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       The Pumpkin's Night of Terror, p.1

          
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The Pumpkin's Night of Terror
All rights are reserved by copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted,

  Downloaded, reverse engineered in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the

  ISBN 9781370578818 Copyright 2007 by R. B. Pratcher

  All characters and elements of the Pumpkin’s Night of Terror are trademark of R. B. Pratcher, ©R. B. Pratcher

  The Pumpkins' Night of Terror

  By R.B.Pratcher

   

  Chapter 1

  Today Buddy is happy, like most days. It is very rare that he is unhappy or depressed or sad and if, then it will not last longer than a few minutes, unless of course if someone was to keep him away from his Daddy or his best friend and great love, Brandy. Buddy is a dog, a handsome one, according to his Daddy and a very good boy, so his Daddy tells him often. He looks like a white German Sheppard and is just as big.

  Buddy has lived all his life with his people. Considering the fact that they are humans, they are not too hard to train and he loves them dearly. He has gotten used to their strange habits a long time ago. Always trying to sleep a floor above his head, shutting doors to keep all the good smells out, putting stuff into the toilet bowl and then make it disappear, hiding candy in the spring time, stay inside with terrible cold air blowing in his face during the summertime, putting trees up in the house, which he was not allowed to sniff or water, during the winter time and, like right now, bringing pretty orange pumping balls in the house and make them look funny and glow during autumn time. When the entire neighborhood is filled with glowing pumpkins they will put silly clothes on him and on their own self and go around begging for treats. Of course, begging for treats is fine with him, he loves treats!

  Just this time, something is not right. There is this one pumpkin on the front steps, in front of the door and it just does not smell right. Every time Buddy walks past it, he catches a whiff of this strange odor, steps back and grows.

  "You silly pooch, it's just a pumpkin, a vegetable!" his Daddy says and laughs at him.

  "Yeah, and I'm just a kitty-cat," Buddy answers, but Daddy just grins and opens the door.

  "And I'll get you, mutt," a voice whispers, just before the door closes behind Buddy's pretty fury tail. However, it is not in Buddy's nature to dwell on things and it never takes him long to shake off the goose bumps the pumpkin causes. But then something so outrageous and terrible happens that he becomes very careful.

  Brandy's Mom came to the house, terribly upset and in tears and, worst of all, without Brandy!

  Brandy is Buddy's very best friend, she is not even half his size, she is a dachs-hound, but very smart and so very beautiful. Buddy loves her with all his heart.

  "She disappeared, just like that! One moment she was there and the next she was gone. I just don't know what to do! I have been looking everywhere for her," Brandy's mom sobbed. Buddy felt like sobbing too, but, being the good boy he was, he only whined a little and tried his best to comfort Mrs. Brandy's mom.

  "I'll get my coat and we'll go out together looking for her, we'll find her," Daddy assured Mrs. Brandy's mom and got Buddy's leash.

  Carefully Buddy squeezed out the door, on the far side of the pumpkin, who giggled in his evil voice. Quickly Buddy turned and showed his strong, big teeth. Then they went on, looking for his friend Brandy.

  They walked around the block, through the park and around the block across the street. No Brandy, not even a fresh scent of her! On their way they met Rusty and Mr. Rusty's Dad, Diego and his mom and Mr. Gizmo with his mom and dad.

  While the mom's and dad's talked about Brandy, the dogs talked about her too.

  "I have heard that a few of us have disappeared. I have sniffed the usual areas, but could not get a whiff of them, only messages that were days old," Mr. Gizmo, a handsome little Shih Tzu stated.

  "I have heard that even the careful Bronco Buck is missing! And you know, he is always very careful with strangers!" Rusty, a frisky Beagle told his friends.

  "What can we do? As if it was not enough that I have to deal with this terrible pumpkin at home, now my best friends are gone! It is just awful!" Buddy sighed.

  "Funny that you should mention a pumpkin," Diego, a Chihuahua mix said and tilted his head, "the only time I've got a scent of my friend Baby was when I passed a pumpkin, a very bad smelling one!"

  "Now that you mention it, the kids next door have a pumpkin that has an odd smell and that's where I could smell Little Louie’s scent," Rusty whispered.

