Fiction: Jack-o-Lantern

December 6, 2017 Fiction , Literature , POETRY / FICTION

 

By

Anna Green

 

 

 

There was a boy, whose name was Jack…

 

Do not mock my birds, you silly boy! – cried Mrs. Twitchit as Jack ran away with the rocks in his hands. Afterwards he put them in his pocket and advanced to another noisy neighbor. – You may run, but wait till I tell your mother you scamp! – continued the lady.

Jack was already gone, he wanted to goof on his close relative Mr. McGregory, but changed his mind when saw the latter with a pitchfork and menacing look, so instead he ran to his right and advanced toward the small pond.

He saw a couple of fishes swimming back and forth with their white tales and small bodies covered with scales, he watched them with a memerized look, then took his small rocks and started to throw them in the pond hitting every single swiming creature. He finished when he saw all of them bleeding, then ran straight home.

Jack! – cried his mother when she saw him on the doorstep, – Again! You did it again! Why did you switch the sugar, the pie now the taste is pickled, ARE YOU HAPPY? – Jack laughed.

Yes mother, – he answered.

Well don’t be, YOU are going to eat the whole cake alone, – she yelled – Did you hear that?

But Jack took the pie and left before his Mother started to throw things at him.

Later that evening she saw the rests of her pie at the pig stye, and was furious, but that day Jack was not sleeping at home, so she decided to punish him later.

 

 

 

Twenty years later

 

 

Jack, are you there? – asked his pregnant wife looking in the barn for her husband.

Then again, she could smell liquor, that only ment that this evening she should behave, or the next morning all the neighbors will see her bruises again.

– Errr….mmm,- she heard Jack muttering, – she closed the barn door and crept home quietly.

The night began, Jack got near the door on his hands and knees and decided to go for a walk. But his legs were not able to do that, so he sat nearby in the bushes, watching the apple tree in the distance, and saw how the light of the moon reflected on the green apples.

He dreamed for a while then heard a noise near the apple tree. Someone was muttering, a man in a big hat that looked ridiculous on him. Jack had a headache and because of that he was furious.

– Stop the muttering – yelled Jack, and the rest of the liquor in his body vaporised into the air.

– I beg your pardon, – said the gentlemen. – Oh, I see, you have a headache, let me help you. The pale man got closer and put his cold hand on Jack’s forehead. From that moment Jack felt no pain at all.

– Hmmm,- said Jack, – new here?

– I can say so, – replied the gentleman, – you’re welcome, by the way.

– Going to stay for while, now would’cha?

– Time will tell.

Jack smiled.

– There is an old tradition here in this place, who will climb the apple tree under the moon and pick up the juiciest fruit will be very wealthy in the future.

– Is that so? – smiled the pale-looking gentleman, – well in that case I’m intrigued and will take that bat. Can you hold my hat please?

– Aha, – replied Jack.

The gentleman indeed climbed the apple tree. Jack at that moment collected the remaining pieces of his fence and stood near the apple tree with a smirk.

When the pale looking gentleman picked up the juiciest apple he climbed down, but saw pointy edges in cross-shapes all over the tree. He hissed and the apple fell on the ground near Jack.

– O boy, – said Jack chewing the apple, – you look like a Devil in the moonlight.

The pale looking man hissed again, indeed under the moonligt he did look pale and bony with black eyes.

– I suggest you clear my entrance you old boozer,- quietly replied the man on the tree.

– Or what? – smiled Jack – if you are a Devil the crows will keep you away from me, unless…

– Unless? – replied the Devil.

– Unless you promise me, that when my time comes, I will not enter the gates of Hell.

The pale looking man smiled.

– You have my word, – he answered.

Jack started to laugh.

– As if I believe your words Satan.

The man in the tree showed the stamp on his wrist. It sparkled with a distant light.

– See here, I’m marked, my words are my deeds.

Jack thought of that and cleared the area around the apple tree.

The Devil climbed down, took his hat and left.

The next morning all the neighbors saw Mrs. Jack covered in bruises although she had behaved.

 

 

 

Twenty years later

 

 

– I hope he died slowly, – said Jack junior to his mother, the young man having only one hand.

– Don’t say that son, look, he is in pain.

– I hope severe, – said Jack’s son, marching out of the room in anger.

– Bye Jack, – said his wife and Jack’s soul left his body.

Jack junior returned with a candle that was put in the turnip. He put it next to his father’s body and whispered in his ear: – I hope I never see you again.’

 

Meanwhile Jack was approaching the Gates of Heaven. Having not so much luck with entering Eden, Jack was sent to Hell.

– Nice to see you Jack, – said Satan, the mark on his wrist still shining – Now go.

– Where to?- smiled Jack, as you remember I can not enter Heaven, and Hell as well.

– Go back and wonder.

– Great, can I have a candle?

– Sure, – answered the Devil, – here you go, – and he gave Jack a turnip with a candle in it. – Now go.

Jack took the turnip and whistling, returned to his home. He tried to opened the door, but got no luck. Through the window he saw his wife eating with his son at the dinner table, they were silent, Jack said something, but there were no words coming out of his mouth.

Then he felt something, a burning fire inside his chest. For a second he though that he was drawn back to hell, but no, he remained where he was. Jack took two steps back and saw a turnip with a candle near the porch of his house, the one his son brought home.

When Jack went far away from the burning fire in his chest he stood alone on the street, near the apple tree. He thought of his life, but felt no remorse.

 

 

Two hundred years later

 

 

It occured to Jack that somehow he was wrong, but…who knows?

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Green

I’m from Ukraine and I’m a translator, also mother of a daughter and a yoga-practitioner, I believe in good-things-happen and that education is a key to change the world (weird I know). Because of that I write, and also I record audiobooks on my youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC24PdTccK8abOIH3VN9UvRA.

Before I “wrote to my desk” every little thing, but decided that life is too short to keep the paper in the drawer, WHY NOT publish it online? And so I did a fiction blog on wordpress, here it is https://fictionfromannagreen.wordpress.com/.

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