tagRomanceThe Enchanted Pumpkin Patch

The Enchanted Pumpkin Patch

bysack©

"You've probably heard the Appian Hollow Pumpkin Patch is haunted". Roy Arbengast spoke earnestly to his next door neighbor, Betty Stone.

"W-why?" Betty was intensely superstitious and could feel her heart pounding like a jackhammer in her chest.

"We-l-l-" Roy had a distinct drawl. "Sometimes people go there and...." He paused tellingly. "They never come back."

"N-n-never?" Betty was quite gullible and was falling quite nicely for Roy's glib sale pitch.

"Never!" Roy nodded with an evil smile. "Look at the Thwates woman case...that old bat hiked up there to talk to the dead and was never seen again."

"Oh yes, the Thwates woman."

Betty nodded knowingly. Agatha Thwates was an aging socialite who claimed she could speak to the dead. People would see her wandering deserted streets babbling to herself about the "enchanted light." No one knew for sure where she came from and what family she had except for one thing; her eccentric behavior had increased after she lost both her parents.

Betty let out an audible sigh. In one respect she could sympathize with poor old Agatha Thwates. She had lost her own mother earlier in the year very suddenly. One minute she was laughing and singing at an Independence Day party, and a few hours later was attached to a ventilator, the victim of severe internal bleeding. Now that she thought of it, the entire year had been a disaster for the 47 year old divorcee, from being laid off at work to splitting up with her boyfriend after three years of courtship. She had been particularly close to her mother, taking care of her through various bouts of arthritis, shingles, and pneumonia. Now she was unequivocably, utterly alone, and took various medications to function from one day to the next.

"Well, I have to go Roy," Betty got up from the stiff wicker chair she was rocking on. "Think I'll take a hike before it gets dark."

"Be good, Bet!" Roy waved her off and turned to retire to his tidy post and beam home. Betty was anxious to get away from civilization. If the Appian Hollow Pumpkin Patch was indeed haunted, she simply had to find out.

There was still some light in the sky on a brisk October day as Betty hurried to the entrance to the tiny hamlet of Appian Hollow, a suburb of sleepy Knollwood where she had grown up. As the attractive redhead briskly traversed the ornate cobblestone paths leading from her neighborhood, she contemplated what she was going to find at the pumpkin patch. Some sign from her mother? A message from beyond? Bad patches of poison ivy?

Betty giggled like a pubescent schoolgirl as she reached the ornate gate that led to Appian Hollow proper. Then, a turn on an unlikely side street and she was there, the forboding Pumpkin Patch. Although the land technically belonged to a mysterious Farmer Dale, he apparently was too old to worry about the occasional trespasser. Betty didn't really expect to meet anyone as she stepped over decaying vines and rotting fruits, but had brought along some pepper spray just in case.

The sun was low in the evening sky which had turned a delectable combination of sherbert orange, strawberry pink, and cranberry red. Betty really had no idea of where she was going, but could see an outbuilding of some sort in the distance. She figured she would just walk to that point and perhaps meditate for a while. It was getting dark rather quickly now and her flashlight and pepper spray jiggled in her pocket. Betty made a mental note that it was October 29th. Halloween was just two nights away and she couldn't bear the thought of spending it alone. Helen Frisbee, her best friend had invited her to a costume party, but she had politely declined. How could she go to a masquerade when her mother was just buried? She felt her whole world closing up, like the wrong end of a telescope.

As she neared an imposing wooden structure, she could make out a large faded yellow hex sign on what appeared to be an abandoned barn. A skinny scarecrow was sitting on a large pumpkin near the door. At least, Betty thought it was a scarecrow at first. As she got closer, her heart began to pound wildly. The figure on the pumpkin was a human form, a handsome young man of about 20. Betty tried to act nonchalantly and whistled a nondescript tune as she ambled up to the attractive sight before her.

"I thought you'd be coming sooner or later. Who are you looking for?" Betty tried not to act shocked as she stared at the most perfect male physique she had ever seen.

"H-h-h-ow? "Uh-h-h-h-" Betty was totally tongue tied. The stranger's words had pierced her to her very soul.

"I'm looking for my mom....she passed away last year just before Halloween."

Betty tried not to appear too shocked. "I'm, I'm ..I'm looking for my mother, too."

"We were very close, and I took care of her every day until the end."