  "That's strange, we should go and check out those pumpkins, quickly before our people put us back on the leash!" Buddy suggested and looked up at his dad, deeply involved in comforting Mrs. Brandy's mom.

  As quiet as possible the dogs took off, first to the house next to Rusty's, where the nice kids lived who always had a treat or a belly rub for the dogs.

  Already from far away they could see the orange glow of the pumpkin and smell the scent of evil in the air.

  "Careful, we can't trust this thing," Rusty whispered.

  "Oh, yes, yes, I can smell Little Louie! No doubt," Diego wagged his tail excitedly.

  "Let's surround the pumpkin, so we can attack from all sides, if we have to," Buddy suggested.

  As good as possible the dogs spread out and approached the pumpkin. The scent of Little Louie was very strong now, but the scent of evil was even stronger, stinging their noses. Careful they bared their teeth to show the pumpkin that they would, no doubt, attack and tear it apart.

  "Friends, oh friends, help me, help me," a small voice called from somewhere inside the pumpkin.

  "Little Louie, is that you?" Rusty asked and stopped moving, one paw in the air.

  "Rusty, I'm in here, help me, get me out!" Little Louie's voice pleaded.

  "That's odd," Buddy sat down and looked at the suspicious pumpkin.

  "Do you think that's really our friend, Little Louie?" Diego wondered and carefully sniffed the air.

  "Oh, look, you can see his image on the pumpkin, as if someone had carved it there!" Mr. Gizmo shouted and jumped up and down.

  "Yes, I have your friend and we will get all of you too. Then it is over, being man's best friend! Then we pumpkins are the best friends of people for ever, hahaha," the pumpkin's evil voice laughed at them. Startled the dogs jumped back off the porch.

  Chapter 2

  "Help me, please, help me," Little Louie pleaded from deep inside the pumpkin.

  "What can we do?" Diego asked worried.

  "I don't know, I never heard of a dog being swallowed by a pumpkin," Mr. Gizmo admitted.

  "Let's go and find the other pumpkins," Buddy suggested and sadly looked at the pumpkin with Little Louie's image.

  "Don't worry friend, we'll get you out of there," Diego called up to the porch, hoping that Little Louie could hear him.

  Quickly they made their way through the neighborhood and found four more pumpkins that had swallowed up their friends and had dog's images carved on them.

  After telling their trapped friends that they would help, they met back in the park, close to their Moms and Dads.

  "We need help, urgently. Those demonic pumpkins must have used evil magic to trap our friends! Who can we get to help?" Rusty asked.

  "What do I hear there about evil pumpkins?" a voice asked from above.

  "Who's that? Did you hear that voice?" Buddy whispered and made himself as small as he could.

  "It's me, Baby Keith! Who else would sit in a tree!" the voice answered and a deep purr followed.

  "Oh, Baby Keith! We did not expect a cat hanging out here," Mr. Gizmo sighed with relief.

  "It's the best time to be here, not all dogs are acceptable and most of them are inside at night," Baby Keith answered and slowly and gracefully climbed down the tree.

  "So, what's all the excitement about?" he asked as he landed, smack, in the middle of the small congregation.

  "Oh, it is terrible. The pumpkins are swallowing our friends and want to get rid of all dogs, so they can be man's best friend in the future," Rusty explained.

  "Aha," Baby Keith acknowledged and licked his paw. He was a formidable dark gray cat with thick fur.

  "And we need help to save them, but we don't know who could help us," Diego added.

  "Oh, so, so." Baby Keith looked up into the tree.

  "I'm coming," a small voice said and only moments later another cat, this one very small, appeared in their middle.

  "Hello there, I'm Ittie Bittie, I'm with Baby Keith," the cat introduced herself.

  "What do you think?" Baby Keith asked the other cat.

  "There's no way the pumpkins can be man's best friend if all dogs are gone. People will just have more cats," Ittie Bittie simply pointed out, "after all, a pumpkin can't even purr!"

  "Yeah, right, but that's not what I meant. Where do you think they can get help?" Baby Keith sighed.

