Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
This story was inspired by a photo from AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com. Click on the AWKARD to the left or on the link at the bottom to see the image.
a monologue by Jeff Folschinsky
I hated to do it, but it had to happen. I blame Linus for putting the idea of the Great Pumpkin in my head to begin with. I know dumb, but I was young and gullible, and at the time it seemed plausible. Plus, if I’m really honest with myself, I kind of had a thing for Linus at the time. Yes, I know, the same silly, slightly creepy Linus with the blanket, but I don’t know what to tell you – at the time he really intrigued me. I think I might have been going through a phase at the time.
Anyway, when my brother and I walked by that pumpkin patch and just saw him sitting there, my heart went out to him. I would love to say I just felt sorry for him, but that would be a lie. I think it was that he was so dedicated to this idea that this thing known as the Great Pumpkin would show up that night – I don’t know, it just became contagious, and I decided to stay with him.
Oh my God, my brother thought I was crazy, but I was determined to stay. Probably was a little irresponsible of him to leave his little sister in the middle of a pumpkin patch at night, but hey, it was a different time back then. We were out there forever, freezing our behinds off, waiting for this stupid thing to show up and shower us with gifts. Just when I was about to give up, it happens. A shadow began to emerge from the pumpkin patch. “Holy crap,” I thought to myself. This son-of-a-gun was right all along. This Great Pumpkin does exist and I was going to be there to witness it. While everyone else is walking around doing their normal trick-or-treating and having their boring traditional Halloween parties, I was going to witness something amazing that few other people have. Oh how envious my brother was going to be when I showed up back home with the gifts that this Great Pumpkin was going to bestow upon me. In all of my excitement I didn’t realize that I was now holding hands with Linus. Oh my God, I was holding hands with a boy and I was going to meet the frickin’ Great Pumpkin. This was looking like it was going to be the best Halloween ever!
I could hardly breathe as the shadow got closer to us. I was so excited that I thought I was going to pee myself, when from the shadow emerged – my dog. That’s right, my stupid dog. Actually I take that back, our dog Snoopy was freakishly smart, but he was not who I was expecting at that moment.
I can’t begin to describe the anger I was feeling. I laid into Linus with the burning passions of a thousand suns, and stormed off. I could hear him yelling that next year he would prove the Great Pumpkin was real, next year he would surely show up. As mad as I was at him, I still couldn’t help from feeling kind of sorry for him.
Well, needless to say, I never did that again. The same couldn’t be said for Linus though. Every year he would miss out on Halloween to sit out in that damn pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin, which of course never showed up.
I sort of lost track of Linus when I went off to college. After graduation though, I started an internship with an advertisement company located close to home and ran into him. He had a son. I guess he got his girlfriend pregnant right after high school graduation and decided to do the honorable thing and marry her. He told me he was assistant manager at Tire City, and seemed genuinely happy. I walked away feeling really happy for him.
Afterwards though, I started to hear stories. I guess the blanket thing never really went away. Rumor was, to cut down on people making fun of him, he turned it into some sort of diaper so he could have in on him all the time. Also up until a year ago, both he and his freak of a wife were living in his parent’s basement. Also, the way my brother tells it, the only reason he had a job was because his father’s friend who owned Tire City owed him a favor. I guess he was a classic case of what professionals called a Failure to Launch. The worst of all the stories I heard though, was that every Halloween he still went out to that damn pumpkin patch and waited for the Great Pumpkin. Worse than that, he was taking his kid out there with him.
I don’t know why this bothered me so much. I guess my own experience and disappointment with him and this so-called Great Pumpkin story came flooding back. All of the sudden I had thoughts of this being some hidden tradition in his family, where each and every generation screws up the next with this stupid story of the Great Pumpkin. All of the sudden the whole thing seemed even more tragic then it already was. It all seemed so unfair to that little child he introduced to me. He didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t deserve this future that was being forced on him. That’s why during Halloween I decided this vicious cycle had to end.
When the evening of Halloween came, I marched up to that pumpkin patch, determined to talk some sense into Linus. Even if he was stuck in his ways, there was a chance he could see that there was still a time for his son to have a normal life.
Even though I heard the stories, I have to say I was sad and disappointed to actually see them both sitting there in that pumpkin patch.
“Linus!” I called out.
“Sally?” he answered, with both a bit of confusion and disappointment. He probably believed for a second that the Great Pumpkin had finally arrived. Afraid I was going to have the opposite effect my visit intended, I immediately blurted out, “You have to stop this.”
“You heard me Linus. This is not healthy, and it isn’t good for your son to be subjected to this.”
“Subjected to what?”
“The Great Pumpkin, Linus! It doesn’t, nor has it ever existed!”
“What’s she talking about daddy?”
“Nothing son; Sally, what are you doing?”
“I’m sorry but this all has to end Linus. Your son can have a future, but you have to let go of this childish fantasy – it is not healthy.”
“Sally, you need to go away, and mind your own business.”
Hearing this – well I don’t know what came over me. I really should of have just walked away but for some reason I was just so committed to this cause I had built up in my head. I noticed I was standing next to a shovel, probably left by the farmer whose pumpkin patch we were in, and I don’t what happened, but I picked it up and smashed the first pumpkin that was in front of me. I then yelled out, “the Great Pumpkin doesn’t exist, damn it!” I then hit another pumpkin and then another and then another.
Before I knew it I had nearly destroyed all the pumpkins. I then roared out, “the Great Pumpkin doesn’t exist, quite ruining little children’s lives with this story!”
It was only then I saw the tears in his son’s eyes.
“Sally, what on Earth is wrong with you?” Linus asked me with a look of disbelief. “I know that the Great Pumpkin doesn’t exist. My wife doesn’t like Halloween so we come out here to tell ghost stories and play games, so we can stay away from the crazies on the street doing the trick or treat thing and have a bit of fun.
“What’s wrong with the lady, daddy?” His son cried out.
“I don’t know son. Obviously, she’s disturbed. Sally, if you don’t mind please stay away from me and my son, or I’ll have to call the police.” And with that, he got is son and left that pumpkin patch as fast as he could.
I just stood there dumbfounded, trying to think of how I was the bad guy in all this. I don’t know how much time passed before Ted Shultz the farmer who owned the pumpkin patch I was standing in showed up, while I was holding the shovel still covered in pumpkin carnage. Needless to say, it ended up being a very expensive night.
When I got home, my brother, whose house I was staying at, asked if I did anything fun for Halloween.
I simply looked at him and said, “Well, tomorrow you’re probably going to be hearing a lot of stories but one thing I can confirm is that the Great Pumpkin is finally dead, Charlie Brown.”
Jeff Folschinsky’s plays have been seen at various theaters across North America. He is also creator and staff writer for Perilous and The Trials and Tribulations of Vicky Vixen, a serial late night soap opera spoof at the Eclectic Company Theatre in North Hollywood, California. Jeff’s plays The Unsinkable Bismarck, A Pill By Any Other Name Is The Wrong Dosage, Rendezvous and Revelations and Kisses From Abroad are published by One Act Play Depot. His full length play Turkey Day that had it’s world premiere at The Eclectic Company Theatre, is published by both Norman Maine Play Publishing and Big Dog Play Publishing. His play he co-wrote with Tyler Tanner, The Singing Bone, is published by JAC Publishing. Jeff has written and produced the popular podcasts Virgin Falls, Pasiones Obsesionantes, The B-Movie Bastards and Cult Movie Cuisine. Jeff has also written a movie with Tyler Tanner and Stephanie Wiand called Revenge of the Bimbot Zombie Killers which was directed by Joe Camareno and is due to be released later this year.