jack o' lanterns - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
The smell of scorched pumpkin drifts down the hall...Scooped out on spread newspapers in the kitchen, handfuls of white seeds in their network of viscous threads, some grotesque and radical form of brain surgery; two little girls crouching over the orange heads with spoons and paring knives. Little mad scientists. They were so intense about it, especially Nancy. She wanted hers to have horns. Finally Nate suggested carrots, and Nancy's pumpkin now has lopsided horns in addition to it's scowl. Janet's is more sedate: a curved smile, half-moon eyes upturned. Serenity if you look at it from a certain angle, idiocy from another. Nancy's has a fearsome energy, a demonic glee.
Though Nancy had carved the scariest faces she could into the pumpkins, they weren't nearly frightening enough. She wanted them to make those trick-or-treaters jump, because only then would they laugh and cling to one another all the way to her front door. And that was just the start. She had a door bell that would activate a smoke machine and shriek, then she would make the big reveal in the costume that had taken so long to make - a witch with warts and all. She had spider candy and slug marshmallows to give out too. But first thing's first, the pumpkins had to glare with soulless eyes. She huffed and stuck her hands on her hips. They were too round, too friendly, they were about as scary as a chocolate knife.
Jack o'lanterns line the street. Some appear shocked, others are puking out their seeds and orange sinewy threads, some are carved like cats or rabbits. They are as varied as the imaginations of their carvers and no two are exactly alike. They glow in the Halloween night as greetings to the costumed children who skitter from house to house to rap on the door and declare their festive ultimatum with gleeful voices. When the candy runs out the candles are extinguished and the jack o'lanterns sit glum and silent, destined for the compost. But their memory lives on in the hearts of the children who will draw them at school and describe them in their writing journals.
As we scoop the 'guts' out of the pumpkins, the slimy seeds are as difficult to hold onto as hundreds of tiny fish all squirming in different directions. We scrape at the stringy innards with special serrated scoops until the inside is smooth and bare. Then we take the pumpkin carving tools and begin to transform this ordinary fruit into a work of art for this Halloween night. We use the special pumpkin carving tools to cut out faces and patterns, holes where the light of the candle will shine through, beckoning the trick-or-treaters to out door for candy. The giggling children who come describe our jack o'lanterns as spooky, wacky and funny.
Tom was hopping about with a demonic zeal, with his carving tool in one hand and a spoon in the other, It was finally time to make his puking pumpkin. Like a deranged surgeon he set about slicing the top of the pumpkin off, revealing the slippery tangle of seeds and sinew inside. After 'pulling out it's brains' as he liked to think of it, he carefully carved two squinting eyes and a round mouth. Then he stood back to briefly admire his handiwork. Scooping it up into his arms, he staggered with it to the steps and placed a tea light inside, then strew the steps with the slimy seeds and threads so that it looked like it was being projected from the pumpkin's mouth.
Through teeth that can't bite comes the sallow glow of candles. They struggle against the wind, protected though they are in their caverns of gold. On the eve of October, the dawn of November, the witches and ghosts are abroad, not caring for who should see. It is their night of "mischief." It is a cruel mischief, cold and indifferent. It is how they stay amused for the rest of the year, meeting around fires for a peasant-roast and competing for the most vile halloween tale of them all.