“Premonition and Personification” by T.C. McVay

by E.V. Jacob on October 25, 2013

The lovely T.C. McVay is here to wrap up this first week of scary stories with her own flavor of crazy!  Follow her on Twitter at @TCMcVay!


        Thomas Reynolds, age ten, awoke at twelve a.m. with a dry throat.  He used the upstairs bathroom and then stumbled downstairs to the kitchen. He flipped the switch for the light from memory. After opening the fridge, he simply stood and stared at its contents. He’d had that darn dream again. Why now after one year without it?

He shivered and shook his head to free the last remnants of dream. He grabbed a pouch of Coolers Fruit Punch, stuck the straw in it, and slurped it down. It was so refreshing that he grabbed another one before closing the fridge. This time he sat on a stool at the breakfast bar while sipping the juice. The light illuminated the dining room table and the pumpkins they had carved yesterday atop it. He and his father had carved huge, ghoulish grins with angry eyes into their pumpkins and then decorated them with dark, red paint as if they were crying tears of blood. His mother and sister had carved happy smiles, upturned eyes, and decorated theirs with glitter stickers. Tonight would be an awesome Halloween Double Birthday Party. He wouldn’t even complain about not being able to go trick or treating. His parents were afraid that some deranged lunatic would snatch their children up.

He stopped thinking about the party and stared at the pumpkins on the table. He couldn’t have seen them move. He was still shaken up from that darn dream. Before he could decide to go back to bed, he heard footsteps on the stairs and his sister, age eight, came into view. She was wearing her favorite Dora the Explorer pajamas, dragging along her stuffed bear named Boots, and rubbing her left eye.

“Tommy? I had a nightmare.”

She sat on the stool closest to him and hugged Boots to her chest. Her bangs stuck to her forehead and the hair that touched her shoulders clung to one of Dora’s stars. She looked at his arm that was trying to hide the juices.

“I don’t care that you drank my juices. It was so awful.”

Her fear-filled eyes alighted on the pumpkins and her breath stilled. She hugged Boots even tighter. He angled his head to block the pumpkins from view. Then he lifted the half-empty pouch to her lips. Once she had gulped the rest of the punch down, he moved his head.

“See, Casey. There’s nothing wrong with the pumpkins. It was just a bad dream.”

“Then why is that one moving?”

His eyes followed her trembling finger and his ears heard what he had been trying to block out. A pumpkin, his pumpkin, was indeed moving. The blood tears dripping onto the table was making the horrible splattering noise. It grew limbs that consisted of two carrot sticks stuck together, little pumpkin palms and feet, and smaller carrot sticks for its fingers and toes. It turned towards them and spit something out that struck him in the forehead. He rubbed the spot that had been hit and looked down at the bar. It was a pumpkin seed. They had roasted them last night, then put them back in the pumpkins for the party.

“Look, Tommy!”

The rest of the pumpkins had grown carrot stick limbs as well. As his pumpkin began to spit out another seed, his sister’s pumpkin knocked his pumpkin down making the seed fly wide. Instead of hitting his sister, the seed hit a picture of them fighting in the sand when they were younger. The picture fell off the front of the freezer and onto the floor.

Thomas’s pumpkin pushed himself up and whirled around. Louis Jr. joined Tommy Jr. and they faced off against Casey Jr. and Marcy Jr. Blood tears continued to splatter the table in the silence.

Human Tommy held his breath until the seeds started to fly. The lady pumpkins put up a good fight, but they weren’t as vicious as the males. Tommy Jr. ripped apart all of Casey Jr.’s limbs. Louis Jr. tore all of the stickers from Marcy Jr.’s body. The lady pumpkins lay whimpering. The male pumpkins turned towards him and his sister and limped to the end of the table. The seed spray was still going.

Tommy grabbed his sister and dove to the ground where seeds couldn’t hit them. His cheeks stung. His ears stung. His sister was now screaming. He heard footsteps and slapped his hand over Casey’s mouth. Her hollering stopped and so had the seed spray.

“Maybe if we’re quiet they won’t find us.”

Her eyes were huge and brimming with tears.

“Thomas and Casey Reynolds. Get up.”

Casey ran to their mother, tears gliding down her cheeks, only to be rebuked.

“Oh, don’t you come crying to me now. I’ve had enough of your fake tears after you two’ve been fighting.”

“But, Mom! We weren’t fighting this time. It was the pumpkins. They were alive.”

His dad stood behind his mom surveying the damage. The pumpkins lay scattered on the table amongst carrots, drying red paint, and glitter stickers. Pumpkin seeds were all over the floor and other surfaces around both rooms. They were in his and his sister’s hair. Magnets from the fridge were on the floor, there was a crack on the part of the microwave that told time, and a crack in his father’s favorite mug.

“Tom. We expect you to tell the truth since you’re older,” he said in his calm, but angry voice.

“Casey’s telling the truth. I swear it.”

“That’s it. You two. Upstairs. Now. You’ll be cleaning instead of having that party tomorrow.”

When he got upstairs, Tommy lay in bed musing. His dream was a real memory that happened five years ago. The scarecrow on the front porch had really been moving. His parents had not believed him. They thought he’d been trying to scare his little sister because she’d been crying and clinging to his leg. Could Casey and he have caused both nights to happen?


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