"So did I." Betty finally managed a toothy grin.

"Why don't we go inside where it's warmer?" the young man gestured to a heavy wooden door, which was slightly ajar.

Betty nodded quickly, completely in a tizzy. The situation was absolutely absurd. Here was a man, less than half her age, coming on to her. Yet, she simply had to follow him, she had to see...

The barn had just one overhead bulb which her new friend quickly snapped on. "My name's Jason, by the way, what's yours?"

"Betty, but my friends call me Bet."

Jason hugged her with all his might and Betty felt herself swooning. It was all so ridiculous, a perfect stranger who could rip her clothes off any minute. Yet, it all seemed so, so...inevitable, so right.

"You're a very beautiful woman, Bet." Jason smiled at his willing victim as she gently eddied in his arms. Indeed, with her blue eyes and reddish auburn hair illuminated by the half light she was quite lovely.

"We-we----can't, I don't know you." Betty uttered in a tiny whisper.

"We have a bond, a common goal, we were destined to meet."

"I--well--er" Betty was at a complete loss for words.

Jason kissed her with exquisite softness, as his tongue gently made contact with her own. Betty hadn't been with a man for over 10 months, and it had seemed like forever. She didn't fight Jason as he tenderly removed her blouse and deftly unhooked her powder blue bra. His tongue went down her neck to her ample breasts exquisitely slowly, tickling her hardened nipples as she gasped for air. Every nerve in her sex starved body was heightened as Jason continued down her heaving chest, unbuttoning her pants and quickly lowering her plain white frilly panties. Betty was so wet her panties were already soaked, and Jason ran his tongue against them as they slowly descended to her knees.

"A-h-h-h-h-h-" Betty had to hold back as Jason's skillful tongue slowly parted her pussy lips like a velvet buzz saw. No man had ever done this for her, and she was about to lose her mind. She started to howl with lust as Jason explored every millimeter of her clit, pushing the hood aside with the instincts of a virtuoso piano player. Instinctively, she put her hands around his head, forcing his tongue even deeper into her gushing snatch.

"Eeeeeeiiaaaiieeeie!" I can't hold back, I can't..." Betty let out a blood curdling scream as she had the first real orgasm of her life. Jason lapped up every last drop of her juices for what seemed like an eternity but was closer to a minute, before collapsing with her gently onto blankets covering the cement floor. Both lovers were breathing so heavily neither spoke for some time. Finally, Betty managed a distorted squeak.

"T-that was incredible!" I-I- never let go so much."

"I love you Bet." Jason gazed at her affectionately and Betty melted like hot butter, falling asleep gently in Jason's strong manly hands...

*****************

When Betty awoke it felt quite cold and she was very disoriented. Gradually she pieced together what had happened and felt completely ashamed of herself. Looking around the dilapidated barn, there was no sign of Jason and Betty wondered if the entire thing had been a dream. Quick and dirty sex was something prostitutes did, not virtuous women such as herself. Bet was close to tears when she noticed a slip of paper on the floor. She plunged at it quickly like a hawk diving for prey, her hands trembling as she deciphered the barely readable scrawl:

"Dear Bet, I have to go now, but meet me again tomorrow at the same place and time. We'll have more fun, and I'll never stop loving you."

Your soul mate, Jason

Soul mate indeed! Bet had a beatific look on her face as she put the note in her pocket. So maybe it was possible for a man to love her, a real man like Jason. Suddenly all thoughts of her idiotic former boyfriend who had tried to strangle her were gone forever. Betty was so consumed with memories of her handsome new friend she almost fell into a small hole on her way out of the rambling pumpkin patch. She walked briskly to her home, mechanically opening the door and falling asleep almost immediately with an idyllic look on her face. Betty had a series of wonderful dreams, but the only one she remembered when she woke up was a pleasant reverie about her mother. The last time she had visited they had made pies together, and she had never seen her mother so alive, so creative, so deeply happy. In the dream she was hugging her mother with all her might, until she suddenly woke up and burst into tears.

**********************

Unlike the previous day, October 30th was cool and dreary. Betty had gone back and forth all morning as to whether she would return to the pumpkin patch. In the end, she decided it was worth another visit, even if Jason wasn't there. She was still hoping for some sign from her mother, some communication that she was content in her new "home".

