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Arusian Gourds

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“She’s gonna love this!” Lance muttered excitedly under his breath.

Finding anything that remotely resembled a pumpkin on Arus was nothing short of a miracle, and though the large squash was more of those grotesquely-shaped gourds—and certainly so large that his lower back cricked as he hoisted each one up the abandoned house chosen for the celebration—it was all the same appropriate for the holiday he was just about to introduce to Princess Allura and all of her subjects.

“Now, how to carve this into a Jack-O-Lantern?”

He took a step back and mused, rubbed a finger against his chin as he studied about himself. The line of Arusian gourds on display was only vaguely suggestive of Earth’s Halloween. His own planet had none of that sort of holiday, had not so much anything resembling an autumn season. Remembering how he had felt the first time he beheld the leaves changing colors and little children (and some adults) dressed in costumes…well, it was all the more reason for Princess Allura to experience. She seldom ever got to enjoy the cultures beyond her own planet. She was sure to delight in Halloween!

“Now what face do draw on you?” he said aloud to the first gourd. “Can’t make you too ugly. Can’t make you too scary either—I mean, scary is the point of Halloween, but I don’t think Princess Allura will want to be spooked too bad. Maybe something cute? She’d like something cute. But how do I make this ugly thing adorable?”

He moved over to the next gourd, brainstorming a face he can potentially draw before sticking the knife in, when suddenly one of the largest gourds shifted. It raised above the patch and slowly regarded him.

“Who you’re calling ugly, chump?” The gourd’s faceless surface glared at him.

“Whoa, whoa! Didn’t know you could do that!” Lance laughed.

“There’s a lot more we can do. What were you planning on doing with that knife?”

Lance took a step back, not liking the accusatory tone in that last remark.

“How’d you feel with that thing sticking in your face?”


He ran out screaming, abandoning the entire patch of clearly so-not-like-Earthian pumpkins. And so he missed it when four rascal space mice crawled from around the gourd and snickered to one another.