-Does she know?”
“Nah, she just loves a good Halloween prank.” He winked and squeezed her hand before letting it go.
They turned toward the rumble of a chainsaw behind them.
“Just wait until you see what else I have planned for tonight,” Amy shouted over the noise. She revved the motor, moonlight casting shadows on her safety goggles and sinister grin.
This was written for a new writing prompt challenge I’ve seen around but have never tried. The prompt challenge instructed us to write a piece under 750 words using “He had it coming to him.” as the first line, and a photo of pumpkins as inspiration. Click the badge below to read other submissions, or better yet – submit your own 🙂 Thanks so much for reading!!