Betty still didn't really believe the whole thing with Jason had actually happened, but she figured if he was waiting for her at the barn again it was more than just a horny dream. The prospect of seeing her new lover again had given a certain buoyancy to Betty's walk. Unlike the previous day, she had washed her hair and styled the red locks into sexy waves that bounced off her shoulders. She looked and felt much younger than her years, and was akin to a schoolgirl in love with love.

Dusk was descending quickly as Betty entered the musty dusty Appian Hollow Pumpkin Patch for the second time in as many days. She looked toward the barn, but there was no sign of Jason. Hurrying toward the rapidly fading yellowish hex sign, Betty started to jog and was completely out of breath by the time she reached the front door of the barn. Unlatching it quickly, she went inside the decaying structure and turned on the dim light. To her dismay, Jason was not there. Bet was about to go outside again when a pair of strong hands gripped her shoulders.

"EEEEKKKK!" Bet let out a scream half of surprise and half of fear. She turned around quickly to see a grinning Jason.

"W-w-where did you come from??" Betty was completely dumbfounded.

"The world!" Jason chuckled and hugged Bet with all his might. "I missed you!"

"I missed you too!" Betty kissed Jason and the couple thrust their tongues wildly in each other's mouths. Jason had started to unbutton Betty's blouse, when she abruptly took his hands off her and pushed him away.

"W-what's wrong?" Jason looked like a disappointed puppy.

"Nothing!!" Bet chortled. "I just want to pay you back for yesterday."

With that she got on her knees and quickly unbuckled Jason's baggy jeans. Unaware of the shocked look on his face, she reached into his baby blue boxers and pulled out a long thin dick, very hard, very twitching. Jason let out a loud groan as Bet's lips closed over his peterhead. She took his seven incher in gradually, letting her fingers invade his ass at the same time. The sensations were so intense for Jason he had to fight to hold himself back from a massive load.

"Dang that is so good, bitch, bitch!"

Hearing Jason swear with lust goaded Betty on to thrust his hard wang in and out of her mouth like a madwoman. After one particularly deep gulp, Jason let out a sound which would have attracted a wild coyote. At the same time his cock started spurting like a geyser in Bet's mouth, dribbling down her chin and onto her blouse. Jason came a good nine times, and Betty swallowed as much of his tasty cum as she could.

Finally, Jason's intense orgasm was over. The two lovers were suddenly embarrassed by the quickness of their frantic lovemaking, and Jason quickly hoisted up his boxers and jeans as Bet rebuttoned her blouse.

"That was fast...but good!" Jason was breathing so heavily he could barely talk. "Listen, Bet, I may not be here tomorrow night. My mission is finished." He managed to smile at the totally shocked Bet.

"Finished? You mean..." Betty was too incredulous to finish the sentence.

"That's right...I found my mother."

Bet felt her heart pounding again. "W-where?"

"In the light, in the light." Jason gave Betty a long, intense hug that she thought would never end. Reluctantly, the two lovers separated, and Jason slowly edged toward the door.

"Whatever happens, I love you Bet!" Jason had tears streaming down his face.

"And I love you, too!!" Betty felt immmediately depressed as Jason disappeared into the inky blackness. She took out her flashlight and began the lonely walk back to Knowlwood center. In her emotionally overwhelmed state, Betty wasn't looking where she was going, and ran right into a hunched figure who was slowly ambling toward her.

Betty let out a sudden cry of alarm. It was not just the musty smell of the ancient woman that repulsed her, it was the frizzy white hair and black clothes that made her look just like a witch out of Salem.

"Oh, excuse me!" Betty's voice was higher than usual, like a muffled scream.

"I know what you were doing in there...have you forgotten why you came here?" The woman's voice was cold, unforgiving.

"I-I- I'm looking for my mother." Betty was close to tears.

"Yeah, and that's a great way to find her, screwing young men!" the old woman cackled.

Betty's face reddened with anger. "I've never done that before....Jason was special."

"That's what they all say. I think you know where to look for your mother anyway..."

Almost instinctually, Betty finished the sentence. "...in the light, in the light."

Her flashlight shone on the ashy face as the shriveled mummy looked askance and intoned a distant chant.

"Yes, the waning light of the sunset, the beams, the shafts of warm afterglow. She is there, waiting to be released."

"Have you found your mother?" Bet appeared concerned, but knew the answer already.

