The Slaughter of the Apartment-Sized Pumpkin

Sister Madly, with an axe
Gave the pumpkin several hacks
And when she had her fill of fun
She took a nap


Ah, Autumn, the season of jumping into a pile of newly raked leaves and engaging in the ever-so seductive I-Just-Walked-Through-A-Spider‘s-Web Dance; the season of heavy rains that is the start of the monthly Is-That-Moss-Growing-On-My-Car? inquiry which lasts through the spring. Of course, with autumn comes the re-awakening of the Radiator Banshee, but all sunshine makes a desert, as they say- which Sister Madly doesn’t understand, really, because she likes the desert and they say this like it’s a bad thing.

Still, Sister Madly was determined to embrace the new season with her usual festivity, so last week she went out and bought herself an apartment-sized pumpkin.

This, however, seems to have violated several Statutory Laws of Universal Order. Things have been a bit off ever since. A lot off. In fact, a week hasn’t been this off since the time her computer gave her this cryptic, Good Morning, Sister Madly! message:

Keyboard Error

It just went downhill from there. Maybe she’ll tell you about it sometime.

Off weeks don‘t have to involve any major misfortune when every little nuisance adds up: landscapers before 7 AM, a nightly invasion of stink bugs, knocks on her door only to find nobody there, the Meter Reader humming The Ride of the Valkyries* outside her window, and what’s up with the crows that keep on dropping walnuts and apples on her car? To top it all off, her watch battery died. Again. After only two weeks this time. Usually, it’s every 3 months, which would have taken her through December- just long enough for Sister Madly to grow bored with the watch and move on to some other fashion accessory, like duct tape or teeth marks from the neighborhood cat. But no. Two weeks. Two.

(*Also known asKill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbitin certain circles.)

But it wasn’t until after her Watch Battery Died Again Tantrum had subsided that she noticed this peculiarity:

021Yes, 2:20- the exact time Sister Madly’s
Selective Nocturnalness has been kicking in.

You know what this means, don’t you? Neither does Sister Madly.

While generally cool with coincidence, this one was ‘off’ enough to make Sister Madly take notice. 2:20 is about the only time she has been aware of these last few weeks; she doesn’t know what its agenda is, or why it’s always there when she wakes up at night- perhaps the whole 666 thing has become too gimmicky for agents of the underworld. So after a one-sided debate, Sister Madly did what any lucid, self-respecting Chicken Little would do in her situation: she threw the watch in the refrigerator and went to the park. She finds comfort in making the ducks go berserk.

cthulhu wall

But even in the park, things were off: twice Sister Madly had to dodge an errant Frisbee, the ducks steadfastly refused to be berserked, and the hoi polloi were all sitting on their benches, mocking her with their working watches while patiently waiting for Cthulhu to emerge from R’lyeh at 2:20 that afternoon. It seemed as though everyone was rather content with the way autumn waltzed on in and wreck havoc on Sister Madly’s little world with its Death by a Thousand Cuts.

You know, it’s not like you don’t have options, Sister Madly. It’s spring down in the Southern Hemisphere; you can move, find a job, maybe take up a little gardening- if you can cultivate mold on a cheese, then surely you should be able to conquer a dandelion or some other invasive species. You could very well end up a recluse in silk pajamas with a hothouse full of carnivorous plants, and perhaps die a legend.

But even in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s 2:20 every now and then.

Let’s face it: this whole autumn thing just isn’t working out. It‘s only going to get worse from here if Sister Madly doesn’t put a stop to it. And as moving to parts unknown is currently out of the question, she decided that it was time to take matters into her own hands and restore order to her life.


There. There now.

Or maybe all she really wanted to do was mutilate a pumpkin.

POST’S THEME SONG: The Ride of the Valkyries, Wagner


31 responses

  1. locksley2010

    What’s a stink bug?


    October 2, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    • Sister Madly

      This is a stink bug:

      They give off an order when threaten, which is apparently all the time. Also, this makes them no fun to kill.


      October 2, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      • locksley2010

        Damn their eyes! Well… OK, damn their stink glands!

        Liked by 1 person

        October 2, 2014 at 1:33 PM

  2. I live in a very beautiful desert. In winter I can see snow capped mountains from my yard (close enough for me, but you can reach them in three hours if your so inclined) We have two rainy seasons in the Sonoran Desert. this is unique as far as I know. When it rains my neighbors step outside and gaze into the sky as if witnessing a miracle.

    As to the torturing of the apartment size pumpkin, do be careful Sister Madly, the International Organization for the Care and Protection of Vegetables can get nasty if they determine you haven’t scarred said pumpkin for a good cause. The I.O.C.P.V. has very stringent rules regarding pumpkin carving with some severe penalties for infractions. As you know these self important bureaucracies can be murder when your week is already a little off.

