Yet another character from Even More Nightmare Rhymes returns here…
I decided to summon the Pumpkin Woman.
I thought that she could only be summoned on Halloween Night. No, it was the end of September, and I heard she had been sighted in a nearby cemetery. I suppose when they said she could only be summoned on Halloween, they meant she could be summoned when the shops sold masks and chocolate skulls. Theoretically, she could be called on as early as late August.
I could have probably summoned her any time I wanted; every day is like Halloween for me.
The Pumpkin Woman was exactly what the name implied. A woman whose head is a jack-o-lantern with flaming eyes and big sharp teeth, usually seen with a knife like those used to carve her brethren.
Using a certain ritual, you could summon her and give her a request. It was entirely up to her whether or not she accepted your request, but people have used her to frighten their enemies, get revenge or even murder someone.
I had to summon her.
The ritual was simple. You had to be in a spot with some relation to Halloween; I was in the room where I kept all my masks. Draw a square on the ground with chalk and place an uncarved pumpkin on each corner. There was nothing she hated more than the desecration of pumpkins; she has been known to attack those who so much as drink pumpkin spice coffee in her presence. Not that I wanted to carve those pumpkins; I don’t think I could do such a thing without vomiting.
Over every pumpkin you had to put a drop of your blood, or in my case, what counted for blood. If I actually had blood, I wouldn’t be summoning her.
Then say the incantation. I did so, and flames erupted in the centre of the circle, making me cower. Thankfully, the heat subsided as soon as the flames cleared, revealing the Pumpkin Woman in all her glory.
‘Who summons me?’ She snarled, revealing all her yellow fangs, yet when she actually looked at me, her mouth shrank and her eyes bulged. ‘Oh…’
‘Yes, that’s right.’
‘I thought I was…’ She looked around the room. She looked at my masks. A collection of synthetic human faces for me to wear when I go out. Necessary for my survival and for summoning the Pumpkin Woman, yet often it feels like these masks are silently mocking me, reminding me of what has pursued me. Reminding me of what I could never be. ‘You really don’t pretend to be human, do you? They’re the worst.’
‘Well, it’s just…’
‘Don’t worry, I won’t do anything to you. I know how it feels. Now why did you summon me? What is your request?’
‘Well, I thought I’d get into the Halloween spirit a bit early and watch some horror movies. Would you like to join me?’
‘I’d love to!’ replied the Pumpkin Woman.
‘Thanks,’ I replied, ‘by the way, the name’s Lisa.’