THE DAVID S. PUMPKINS ORIGIN STORY YOU DIDN'T KNOW YOU NEEDED
The pumpkins were screaming again.
What, you don’t think pumpkins can scream? What else would they do as you carve into their orange flesh, creating a face where no face should exist, slashing a mouth where there was no mouth? What is a mouth for, if not to scream in agony as a monster, wielding a knife, destroys you?
David had learned the pain of pumpkins as a young child. Two years old, plump as a pumpkin himself and nearly as round, his parents had purchased a beautiful pumpkin. It sat next to David in the back seat of the station wagon on the ride home, and he curled his arm around it protectively, caressing the slightly textured skin of his beautiful friend. Later that night his thoughtless parents had fastened him in his high chair as they mauled the orange squash, stabbing it again and again to create their foul caricatures of faces. It was that night a streak of his hair went white after he stared too long into the deadlights of his pumpkin friend’s hollow, haunted eyes.
Every October thereafter young David tried to save as many pumpkins as he could. He hid them under his bed, in the attic, under the porch of his house that was dark and cool and full of mystery. But no matter how many patches he raided or supermarket displays he ransacked, every October his entire neighborhood was lined with the corpses of his friends, always screaming. He especially loathed the ones that were given smiles to scream from--how rude. Such disrespect!
His family always mocked him as he sat alone in his room, playing “Follow the Drinking Gourd” incessantly on his autoharp. They’d sigh and roll their eyes as they feasted on roasted pumpkin seeds. They’d snap at him to just get his pouty face out of sight as they scarfed down pumpkin pie after pumpkin pie. They’d sneer at him as they dribbled pumpkin soup into their horrendous gaping mouths, oblivious to the fact that they might as well be drinking blood.
David lived with this pain until his eighteenth birthday, when he could take it no more. He took his graduation suit and carefully painted it with all the faces of his friends he’d lost over the years so he would not forget them, and so everyone he met would have to confront the horrors that others had wrought. He would wear it as he traveled the world, doing what he could to save his friends. He also abandoned his given name, taking a new one that would be his guiding light and life-long motto: David Saves Pumpkins.
There was no question: he would be his own thing. A thing of vengeance.
David S. Pumpkins.