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:
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 as ‘Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit‘ in certain circles.)
But it wasn’t until after her Watch Battery Died Again Tantrum had subsided that she noticed this peculiarity:
Yes, 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.
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