  "Oh, well, I'm not sure, but a human would be a good thing. They can do a lot we can't do," the gray cat pointed out.

  "Yes, that's right, but how can we make a human understand what's happening?" Rusty asked, hoping they would have the answer.

  "Well, you just tell them, of course," Ittie suggested.

  "They don't understand our language, how can we tell them?" Diego reminded them.

  "Oh, I know!" Baby Keith said, got on his feet and arched his back, "there is a man who can understand our language. He is very nice and has a lot of animal friends. We should go and ask him for help!"

  "A human who can understand us? Are you sure?" Brandy asked doubtful.

  "Sure I'm sure! Let's go and see him," Baby Keith already walked off.

  "Cat's rule!" Ittie called and ran after Baby Keith.

  "Let's go, friends!" Buddy barked and spurted after the cats. His friends quickly followed.

  Chapter 3

  They ran through the park, down the street and to the end of the town, until they came to a house that had the most wonderful inviting smells.

  "Who are you and what do you want?" a deep voice asked from behind a fence.

  "Greetings old friend Tatar, it's me, Ittie Bittie. I bring some friends who need urgent help. The help of your human," the grey cat said and jumped up on top of the fence.

  "Wait here, I'll get Fat Louie, he'll decide," the voice said and they could hear him walking off on soft paws.

  "Who is he?" Rusty asked.

  "He's Tatar, one of the human's friends. He is a huge black dog and very protective. Fat Louie is the cat, well the leader of the cats that stay here and he will decide if our case is urgent enough to trouble the human," Ittie Bittie patiently explained.

  "Ahhh so." Rusty said and sat down.

  "What is it that you want," a voice said after only moments and a really huge cat was sitting on top of the fence, looking down at them.

  "We need the help of your human friend. Pumpkins have trapped our friends and are planning to take over the humans. We really need help!" Buddy quickly explained.

  "Pumpkins? Is that a Halloween joke?" Fat Louie asked suspicious.

  "No, it is true," Baby Keith assured him.

  Without another word the huge cat disappeared behind the fence into the night. The dogs and the two cats waited, their little hearts beating fast with hope.

  Finally lights came on in the house and they could hear the noise of doors being unlocked.

  "Well, good evening fellows," a man said and stood in the door, looking down at them.

  "Good evening. Are you the man who can understand us?" Mr. Gizmo asked and looked up at the man.

  "Yes, that's me. My name is Ed. What can I do for you? I hear it is an emergency," he replied.

  "Oh, did you hear, he really can understand what I said!" Mr. Gizmo said and danced in a circle, sneezed three times and then sat down in front of the man, wagging his tail.

  "Pumpkins are threatening to make all of us disappear. They have already trapped some of our friends inside them. We don't know what to do," Buddy explained and his heart felt heavy, when he thought about his beautiful Brandy being trapped inside a pumpkin.

  "Evil pumpkins? Trapped animals? I have never heard anything like that before! I'm afraid I will have to see for myself," the human Ed said and dangled some keys. He led the dogs and cats around the house to his car. The car was big enough to carry all of them. Quickly Fat Louie and Tatar joined the others and made sure to sit up front, right next to their human.

  The animals guided him to the street where the evil pumpkins were sitting on steps and front porches, holding their friends trapped inside.

  "Alright, you guys wait here. It could be dangerous. I'll take the pumpkins, one at a time, and put them in the trunk of the car. At home we'll figure out how to get your friends out," Ed suggested and got out of the car.

  "Not without me by your side!" Fat Louie called and, more graceful than one could imagine for a cat his size, followed his human onto the street.

  "I'd rather you stay in the car, it could be dangerous," Ed advised.

  "I'm not a dog. Tatar should stay, but for me it should be safe," Fat Louie explained and walked right past Ed up the stairs onto the porch with the first pumpkin.

  As quiet as possible Ed and Fat Louie went from house to house, collecting the pumpkins, even the ones that did not have a little dog trapped inside of them yet.

  "I think we are done. Let's get out of here," Ed said and slammed the trunk of his car shut.

  Quickly he and Fat Louie got back into the car and he drove the car back to his house. There he parked inside a barn and took the pumpkins out of the trunk. The four who had trapped the small dogs were facing with the side of the dogs images.

