Lord Pumpkin
Warning: This title may contain graphic violance, strong language, and mature subjects.

England, Middle Ages

Legends pervert facts. Once, long ago there was indeed a Camelot, or at least a place much like it. There was a King Arthur, a Lancelot, a Gwenavere, a Merlin, and a Mordred. Legend has it that Mordred was Arthur's bastard son, but such is not the case. He was born wholly within the bonds of marriage. But then, where did his evil come from? His father? His mother? Far from being of no concern, this question is, however, not being addressed. An evil of a different shape is under examination. Mordred was born to the beloved King Arthur, and his equally fair and gentle Queen Gwenavere. He was a difficult child. Many were the servants that suffered the painful end of various sharp objects, while he was under their care. This proved to be problematic in that a king of Arthur's compassion could not in good conscience continue to send his subjects to tend to the abusive prince. And so it was that Merlin devised a plan for the perfect caretaker, with a body of straw, a head of vegetable, and a candle to light the misunderstood prince's way. A nanny of sorts would be created for this express purpose and he would be called:

Lord Pumpkin: A New Twist #1
July, 1998

"A Butcher, A Baker, A Candle-stick-maker, Part 1:  Wicked Garden"

Written by Todd Mandle
Edited by Phractyl
Created by Dan Danko

Property of Malibu Comics

Geistville, Pennsylvania, USA, July 4th, 1998

Lance Lott woke for the thirteenth morning in a row, in a cold sweat. Again, he'd suffered from nightmares through the late hours of the night, and early hours of the morning. Through bleary, blue eyes he looked at the door of his basement bedroom and saw that the chain lock was still across the door. It wouldn't do for his parents to just walk in. As he rolled over and pulled a dime bag out from underneath his bed, he thought for a second that he might be holding the cause of his uneasy sleep, or at least one of them. This made him pause for only a second as he rolled a joint and lit it, the clock beside his bed proclaimed it to be eleven minutes after noon. He scratched his unmanageable, shaggy, dirty blond hair, inhaled deeply on his joint, and thought about surviving the last two month's he'd have to spend in this god forsaken little town before he went off to college. Upstairs, Lance's fourteen year old brother, Kirby, sulked in front of the television, the lights off, the curtains drawn. He hadn't left the house in two weeks. He'd move every once in awhile to adjust his thick framed glasses, or to change the channel, or grab a hand full of chips from the bag beside him. If his parents didn't spend all of their days lounging around the country club they were members at they may have been concerned. Father may have even sent Kirby off to one of his psychiatric colleagues.

They wouldn't find out. Lance was the only one who new what Kirby did all day, and Kirby knew what Lance did all day, and so they bought each other's silence.

June 20, 1998

Kirby had just gotten his first set of contact lenses the day before. He woke up early that Saturday, put them in, and sized himself up in the mirror. He thought he looked better, He shared his brother's blonde hair only a little lighter and curly, his slight frame, his sharp  blue eyes, and Lance did alright for himself. Dressing in new, tan, corduroy shorts and a yellow polo shirt, Kirby got his bicycle and rode off to the local Tastee Freeze. By the time anyone else really showed up he'd already had three cones. Nobody yelled taunts at him today. Now they whispered and laughed. He took this for half an hour before getting on his bike and starting home.

After a block, he heard a squeaking sound and looked back. The Thompson boys, Rick, Dan, and Buster were following him in their rusted old, banana seat bikes. Kirby sped up and so did they. He heart began to beat faster, and he decided to cut through Old Man Wilson's field. He turned his bike through the sparse, unhealthy rows of corn, bruises appearing on his legs and arms, shouts and taunts followed him. In the middle of the corn, Kirby hit a garden, a pumpkin garden. His wheels caught up in the tangle, and he was pitched forward. The Thompson boys were close behind. They leapt from their bikes, and rushed to him, holding him down and hitting him, laughing. Kirby struggled, and kicked but was pinned to the ground. He screamed for them to stop. Buster, who was most definitely beyond the ideal weight for a boy of 15 laughed harder and picked up a clump of dirt.

"Someone needs ta feed you more, Kirb," he said, before stuffing the dirt in Kirby's mouth. He tried to spit it out, but the Thompson's held his mouth and made him chew, chanting, "Swallow, swallow, swallow".

Kirby's teeth detected something hard, not a rock, tears streamed from his eyes, and in shame, he finally did swallow the lump of earth. The Thompson's laughed at this, and then ran to their bikes, leaving Kirby laying there in the pumpkin garden.

 

July 4, 1998

Lance and Kirby's parents came home at six o' clock, about the time Lance was getting ready to leave for the Independence Day Fair at the local park. They found Kirby, still in front of the television. Mrs. Lott turned the volume down. "Kirby, dear, your father and I are having a party tonight. Why don't you go out with your brother?"

"I don't wanna."

"Kirby," his mother pleaded.

"No."

"Young man, you're going out and you're going now. We have too much to do without you to worry about," His father yelled.

Lance was just getting to the door and turned around. "Dad, shut up."

He walked over to Kirby. "Come on, kid." He held out his hand and pulled Kirby up from the couch.

The two brothers walked to the park and got chili and corn dogs at one of the many stands, then headed to the edge of the park to meet Lance's friends. Lance tried to include his brother as they broke out the beer and lit a few bowls, but Kirby just sulked. The bowl came to Lance and he waved it on.

"Come on, Kirby, I'm not gonna make you do anything, just try and have fun." Lance gestured broadly. "My friends are all good guys, don't worry."

A few girls arrived, and Kirby could see he was keeping his brother from enjoying himself and so he wandered off. After awhile, Lance noticed his brother was gone and went to look for him. He walked into the forest that joined with the park. Stopping after awhile, Lance relieved himself behind a tree. As he was zipping up, a crow landed on the ground next too him. He looked at it for a minute and then reached into his pocket and pulled a tab of acid out. Lance started to raise it to his mouth when the bird spoke.

"Kid we need to talk."
And then the fireworks started.

*
* *

Kirby wandered through the forest, not paying attention to where he was going. He reached a clearing and there were the Thompson Boys, lighting off firecrackers. They saw him and advanced. "Hey, Nerdby, watcha doing?"

Kirby started to back up, but they cornered him against a tree, and started pushing him against it. "Haven't seen you in awhile, Nerdby."

Something inside Kirby snapped and he did something he'd never done before. He pushed Rick Thompson away, then spit at Buster. "You're pathetic, inbred Neanderthals," Kirby looked at Buster. "You fat piece of crap, how do you get off on this? Is it because you realize how stupid and meaningless you are. Christ, you're a year older than me, but you're still two years away from High School."

Buster pushed him against the tree forcefully. "Bastard," he yelled. Rick held an M-80 up to Kirby's face. "Come on talk tough now."

Kirby spit in his face, and Rick lit the explosive.

*
* *

Even over the bang of the fireworks, Lance heard the explosion. He turned away from the crow and ran toward it. It didn't take long to reach the clearing, and when he got there his eyes widened in horror. Dan and Buster Thompson were sitting on the ground whimpering. Kirby was leaning against a tree , visibly shaken. Rick Thompson lay on the ground, his face and chest burnt and mangled. Dead.

To be continued in Lord Pumpkin #2

 

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