The Pumpkin Carver

the pumpkin carver

By Jen P

 

“How you plan on getting’ all these home?” says the farmer who owns the pumpkin patch. He’s in his mid-fifties, in good shape for his age, tanned, and dusty from hauling gourds out of the field all day.

Any other day, Cecilia would be admiring his sturdy frame, imagining what he’d look like naked beneath her purple mandala sheets; but the scarecrow in the field behind him has her full attention. It’s unlike any scarecrow she’s seen—twice the size of most, and dark as if shaded by a different light than the world around it. Its body is made of sticks and tattered burlap, flapping heavily in the breeze. Dried pumpkin vines climb up its support beam on either side, giving the semblance of legs if she lets her eyes blur out for a moment. But what makes the scarecrow oddest of all, is its head: a sun-bleached deer skull, with great, curved antlers. Three sharp offshoots jut up from the major curved point of each horn, and a break in the jaw adds to the eeriness.

“Ma’am?” says the farmer, louder to get her attention.

She shakes her head. “Sorry. Yes. I’ll come back for the rest, if you’ll just sit them somewhere off to the side for me.”

“No problem.”

She points. “That’s some scarecrow you have there.”

He turns to look at it, as if he’s forgotten the hulking thing stands constant vigil in his field. “Oh, that’s Marvin,” he says. “We call him ‘the guardian of the patch’. Don’t do much about the birds, but he sure keeps the kids from sneakin’ in and smashin’ ‘em in the night.” Continue reading

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Book Review: STARFLIGHT

By Jen P

starflight-melissa-landers-e1453435743853

Starflight, by Melissa Landers, sat in my to-read pile for a long time. (You may remember, Landers burned me with her hints of sex but no delivery in Alienated and Invaded.) Starflight is the first in her new space travel series about a girl on the run from a past that’s literally tattooed on her knuckles, and the blue-collar jerk who hires her as a servant, not knowing his big-money lifestyle is about to take a turn for the broke. Continue reading