Despite the children’s mockery
and the continual disdain of
each and every adult in the village,
ney the County even,
Peter Peter continued carving
and buggering pumpkins.
Things did get a little weirder
midway through the summers
when the previous year’s pumpkins
dwindled and the new vines had
yet to bear fruit. I hear tell, that
resort did Peter Peter to cases
of canned pumpkin and an arc
welder. Leave you will I dear reader
to your imaginations on that
slightly bizarre note.
One particularly beautiful autumn
morn, Peter Peter heard a loud rumbling
outside his modest cottage that by now
smelled perpetually of pumpkin
and seed oh and a little nutmeg he
splashed about for a lame attempt
at potpourri concealment. There
was a knock at the door. Peter Peter
opened it and squinted out into
the brilliant morn. A beautiful woman,
clad in black riding leathers stood before him.
She smiled, “Hey dude, my Hog’s
nearly outta gas. Can you spare a tankful?
I’ll pay handsomely.”
Poor Peter Peter began to stammer,
not one clear word would issue from his trembling
lips. Losing patience, he motioned at
the tool shed in the back. “Hhhhhhelpppp
your your your your sssssssselfffff.”
Rapunzel smiled uneasily. She turned
and walked around toward the shed.
She pitied the poor stammering man, but
something about him raised
the short hairs upon her freshly shorn neck.
“Never ignore the animal fear response,” she
remembered from one of the innumerable
self defense and self actualization tapes
she played during her incarceration in the
witch’s tower. Or was it on CNN?
O! Wolf Blitzer!
She shrugged off the silly debate,
“Fuck it.” She opened
the door to the shed and found a filled
gas can. The inside of the shed did
nothing to quiet the feeling that had
moved from her neck and now sat firmly
to the left of her liver. She slammed
the door, wishing no further inquiry.
She returned to the bike and wasting no
time, quickly filled the tank. She peeled
off a couple of crisp fives, grabbed the near
empty can and went toward the door. It opened
just as she was going to knock. She smiled
crookedly and noticed the half empty whiskey
bottle in Peter Peter’s left hand, an odd leering
grin spread across his face, “C’mon in for a
drink young lady!” His speech was clear, if
As Rapunzel was preparing a proper brush off,
Peter Peter yanked her inside his cottage, bolted the door
and placed himself between Rapunzel and the exit.
“Look man,” said Rapunzel crisply, “Take the ten bucks
for the gas and let’s part friends.”
“I don’t think so,” said Peter Peter slurring more noticeably
than before. He lurched toward Rapunzel, she deftly
sidestepped him and he slammed clumsily into the wall.
As Peter Peter stumbled and tried to gather himself,
Raunzel tried the door…It was locked and the
key was gone. She turned back to face Peter Peter,
“Dude enough of this!” yelled Rapunzel, “Someone’s
really gonna get hurt!”
Peter Peter leered, “You gonna hurt me little girl?” and charged
toward Rapunzel again. Rapunzel tried a similar evasive
maneuver, but she was one slivered second slow. Peter Peter
now held her in a firm grasp and calmly and deliberately
moved his hands to her neck and began to squeeze
the life from our dear Rapunzel. Through tearing eyes
Rapunzel saw a small sickle like knife on the nearby
table, it was Peter Peter’s favorite pumpkin picking knife.
She grabbed for the knife and missed, but tried again
and again and one more time until the smooth wood
handle was firmly in her grasp. She was nearing
blackout as she moved the knife between
Peter Peter’s knees and with an upward and then
semi circle downward slice unjoined Peter Peter from his peter
and his peter’s two nutty pals. Peter Peter fell backward
toward the open hearth’s roaring fire screaming.
He stumbled on the hearth stone and promptly fell in.
Rapunzel was bent over at the waist, trying to regain her
breath and strength. She saw Peter Peter struggling
to extricate himself from the hearth, “Dude,
I told you someone was really going
to get hurt!” She grabbed the whiskey bottle
Peter Peter had dropped and slugged back the dwindling corn.
She wiped her lips. Peter Peter had managed to free himself
from the hearth and was doing a fine job spreading
the fire from one end of the cottage to the other. Rapunzel
saw a key hanging on a cut nail next to the door.
She prayed, it unlocked the door, calmly she stepped outside,
closed the door just before Peter Peter made it to the
threshold, locked the door and slid the key
into her pocket. She walked over to her Hog and
kicked it over just as the dry, tindery old cottage began to
fall in upon itself.
As she roared back onto the asphalt, a lone question
flashed across her mind,
“Why do I smell baking pumpkin pie?”