Rotten


Autumn leaves of every shade, from honey to crimson, littered the pavement. They crunched underfoot as Elle skipped alongside her boyfriend.

“I’ve never known anyone so excited for pumpkins,” chuckled Trev as he admired her child-like grin.

“I just love Halloween.”

She pulled her scarf tighter and rubbed her mittens together. they approached the intricate iron gates that marked the entrance to the pumpkin patch.

“I can’t believe we’ve never been to this place before.”

Trev eyed the rusted iron twisted to mimic ivy and gargoyles.

“Hmm, I think I have an idea why.”

He took Elles hand and stepped over the threshold. Immediately, the full moon hid behind a passing cloud, turning the sky dark grey. Elle drew closer to Trev, cuddling into his arm as her breath rose in front of her face. They strolled along muddy paths, between rows of bulbous orange pumpkins. Trev wrapped his arms around a particularly gigantic bulb. he heaved, but as he lifted the pumpkin from its mound, it collapsed inward, and its mouldy innards fell to the ground, covering Trev’s legs in foul-smelling mush.

“Eew, what the?”

Trev dropped what remained of the pumpkin to the ground. With a wrinkled nose and raised eyebrows, he looked at Elle.

“Maybe we should try somewhere else.”

Elle nodded. She had her shirt pulled up over her face and was trying not to breathe. They turned around, expecting to see the gate, but it wasn’t there.

“Maybe it was this way.”

Trev waddled around. there was nothing but yard after yard of iron fence. There was a squelch of mud behind Elle and Trev’s eyes widened. He grabbed Elle by the hand and began dragging her towards the fence line.

“Ouch, Trev, what the hell? You’re getting goop all over me.”

They slid to a halt. Trev glanced left and right before taking off along the fence, still dragging Elle behind him. She twisted, trying to keep her footing whilst also looking behind her was difficult. She tripped, landing face-first in the stinking mud. Trev pulled her arm and she stumbled to her feet. She caught a glimpse of a scythe in the moonlight and the silhouette of a tall figure, twitching towards her and let out a whimper. Having done a full lap of the fence, they arrived, gasping for breath at the spot where they’d started. Trev lifted Elle onto his shoulders.

“Wait.”

He pushed her upwards. The iron fence ripped through her coat and she landed with a crack on the other side.

“Trev?”

A lone hand appeared over the top of the fence, then was pulled back just as quickly. The scream that followed chilled Elle to the bone, but all she could see through the iron posts was a perfectly normal pumpkin patch, guarded at its centre by a thin scarecrow and his scythe.


By Stacey Potter


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