Carving terrific Jack-o’-lanterns – by Estrella Azul

It was Jack’s thirtieth Halloween on his own.

He longed for the days of his childhood, especially during this holiday when he remembered his father reading him The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He always visualized the Headless Horseman with a pumpkin on his shoulders.

Jack always got into the Halloween spirit, and heck, he just loved how his name was part of the word Jack-O’-lantern.

When he was a kid he made them with the help of his father but those were simple pumpkin lanterns with triangle shaped eyes, nose, and a mouth. As he got older he fancied different patterns.

Since he could almost call himself an artist with a knife, with every passing year he was more pleased with his work.

Getting ready for Halloween started a few days earlier for him with picking out the right pumpkin and setting up his work area, making sure it was peaceful so no one would bother him. After all, he wouldn’t want to cut off his fingers by accident.

Carving pumpkins is messy but making a mess was never as much fun for him as before this special holiday.

He put down layers of plastic foil to aid in the clean up after the carving was complete, which was never as easy as just gathering up the plastic and walking away.

He started cutting the lid by angling his knife 45 degrees so he could create a ledge that the lid would sit on.

Jack could almost hear his father saying “The key thing to remember is that you need to create a ledge to keep the lid from falling into the pumpkin by adding a notch to the back so you can easily line up the lid with your pumpkin.”

His father’s favorite part was gutting the pumpkin, while Jack preferred carving.

But since gutting had to be done before carving he got to it, making sure the insides of the pumpkin were thoroughly cleaned so there wasn’t any loose pulp hanging anywhere—the loose pulp would detract from his design.

There isn’t always a need to gut a pumpkin for a pumpkin sculpture. He knew some sculptors who never gut their pumpkins.

However, Jack’s personal opinion was that adding a light to the inside of a pumpkin sculpture adds a whole other effect. He created a flat surface at the bottom for the light to be placed.

He then carved out the eyes, nose, and mouth with extra care, following a creepy template he drew in preparation for tonight.

It didn’t come out exactly as he wanted, but he’d have a whole year where he could further improve on his skills.

It was much more elaborate and unusual than what he had done when he was a kid.

He took his time cleaning the insides, leaving no traces behind. His job at the coroner’s office had taught him well.

Jack made a calm phone call while he stood back and admired his work.

Now all he had to do was place his pumpkin in the window, and get rid of the body before hearing the sirens and wait.

Wait for next Halloween.

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24 Responses to “Carving terrific Jack-o’-lanterns – by Estrella Azul”

  1. Headless Horseman with a pumpkin head, indeed!

    Was so lulled by the description of carving a pumpkin that it was quite a jar to hit the last sentences!

    Spooky scary and very good…

    • Thank you Marisa, this means a lot!
      I knew it would be different for me and quite adequate for Halloween tomorrow, even if here we don’t celebrate it.
      I’m making the most of it as I can :P

      I loved your entry as well, and I think we just crossed while commenting on each other’s #fridayflash ;)

  2. Oh, how cool! Here I was thinking how nice it is to carve pumpkins and wham! those last sentences…
    You did great!

  3. Love this: “He wouldn’t have wanted to cut off his fingers by accident.” while he was carving a man’s head like a pumpkin.
    A bit spooky in the end, but I liked it :)

    Happy Halloween!

    • My fiancé actually said while reading that I should lose that sentence. I told him to read the whole story before suggesting that.
      And when he finished reading he was like: “Oooh yes, that sentence is perfect there.”

  4. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwww…….. laughing….didn’t know that sweet head of yours could have something like this in it. ……

    geez! great for halloween
    Karen :0)

    • Thanks Karen! Honestly I didn’t know I had it in my sweet head either until I read the finished product.
      Seems like someone’s writing was a great influence on me. Hugs!

  5. How calm and cool he was even when making that phone call to the police. And leaving the head in the window… you’re full of spooky ideas.
    But it’s very cool story for Halloween!

  6. really great story :P the ending surprised me :P not too creepy, perfect for Halloween :P

  7. Spooktacular :D loved it!

  8. I was so caught up in reading about the carving and then lo! What a great halloween story. :)

    Mind if we exchange links?

  9. I liked Jack as a character, very well defined, you’d think he’s on open book, but also keeping the mystery at all times was nice :)

  10. Oh man, I love this! Too bad I didn’t find it on Halloween, should’ve made my hubby read it, he’s a bit afraid of horror fiction :P

  11. Great twist to it! Perfect Halloween story ;)

  12. Wow, that ending hits like a punch to the gut. Great Halloween story.

  13. Haha! I’m sure I’ll remember this story for many Halloweens to come as I’m carving heads…
    Oh, sorry… scratch that. I meant pumpkins :P

  14. Hey everybody, Happy belated Halloween! Amazing story here, i was shocked at the ending, but that’s what a good Halloween story does to you, right?
    Keep writing, you are a natural :)

  15. Very nice Halloween story:D!Good job;)

  16. @ All

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, I’m so glad to have you all here!

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