Warning: This title may contain graphic violance, strong language, and mature subjects.
Continued from Lord Pumpkin #2
England, Middle Ages
Lord Pumpkin was instructed to take care of little misunderstood prince Mordred. He was to hold and love him, even if the prince pulled out handfuls of his straw. He was to read the prince stories, even as the youngster tried to light him aflame. He was to bathe him, even when the prince tried to snuff out his light. They were to play and play, and so they played and played, until the day, the little prince took up a hatchet and tried to lop apart his new pumpkin friend.
Lord Pumpkin ran and ran with the prince ever behind him laughing. They ran until Lord Pumpkin found himself cornered. He shook as the prince stood over him, hatchet raise. Then a funny thing happened. His candle flame started to smoke. Glowing green smoke billowed out of his mouth, his eyes flared and his friendly face broke into a grin.
"Enough little brat," he said in a chilling voice. "Now I have my fun."
And with that Lord Pumpkin happily tore the prince apart. Limb by limb.
Lord Pumpkin: A New Twist #3
"A Butcher, A Baker, A Candle-stick-maker, Part III: Post-Gestation"
Written by Todd Mandle
Edited by James Pedrick
Created by Dan Danko
Property of Malibu Comics
Geistville, Pennsylvania, USA, July
"Well, it's too late now," sighed the crow.
"What?" Lance asked.
"Lord Pumpkin is out. Your brother is dead. There's no stopping him now. Run away, Lance. Start running and never look back," said the crow as he flew up to a branch in nearby tree.
"You're lying." But Lance did run, just not away. He started running towards home.
"Wait," cried the crow as he flew after behind the boy.
Acid and pot made the trip home difficult. Lance's surroundings swam before him. The trees of the park gave way to a road, then to an alley, then a cornfield, until puffing and wheezing, eyes half closed he reached the back door of his house. He left it open as he dashed inside, the crow right behind him.
"Kirby," he yelled. "Kirby! Mom? Dad?" He started to walk up the stairs a sickly, burning smell assailing his senses. Three steps up he could see the wall was burnt, his parents bodies slumped together, their heads charred. Lance gagged and he hurried past into Kirby's room. The walls, the bed, everything was splattered with blood. A small pile of skin and hair lay in the center of the room. Lance fell to his knees and screamed.
When the crow flew into the room, he found Lance sobbing on the floor his hands absently toying with his brother's discarded skin.
"I'm sorry, Lance. I--"
Lance jumped up. "Get away from me," he yelled before falling against Kirby's desk and throwing up. When he looked up again a mad light gleamed in his eyes.
Lance ran to his room and started to change, discarding corduroy pants for jeans, Converse sneakers for black steel-toed boots. He wiped blood from his hands onto his shirt.
The crow found him rummaging through his dresser drawer. "What are you doing?"
Lance drew a switchblade from the bottom of the drawer and flicked it open. "I'm gonna go carve a pumpkin."
"Slow down. Be reasonable. You've got to get your head together," pleaded the crow.
"I don't have time for that. The police might show up any time now, and I can't deal with that," he said as he headed out of his room and toward the front door. He opened it and froze.
Outside four police cars were parked along the street, burning. Bodies lay strewn on the front lawn, obviously killed in less merciful and more creative ways than his parents. Arms, legs and heads lay detached from bodies. Chests lay open and emptied of select internal organs.
The crow perched on Lance's shoulder and whistled. "Wow."
"OK, I don't have to worry about the cops," Lance observed and he quickly took another hit of acid.
Lord Pumpkin stormed through the cemetery overturning tombstones, searching for mausoleums. Upon finding one he broke in and tore open the coffins. The first held a woman, the second an overly obese man. "No. . .no," he said before belching flame onto them and moving to the next. Inside he found one yet to be filled coffin and one that held a man in an expense tuxedo. "Ahhhh yes," he grinned, and ran a hand over his newly formed vegetable body.
Suddenly, his head perked up. "Friend crow? Is that you? There's a strange air about you."
Outside, in the trees surrounding the cemetery the crow swore "Shit" then paused and gave a pleased snort.
"He knows your here?" asked Lance.
"That's not the surprise. He can do that, sense people, even what they're thinking, but he didn't notice you."
"Well, he's going to know if he reads your thoughts."
"No, for some reason he can only sense me."
Lord Pumpkin yelled. "Crow?"
"Yes, it's me, Pumpkin."
Lance's eyes crossed in anger, but the crow waved a wing. It took a minute but Lance got the hint and started to circle around.
The crow continued. "What are you doing?"
"Just a little clothes shopping," Lord Pumpkin said with a laugh. He walked out of the tomb wearing the dead man's tuxedo. "Come out where I can see you."
The crow flew out and perched on a tombstone next to the squash king. "It's been awhile."
Lord Pumpkin laughed again. "Yes, too long since I felt blood run over these hands."
The crow shifted on the tombstone and looked down. "What is it, crow?" Again, Lord Pumpkin's head perked up a bit. "Something feels strange, a feeling hanging in the air."
A twig snapped and the squash king started to turn just as Lance plunged his switchblade into Lord Pumpkin's back. Lance was batted away quickly. "Dammit," he coughed as he hit the ground.
Lord Pumpkin pulled the knife from his back and flung it at Lance, hitting his arm, and making the boy yelp. "Who? Ahhhh, brother. I've been meaning to find you."
Lance scrambled to his feet, and ran back into the trees.
"I can't sense you. Why? Friend crow, why can't I feel him?"
Suddenly it hit. The crow realized what kept Lance hidden. "The drugs, Lance. He can't sense you because your brain's so soaked with garbage."
"Ahhhh," Lord Pumpkin said. "For once your addiction's good for something. . .big brother." He walked into the woods after Lance. "Come ooouuutttt, Lance. Come out, come out."
Lance hid behind a tree. He'd managed to pull the switchblade from his arm, and was popping some more acid to try to ease the pain when the crow had yelled to him. He'd also found a large branch which he'd tried to give a point, though he was only slightly successful in that. He dodged to another tree. "You killed my brother you bastard. I'm gonna fucking tear you apart," he yelled even as sweat poured down his face and he heart beat at a thunderous pace.
"Don't forget your parents, and your neighbors, and the police outside your house, Lance. It pains me that you ignore the rest of my work," said Lord Pumpkin still searching, his steps getting closer and closer.
Lance jumped out from behind his tree and rammed the branch he held through the vegetables chest. "Die!"
Lord Pumpkin screamed. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhehhhhehhhhhehhehheh heh heh!" Then the laughter started, and he grabbed the branch tearing it out of his chest. "You ruined my new suit." Lord Pumpkin gripped a stunned Lance by the neck and pinned him to the tree. The squash kings eyes flared, and the flame grew in his mouth. "I'm the King of Hate, boy. You can't kill me. Now, you little brat, be good child and go. . .to. . .bed!"
Lance closed his eyes as the flame grew, but it never left the squash king's mouth. Kirby's voice touched Lance's ears as the hand left his throat. "Lance? Lance run. Run and don't ever look back. You were a good brother, but you have to leave."
Lance opened his eyes and looked up. Lord Pumpkin stood frozen. "But, Kirby. . ."
"Leave!" screamed Kirby's voice, cracking.
Lance bolted and he did run, and he didn't stop, and he didn't look back. He didn't look back when he heard Kirby cry his name, he didn't look back when he heard Lord Pumpkin's man laugh, and he didn't look back when the trees surrounding the Geistville Cemetery burst into flame.
To be continued...
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