Jules the Disgruntled Pumpkin

Jules the Disgruntled Pumpkin by Kim Hawke

Jules the Pumpkin had rotting holes shaped like hearts for ears. He didn’t know why; they were just like that. It was his vine’s fault.On Halloween night, Jules hopped into a kitchen through the window and accidentally landed on a knife, which went flying and stuck into the wall. He hid under the dining room table as someone came in the room.“Hey, Mom! Can you come in here for a minute?” a girl with a chocolate-smeared mouth said. Her mom came in. “There are little pumpkin seed-shaped droppings all over the floor.”“Hmm. Mice, maybe. They need more fiber in their diet. Cheese isn’t good for your intestines. We’ll pour some of Grandma Goo’s fiber chocolate that she keeps sneaking into our cereal on the floor for the mouse,” the mom said. The two of them cackled as they got rid of the food they hated so much.The doorbell rang and the two left the room to give kids candy.Jules hopped out from under the table and sniffed the fiber-loaded chocolate, a.k.a. The Laxative. It smelled all right to Jules, so he ate a few pieces and if you want to know what happened to Jules, then ask an evil little kid who has fed a laxative to seagulls.The next morning, Grandma Goo screamed, and three generations of Goo women stood around Jules.“I didn’t know pumpkins had mouths,” the youngest Goo said.Mother Goo made Jules into a pumpkin pie and froze him for Thanksgiving. When the pie was finished baking and its smell filled the house, it didn’t smell any different from the other pumpkin pies the Goos had ever made because fiber doesn’t have a smell…Jules, squashed, mashed, baked, and brooding, sat in the freezer for a few weeks, waiting to be let out of the cold, aluminum-foil-covered prison so he could get revenge on the Goos.Finally, the morning came when Jules was defrosted and set next to the turkey guts that come in a little white bag inside the raw turkey. Jules just sat there on the counter, not being able to see or anything, but sensing the salmonella that was possibly crawling over to his crust. He felt cheated. How did he end up in such a disgusting kitchen filled with women who gossiped about the other women from their church who gossiped when he’d had such an adventurous life outside this place? Curiosity smashed the pumpkin.Eventually, after witnessing some nibbling on his crust in the kitchen, Jules was brought out to the dining room and his gooey crust was sliced by the crusty Goo, who had specs of flour in her wrinkles. A room full or people grabbed their sliced of Jules before anyone in another part of the room had a chance to get theirs, and soon Jules was divided and sliding down esophaguses to do his real work.In less than an hour, twenty-something Goos were all racing and pushing for the only bathroom in the small duplex, and Jules was released into the sewer, which had a leaky pipe that drained into a pumpkin patch on the outskirts of town, and Jules soon took his regular form again, growing on heart-shaped vines.

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