It started on Halloween night, when I returned from the shop with a prize pumpkin, ready to create my best jack-o’-lantern.
“Hey, get off my grass!” I shouted to a stooped old lady on my front lawn. I regretted the tone of my outburst immediately. I thought about apologising but didn’t.
“No problem, dearie,” she replied, shifting her bent and crippled frame to look me in the eye. “So sorry to have rested on your delightful lawn,” she muttered, and began to shuffle away.
“I hope you enjoy cutting your pumpkin tonight,” she called as she departed, waving her hand behind her. She cackled eerily and I shivered.
I thought nothing more of it until I started to carve my creation at the kitchen table.
As I made those first few cuts into the pumpkin, my own face began to tingle. Impossibly, I could feel the knife biting into my own flesh.
I tried to stop but I was being driven by some unseen force.
Blood began running down my face and dripping onto the pumpkin. My hands and tools were slick with it. As I gouged out the jack’s eyes, teeth, and nose, I could feel each cut ruining my own face. It was agonising but I just couldn’t stop.
Once I was done, in a bloody delirium, I staggered to my front door and placed the jack onto my front doorstep.
Many people passed my house that night and commented on how realistic the features on my lantern were, and how the fake blood added to the effect.
I hid inside behind the curtains, afraid to look in the mirror and see what terrible countenance I now wore.
I vowed never to cross words with a witch again.