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Perfect Pumpkin

by Ana Blanchet

Lavender was tired, cold and hungry when she spotted it – the perfect orange pumpkin, pleasantly plump. She could already tell she wouldn’t be able to carry it back to her car on her own. Perfect. She was just about to reach her pumpkin when she heard, “Mommy, this one! This one!”

Lavender jumped in front of her pumpkin before a little blonde girl, hair in pigtails, could react. The little girl skidded to a halt, blue eyes wide in bewilderment.

“Beat it, brat,” Lavender snarled, crouching down low in front of her face.

“M-Mommy?” the girl said, turning to the woman approaching behind her, who looked like a scary, older, identical twin of her daughter.

Hey!” the mother said, laughing as she approached. “You made a friend?”

Oh God, Lavender thought. This mom is probably a Pinterest model.

“The girl called me a brat!” the little girl said, burying her face in her mother’s pant leg and pointing a finger at Lavender.

“She’s lying,” Lavender lied. “I told her this is my pumpkin and she got upset. But it is mine. I saw it first.”

“Uhh…” the mother said.

“No, I saw it first!” the little girl accused, cutting off her mother. “It’s mine!”

“It is not! It’s mine!”

“That’s not fair!”

“Life’s not fair, hellion!”

“Hey, hey!” the mother shouted, physically moving between the two of them.

“How OLD are you?” she asked Lavender. Lavender avoided her gaze and swallowed hard. “Aren’t you in college, at least? Like aren’t you in your 20’s?”

“Yes, and I pay taxes!” Lavender snapped. “I’m a responsible adult!”

“Clearly not!” the mother screamed. “You’re arguing with a six year old! Can’t you just give her the pumpkin? Like any normal adult would?”

Lavender sized up the identical mother and daughter, wearing matching ugly pink sweaters and UGG boots. The woman reminded Lavender of a history teacher she had in high school that she liked and still occasionally corresponded with through E-mail. The woman could very well be important in the community, a doctor or Salvation Army bell ringer, standing outside Walmart in the cold during the month of December. The little girl could grow up to be the next President, or a heart-surgeon who works for UNICEF, or a director of a non-profit. This moment could be a defining moment in their lives, one that propels them to greatness, all because of Lavender’s kindness in handing over the pumpkin, apologizing for her words and actions, even helping them carry the huge pumpkin to their car. The mother would laugh and invite her over for hot cider and she would end up babysitting the little girl on a semi-regular basis, where Lavender would impart wisdom and sage advice, becoming best friends with her. The little girl would grow up to write an award winning essay on Lavender, and how she was such an inspiration to her. At the award ceremony, an aging Lavender would graciously accept the standing ovation in her honor with a humble nod, before collapsing on the ground and dying of a heart attack from the excitement. Because of this, she would be immortalized forever in clickbait articles on Top Ten CRAZY Award Ceremony Mishaps, right behind Kayne West grabbing the mic from Taylor Swift. Afterwards, the little girl would name her first born daughter after Lavender.

“No,” Lavender growled, and jumped into the air. She threw all her weight onto the gourd, splattering pumpkin seeds all over the screaming mother and child.