"No, but I will, sure as the dark gives way to light."

All of a sudden, Bet remembered her conversation with Roy Arbengast the day before. Turning to the old fossil with a gesture of triumph, she smiled wickedly.

"Are you Agatha Thwates?"

The old form blinked her eyes for a split second, then sashayed on her heels and sauntered away in the profound darkness.

"Not in this world."

Nothing more was said as Bet watched the hunched figure gradually disappear outside of the flashlight's beam. Her entire body was tingling as she walked back to civilization, on auto pilot until she reached the driveway of her house precisely at midnight.

It was Halloween...

*******************

The next morning Bet was up early, still in a dreamlike state over what had happened the last couple of days. She had decided to go to the pumpkin patch one last time right before sunset. If Agatha Thwates was right, her mother would speak to her through the light. Bet's hands were shaking with anticipation. She wondered what she would do if Jason was there, eventually deciding she could introduce him to her mother once she appeared. That happy thought made the morning and early afternoon go by quickly as Bet watered her garden and raked leaves while sharing memories of her parents with Roy Arbengast.

As the sun sank lower in the sky, Bet knew she had to attempt her final mission. Waving goodbye to Roy, she put her flashlight in her pocket and apprehensively walked toward the Appian Hollow Pumpkin Patch one last time. The streets were almost deserted as children and adults alike were getting ready for Halloween parties and trick or treats. Fortunately, it was once more a warm sunny day, and Bet made the 10 minute trek to the pumpkin patch entrance in record time. There was no sign of Jason or Agatha, so she went right past the abandoned barn to the crest of Appian Hill. There, she had a breathtaking view of the valley below. As if on cue, the sky had also cooperated, and fluffy white cumulus clouds cavorted with the setting sun. Warm colors of burnt orange, sienna, and amber spread across the sky like blobs of paint, as Bet tried to take the glorious sight in, completely unable to speak.

Gradually, the warm colors darkened and the sun was just at the horizon. Betty knew this was the time. She cleared her throat, managing to speak in a birdlike squeak.

"M-Mom?"

For an instant nothing. Then a small shaft of light twinkled between two fluffy clouds.

"Are you there?"

The shaft expanded, spreading across the sky in a beam of light. Betty was completely transfixed, in a trance like state.

"Mom, I miss you..."

The beam of light twinkled once more, and gradually illuminated the pumpkin patch. Betty started to cry, loud baby sobs of pure emotion.

"Mom, I love you..."

The shaft of light became stronger and more concentrated, bathing the entire pumpkin patch in an eerie glow.

"Mom, do you love me?"

In an instant, the shaft of light fell on Betty's face. She was God! And in that split second of infinity Betty knew that no matter what happened in her life from that point on, she would be able to deal with it. Her mother had just proved she loved her, and that was all that mattered.

"M-m-om, you DO love me!"

Betty fell to the ground crying hysterically as she continued to be bathed by the comforting beam of light. She felt an incredible lightness of being as the beam slowly faded revealing the cruel darkness. Betty was so transfixed she didn't remember walking home that evening. Nor did she remember opening the door, getting undressed, or falling asleep.

Halloween was over...

***************

A slanted pale beam of light spread across Betty's face the next morning. It also illuminated a large picture of her mother who appeared to be smiling at her as well as a newspaper on a nearby table from the day before. In her haste to weed the garden, Betty had forgotten to read it. The local pages had blown open to a small article that was amongst the many obituaries of that day:

BODY OF MISSING MAN FOUND ON APPIAN HILL

"The remains of Jason Sprague were found just after midnight in a remote part of a pumpkin patch on Appian Hill. He had been missing approximately a year, disappearing on October 29th, 2005 after telling friends he was going shopping. Foul play is not suspected, and a note found at the scene indicated the 22 year old man was despondent about the recent death of his mother. Further details will follow once police finish their investigation."

Suddenly, a stronger shaft of light coming from the direction of the Appian Hollow Pumpkin Patch shone directly across Betty's eyes. She woke up quickly with confidence, ready to take on the coming day, and every day from that point on, until her last breath...

************

I would like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and prayers which helped me adjust to my own mother's passing in July. This story is dedicated to the amazing Selenakittyn, her artistry is awe inspiring and the variety of her writing breathtaking!!

Sack

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