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

Continued from Lord Pumpkin #3

The chill of a cold late October night crisped through the city streets of New York, bringing uncharacteristic yellow, orange, and red leaves from nowhere, turning in the wind. Outside the apartments, the offices, the housing projects, the museums and the tender burn of their electric heating the planets moved through the clear autumn sky, turning in the wind. This night dried old blood, unwashed from the cracks and crevices of alley, sidewalk and street was added to, replenished. Echoed through the man-made canyons, newly uttered screams and sighs made inhabitants lock their locks just a little tighter, slouch down in their chairs, couches and beds just a little more. There was laughter, the smell of harvest, and the cry of peacocks.

Lord Pumpkin: A New Twist #4
October, 1998

"Night of the Great Pump"

Written by Todd Mandle
Edited by James Pedrick
Created by Dan Danko
Property of Malibu Comics

The Night Before Halloween, 9:51 PM

On the slippery side of the waterfront, snitch Vinny Escalido ran on plump little legs, the icy night's air cutting into his lungs. He grabbed the belt looped through his dirty, khaki pants and tried to hoist them up from the position they currently had ridden down to. His impressive beer gut denied this action. His coat was gone, casualty to his late night flight from danger, and neither his sky blue shirt, not fully buttoned, nor his ample chest hair protected him from the biting breeze. His jewels shook and his beady dark eyes stretched wide, when he wasn't squinting, attempting to protect his vision from the coolant green gel that oozed from his slick hair.

A few more panicked paces and the asphalt changed to boardwalk, the docks. Vinny tripped, hard wood biting and splintering into his chest, hands and face. A chilling, hollow laugh resounded all around him, and he rolled up to his knees then feet, looked at his watch, and started to run again. "Shit, shit," he panted as made the turn around a warehouse.

7:31 PM

The pay-phone was occupied by a man in a light trench coat, sunglasses, and a hat. A TV News van drove by and the man pulled his hat down a little lower.

"Get out!" screamed Vinny.

"Just wait a sec," said the man, hold up a dismissive finger before continuing his hushed conversation. "No, baby, she doesn't have any idea. I just think we should use another hotel for awhile."

"Out, out, asshole." Vinny grabbed him.

The man pushed him to the ground and turned his back.

Vinny fumbled through his coat, pulled a gun, and shot the conversationalist in the back twice. The man slumped into the bottom of the pay-phone, and Vinny stepped over him.

7:03 PM

"Wanna make some money?" Sharky asked Vinny. The two of them sat in a seedy bar, nine drinks into the night on Sharky's bill.

The fat weasily snitch perked up and nodded.

"Ya know the spree of murders, been goin' on lately. Alla 'em been family people, that or costumes. Anyway, there's this guy, goes by the handle Unfaithful Knight, 's willin' ta pay for any info 'bout 'em."

"Who's the guy?" asked Vinny.

"Don't know, but I got half a G for findin' some burn victim on the west end. Coulda been any number a' guys gone missin' recently, man was so fucked up."

In fact out of 12 murders that had been fully documented three different trademarks had been identified. Two victims had been killed by a precise grouping of three shots all in the head. Five had been dismembered and burned to varying degrees. The last five had been slashed through with some sort of cutting implement, and there was considerably less flesh on these victims. Teeth marks had also been found.

Sharky pulled a card out of his coat pocket and gave it to Vinny. "Anyway, you find anything out, call this number, 'n set up a meeting. 's the real deal."

A few minutes later the two left the bar and began walking down an ally. They head in opposite directions. Half a block later, Vinny heard a scream. He turned to see a dark shape hovering over Sharky who now lay on the ground. The silhouette's head was freakishly large and glowing green smoke floated out of it's mouth. A green flame shot out at Sharky and he caught fire quickly. The thing turned toward Vinny with glowing eyes and laughed.

Vinny ran.

10:01 PM

Vinny hid behind a few crates on Dock 55. He looked at his watch which read eleven. "Where the hell is he? Shit, shit, shit."

Luckily, it seemed, his gun had stayed in his pants pocket where he stashed it after the shooting. Vinny's breath came in loud gulps, and was well visible in the cold air. Someone stepped on the dock, then took another step, slowly, then another and stopped. Vinny could hear faint laughter.

Another step resounded slowly. Vinny's nerve was breaking. Unfaithful Knight had promised to meet him on Dock 55 at eleven sharp. It was now 11:10 by his watch. "Dead, fucking dead." Vinny gripped his gun and jumped out from behind his crates. A board on the dock snapped under him and his right foot went through. The gun fired wildly, a bullet bouncing off of something metal. Vinny looked up in panic.

The thing was in front of him, dressed in a purple three piece suit. It's large head was a Jack O' Lantern leering at him, the green smoke billowing from it' mouth, it's eyes glowing.

"Wh-what are you?" Vinny whimpered as the thing stepped up to him.

"If you had enough time you could call me Lord Pumpkin. Oh, and try not to forget day light's saving next year," the squash king said, before grabbing Vinny's neck and snapping it.

With that lights flooded the dark, and Lord Pumpkin jerked his head back to see two news vans and camera crews. He stood motionless, before an attractive blonde reporter stepped closer and yelled. "Ah. . .sir? Karen Hunter WNYC Nightly News. Are you aware that the man you just killed, murdered a state senator earlier tonight?"

Lord Pumpkin paused. "Yes, I. . .That I am, my dear."

"Are you responsible for any of the other vigilante activity recently?"

"Why, yes," he said with a grin.

"Are your activities a response to the justice system's lack of appropriate action, in cases of criminal violence, and corruption?"

Lord Pumpkin's grin spread even wider and he nodded.

"What can we call you?"

A pause for thought and then the answer. "The Scarecrow."

Someone behind the reporter muttered. "Isn't that already taken?"

10:59 PM

A boat sped toward the waterfront, and stopped. Lights flashed from Dock 55. The driver sighed and then turned the boat around, speeding off.

  

NEXT ISSUE: Did LP kill all those people? Who is Unfaithful Knight? What will the spin doctors do with our hero? Look for a few answers next issue.

 

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