    Today taste like espresso brownie, with a side of Real by Tracy Bonham

    Liked by 1 person

    October 2, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Wow- I would love to see that outside my window everyday! You are very lucky!

      And tell the IOCPV that I had good reason to murder that pumpkin! Back me up here. 😉


      October 2, 2014 at 1:28 PM

  3. There there Elmer it will be alwight. Take a nightly libational constitutional and let the Duelling Banshee’s loose to tire before you make your way back home.


    October 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Perhaps it’s the Banshee who should get the libation. Might make her mellow.

      If only she would take up the bagpipes…

      Liked by 1 person

      October 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM

  4. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

    Liked by 1 person

    October 2, 2014 at 2:05 PM

  5. It took me a long time to figure out what an East coast stink bug is. I’m from Arizona, and stink bugs out there look completely different!


    October 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    • Sister Madly

      Same here! The ones I knew in Michigan are totally different from the ones out West.
      Except the smell. The smell is the same.


      October 2, 2014 at 6:01 PM

  6. I had a stink bug in Virgina that buzzed through a vacation massage in a lovely spa. I really wanted to smash it as it was disturbing the zen state of mind I had paid a good money for. Not sure if it smelled as bad as the PA bugs but I sure wanted to find out. Grrr


    October 2, 2014 at 10:35 PM

    • Sister Madly

      The act of smashing an irritating pest of any sort is very Zen, in my opinion. Perhaps it was part of the vacation package…?

      Liked by 1 person

      October 3, 2014 at 12:16 AM

  7. This post made me smile so very hard. Love your style. Keep up the madness less there be pumpkins xx


    October 4, 2014 at 1:54 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you so very much!

      Talk on the street is that there’s no need to fear the pumpkins, nor for the pumpkins- the Monsters will save us all. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      October 4, 2014 at 2:28 AM

  8. I have yet to experience a stink bug that lives up to its name. I mostly catch the ones that get inside and liberate them to whatever fate they suffer outside once winter hits. Unless the cats get to them, first.

    This post made me laugh after a very long week at work. Thanks!


    October 4, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    • Sister Madly

      A cat with stink bug breath- that is something I hope to never encounter.

      I do my best to liberate them as well, as crushing them makes the bug live up to its name- that, and there’s that whole crunching bug factor. Not a pleasant sound.


      October 4, 2014 at 11:28 AM

  9. Amazing photo and tale. You held me the last words.


    October 5, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Thank you!- although, I’m sure the pumpkin would disagree… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      October 5, 2014 at 1:04 AM

  10. Yep, I prefer Bugs Bunny’s Wagner to Wagner’s Wagner.

    Here in VA, people make a stink about stink bugs, too–but if you don’t squash ’em, they don’t stink. Luckily I have three kids who all enjoy freeing them. They do make a racket circling a late night writing lamp, though, I’ll give you that. Happy autumn to ya!


    October 6, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    • Sister Madly

      Oh yes, they are irritating when it comes to lamps. Then they want to sit on your shoulder- why can’t something else sit on your shoulder, like a butterfly or… a different butterfly?
      And Happy Autumn to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      October 6, 2014 at 1:37 PM

      • Hey Sister M. You going to write something for the FullMoonSocial on Wednesday? Come on. I’ll send you my Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast mug. –Okay, I can’t part with that. But you should still do it.


        October 6, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Forgive my blatant ignorance… but what is this Full Moon Social thing that you speak of?


          October 7, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        • O Sister, I thought you hung on my blog’s every word.

          The Full Moon Social– It is just a little piece of lunar insanity I have suggested to my poet friends. On Oct 8 we’ll all post a piece about the moon–while the full moon is out, in whatever time zone we’re in–and tag it fullmoonsocial2014, thus creating a real-time full moon loony lunar anthology of sorts. So you can follow the tag on wordpress or twitter and read things as they are being posted. That’s what it is. Couldja? More info on my blog, with pictures, but really that’s the gist of it. You simply must (virtually) attend.

          Liked by 1 person

          October 7, 2014 at 11:37 AM

        • Sister Madly

          I do hang onto your every word! It’s just that I trip sometimes and things spill out all over the place…

          And… a poem?! That’s going to require a bit of alcohol, and even then that’s no guarantee. But I guess I could try.


          October 7, 2014 at 12:06 PM

        • The ancient Chinese poets of the T’ang dynasty wouldn’t even think of writing a poem until they’d made a good dent in the wine. Go forth, Sister! I look forward to seeing what you post on Wednesday!


          October 7, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        • Sister Madly

          Can’t argue with the wisdom of the Far East!

          Liked by 1 person

          October 7, 2014 at 12:18 PM

  11. It all must mean something ! Xx … love your site !


    October 14, 2014 at 5:23 PM

    • Sister Madly

      If it all means something, it’s lost upon me. (le sigh)

      And thanks for your support and encouragement- it really means a lot!

      Liked by 1 person

      October 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

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