First Published 2008
Republished For #100DAYSOF HALLOWEENHAPPY-#21
Photo A.M. Moscoso
” How did you get so good at carving pumpkins? ” Aubrey asked her Grandmother on that last autumn evening in their golden sweet smelling and warm kitchen.
” Practice.” Enid told her Granddaughter as she delicately put the tip of her butcher’s knife against the side pumpkin’s blank face. ” Lots and lots of practice.”
She pushed the knife into he pumpkin’s flesh and as she broke the skin she told Aubrey, ” I love that smell.”
” That pumpkin smell?” Aubrey wondered out loud.
Enid looked over the pumpkin and said, ” That what?”
” That pumpkin smell.”
Enid shrugged and then pulled the knife up and dropped it down into the pumpkin in one clean motion after another.
Instead of answering her Aubrey, Enid hummed.
When she was finished she put her knife down and wrapped her fingers around the pumpkins stem. She took a breath, closed her eyes and smiled as lifted and heard the pop and rip as the top of the pumpkin’s skull came away in her hand.
Enid opened her eyes and sighed and then she answered her Granddaughter. ” No. I don’t mean that smell. I mean that other smell.”
” I can’t smell anything except for Pumpkin.”
” Really?” Enid said, ” You can’t smell that?”
Enid set the top of the pumpkin’s head down and she reached for a large wooden spoon and plunged into the pumpkin and began to scrape it out.
” Go ahead. Take a sniff. You really can’t smell that?”
Aubrey leaned over the pumpkin and sniffed.
” What is it? What should I be able to smell?”
As Enid stood up she picked the knife up off the table and said to the back of her Granddaughter’s neck as her stealthy shadow crept across the table:
” Why. The Fear of course.”