Flash Fiction Challenge: Pup O’ Lantern

Gather around now children, and I will tell you the terrier-fying tale of the Pup O’ Lantern.

Especially at Halloween time, you must be careful not to make enemies of the wrong sorts. It all started when Mr. Pish got crossways with an evil witch…

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time on Tuesday, October 30th, 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

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8 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Pup O’ Lantern”

  1. It all started when Mr. Pish got sideways with an evil witch. She never returned her library books and wouldn’t pay the fine.

    Mr. Pish wished he didn’t care so much about the books in his charge. Especially now that he stood before her house. But he was adamant about enforcing the library’s rules.

    Looking up at the ominous structure, he felt his resolve melt away. Little costumed kids felt no fear as they ran up the house’s front walk, grabbing candy from an unsupervised bowl perched on haybales decorating the porch.

    “Irresponsible!” he muttered to himself. He screwed up his courage, marched up the walkway, and rang the bell. He waited with a frown on his face.

    His jaw dropped in open admiration at the beauty who opened the door.

    “Are you here about the books? I do apologize, sir. Time gets away from me,” she purred. He was about to answer when he was jostled by another knot of children. They fought over the candy and ran off.

    Mr. Pish got angry. He railed at her about her irresponsibility, allowing children to help themselves unsupervised.

    “Oh, I know. I had the cutest doggie last year, who sat on the porch for me. Come in, let me show you his picture.”

    Wordlessly, he took her hand and walked in.

    A moment later, a small white dog, complete with silly costume, trotted out onto the porch and took up a spot on the hay to watch the children come.

  2. Pup O’ Lantern

    Halloween is special. My favorite part is the candy and jack o lanterns. This year I am winning the best pumpkin contest. I have been drawing my ideas for weeks. I am going to the farmers market tomorrow and buy the best pumpkin I can. When I am done it will be the best one ever made.
    The thing is I have a little brother and he has to tag along everywhere with me. I was just slipping out the kitchen door when Mom caught me and told me to take Buster with me. Seems he wants to go and buy something at the market today as well. He has gone every Saturday for the past three weeks and been saving his money for even longer. At the market I head straight for the pumpkins. Buster is heading a different direction.
    Just as I think I have found the perfect one Buster comes up crying. I want to know what is wrong with him. “ The pumpkin puppy, is $5.00 and I only have $2.50 the lady said he would be the same price as the other puppies but because he is more orange she decided she wants $5.00.”
    “What puppy?” I say and he leads me away from my beautiful pumpkins to the orange puppy. Buster’s tears pour down his face. The next thing I know I am handing the lady all our money and we are walking home with the Pup O’ Lantern.

  3. Pup O’ Lantern

    On the outskirts of a small town in Texas is where you’ll find Hagatha’s pumpkin patch. A withered old shell of a woman, she earns her keep in the fall selling her field of pumpkins. Hagatha had been considered by most a bitter old witch of a woman, hardly ever smiling. Truth be told, she never had much luck growing or selling them until five years ago. On Halloween night as Hagatha sat carving a sad looking jack-o-lantern on a bale of hay in her field she heard the pitiful cries of an abandoned puppy behind a wall of hay. A bit bothered by the cries she scooped up the pup in her wrinkled old hand. Whining loudly, the ball of fur in her hand was desperately trying to open its eyes for the first time.
    It was in that moment Hagatha’s old heart strings were tugged at; and the smile spread across her face resembled a crack in a piece of old leather. It just so happened at that moment, a family was passing by, with six small children in tow. The children were amazed at how tiny the pup was, and Hagatha happily sold the family a pumpkin for each of them. The smallest child suggested a costume for the pup o’ lantern to keep it warm. That night the old woman handmade a tiny little pumpkin suit for her new friend, while the pup lapped away at a bowl of milk. With the passing of each year Hagatha’s face has began to soften and even to glow as if by way of Halloween magic. Business booms every year as her dog, Pumpkin, sits by her side and wags his tail from out the end of his new pumpkin costume.

  4. Damn that witch. Like it’s my fault her field had the best pumpkins in town. How was I supposed to know it was hers? Not that it mattered. Hey, in my hood, if you want something you take it, and be dammed everyone else. It’s called survival, and I was at the top of the food chain. Of course I took the biggest pumpkin. Nothing but the best for JP Pish. That’s Mr. Pish to you. At least I was at the top before she caught me taking her prize pumpkin. I would have knocked out the old hag. Really I would have, but something tripped me up.

    Now I’m in this ridiculous four legged form. Big tough guy like me, you’d think a nice big Rottweiler or even a Doberman. But no, she had to turn me into a wimpy little fluff covered yap machine. If that wasn’t bad enough, I’m stuck in a goofy pumpkin costume. I’m so humiliated. She said I owed her for losing the pumpkin prize at the fair. I have to get first prize for cutest dog at the Halloween masquerade or she’ll never turn me back into a human. I swear, one more person rubs my head and says how ‘cute’ I look I’ll bite their hand off.

    Oh God, here comes another. Wait a minute, she’s hot. Man, this one can pet me all she wants. Come closer, honey. Mr. Pish has some kisses for you.

  5. Title: Returning a Favor

    Each year it was the same thing. Thelma made the long horse-drawn wagon trip to buy candy. It was an uncomfortable ride, and she wondered why she did it. Then, she recalled her childhood fun on Halloween, not having to dress up.

    It hurt that the children never came to her house. It must have been the wind, and she wiped the moisture on her cheek.

    She wondered if it was the overgrown bushes blocking her sidewalk. Years earlier, she was proud of her Victorian style home. It was a job to take care of it, but she did it. However, since her broom-flying accident, the years had taken a toll on the property.

    It hurt on Halloween when she heard the young children daring each other to go get some candy. They called her the ‘Evil Witch.’ Would things be different if they knew the truth?

    Mr. Pish would come to her front door every evening looking for his treat. There was something different this evening and he was scratching at the front door. She must remember not to wave like that in the future…when the smoke cleared he was wearing a costume. He scampered down the front walk, and she wondered if she had lost her only friend.

    Moments later, she heard the screams of the many children running towards the front porch.

    Later, she asked one of the Davy Crockett figures why he came this year.

    “I just followed the ‘Pup O Lantern.’”

  6. Pup O’ Lantern
    Again. They’ve done it again.
    Another silly costume. Another round of “Oh, so sweet … pupply wupply is so cutses! Snuggly wuggly Mr. Pish!” At least there’s no Santa hat this time.
    Where do they get off with such ideas? If I decided to mark them as my territory by splashing yellow designs on their pristine white trousers, they would run screaming with me to obedience training … again.
    Transformation is the only answer, but how? How can I go from the blinking orange Pup O’Lantern to the fearsome gruesome haunting machine?
    The neighborhood evil witch. She could help.
    “Mr. Pish, I sense your agony. Pumpkin again. I can change that.”
    “Anything! I’ll do anything! No more posing in orange next to decorative gourds and straw bales! This inferno is devouring me!”
    “Half your kibble for the next two months.”
    Poof! Miraculously, the orange suit is gone. But it’s replaced … it’s replaced by … not this! Anything but this!
    “Do you like your new look, Mr. Pish?”
    “But I said …”
    “You said ‘no more posing in orange,’ but nothing about your final appearance.”
    “How could you …”
    “Quite simple, Mr. Pish. All witches need a black cat on the back of their broomsticks.”
    And I thought dressing as a pumpkin was torturous. Where can I hide for the next few days so the neighborhood pack won’t spot me?

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