Gummy Pumpkins (Day 53)

They just stuck together: that was what we noticed first, before any of the real silliness started. At no stage in the pumpkin growing process should the shell ever be adhesive or even tacky. Yet that is just what these were: the rinds appeared smooth and hard, yet when we stacked them, we found it nearly impossible to get them apart again. They didn’t seem to stick to anything else – we were able to handle them individually without incident – but the adhesion of pumpkin to pumpkin was nearly unbreakable. Damnedest thing you ever saw.

It was Augie who first noticed the glowing. It seemed to be just one or two pumpkins, deep down in the pile. We tried to pry the mound apart to get a better look at what was going on down there, but we didn’t make much headway, and we could tell that is was starting to spread, whatever it was: the glowing was getting stronger, and seemed to be coming from more and more of the base of the mound. We all found it downright unsettling, and most of us had the good sense by this point to just get the hell away from there. Clearly things were not right.

But Drew had to keep poking around. Always too curious by far, since we were kids, he found a rake handle or something and gave a good poking around in there, as far as he could reach. I know I wasn’t the only one who had a bad feeling, but none of us expected the blast. Must thrown me back twenty, thirty feet, knocked me right out. When I came to, the whole pile was gone, and so was Drew. Nothing left but a big patch of ground, melted into glass. Damnedest thing.

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