  "Now what?" Ed said and stared at the mischievous vegetables.

  "We don't know. There's got to be way to get them out!" Buddy said and growled at the pumpkins.

  "You'll never break our magic, silly mutt!" one of the pumpkins snickered.

  "Oh, why would that be, ugly pumpkin?" Buddy growled.

  "It takes magic to break a magic spell and you furry fools don't know a thing about magic!" the pumpkin laughed at them.

  "He is right, we don't know anything about magic," the human Ed sighed and stared at the vegetables. Then he grinned and clapped his hands.

  "Ha! I know someone who does know about magic! Come on guys, let's go!" he called out and got back into the car. Pushing each other, the animals, cats and dogs, hurried to follow.

  Ed drove the car back onto the road and into town, straight through onto the other side of town. There he stopped at the very last house.

  "Here lives a very good friend and he knows magic!" he announced and whistled.

  Chapter 4

  A moment later a small dog, dressed in a black suit with a black Top-hat on his head came running toward the gate.

  "Well, hello, what is it that brings you out here so late?" the dog, a Boston Terrier, asked.

  "Hello Bandit. We need your help. Magic pumpkins have trapped four little dogs and are planning to trap more dogs. We know that it takes magic to break a magic spell and I know that you are a great magician. Can you help us?" Ed asked.

  "Oh, oh, oh, that sounds terrible! I have heard about the curse of the magic pumpkins. Every 113 years, thirteen days before Halloween they have the power to trap man's companions and can attempt to take over. I never thought that in my lifetime I would be witness to such terrible things!" Bandit exclaimed.

  "Can you help? Will you help?" Buddy asked.

  "I would love to help, but I'm afraid that my magic is not strong enough. We have been very gifted magicians in my family for generations, but never have we faced evil magic like that of a pumpkin! You need stronger magic than mine!" Bandit sighed, slightly ashamed that he could not help.

  "But, where would we get a magic that is strong enough?" Mr. Gizmo asked and whined, letting his tail hang, his heart heavy with despair.

  "Well, there is one place where we could try to find help, but we have to hurry, if we want to break their spell it has to be done before midnight!" Bandit explained and wagged his tail.

  "Then let's go! No time to waste!" Ed called out and raced to the car.

  "We can not travel the usual way, we must use the secret passage," Bandit advised and brought the small crowd of animals to a stop.

  "Alright, which way would that be?" Baby Keith asked, his tail standing straight up in the air, his back arched.

  "Relax, it's not as bad as you might think. We have to go through the magic gate. It will take us to Fairy Mountain. There we will have to seek the Keeper of the Fairies. If she will let us borrow some of the fairies, we might be able to break the spell," Bandit explained.

  "A magic gate? But where? I grew up here, I know every tree, every bush, every street and every house, but I have never seen a magic gate," Ed pointed out and looked around.

  "Well, if it was so easy to spot, it would not be very magical, now would it?" Bandit stated and shook his head, almost causing his hat to fall off.

  "Follow me, if you want to free your friends!" he ordered and walked off on his short legs.

  Ed looked at Tatar and Fat Louie, they nodded their heads and followed Bandit, the magical dog. Ed shrugged his shoulders, grinned and said "let's go!" and was already close behind his dog and cat. Quickly the remaining dogs and cats followed, through the yard, around the house and out of a small gate at the back of the yard into the open field.

  Everything looked dark and deserted. Even the moon and the stars appeared further away than usual. All was quiet.

  In the center of the open field was a lonely huge Oak tree. In front of it Bandit stopped and looked at his friends.

  "I am very sorry, but the cats can not come along any further," he said.

  "What!? What do you mean? Why can't we come any further, that's not right!" Fat Louie hissed at him.

  "Yeah, what is the meaning of this? You think dogs rule, don't you!" Baby Keith joined Fat Louie in the protest.

  "Calm down my friends, calm down. It is not like that," Bandit said and stood on his hind legs.

  "Oh really, we are not the ones you are leaving behind, oh no," Ittie Bittie snarled and turned his back to Bandit.

 
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