Speakeasy – It’s Raining Pumpkins


“He had it coming to him!”

“You’ve said that several times Mr. McSwain,” Officer Kelly said as he stopped writing in his spiral pad to look at the man. He noted the flushed face of the fifty something year old fellow, who carried too much weight on his knees and obviously had exerted himself something fierce perpetrating the action that brought their radio to life.

He looked over his shoulder to see his fire department brethren milling around as they checked for anything that required their attention. He worked to suppress the laughter that welled in his throat as the boots the fireman sported became a liability on the ankle deep litter of pumpkin shells.  Kelly tried to imagine what it was like at the height of the “attack” as fifty pound pumpkins rained down.

There was also the matter of the elaborate Christmas display that took the brunt of the barrage. Percy Hendirckson was the five time winner of the Penley River Township Christmas decorating contest. As the display continued to became more elaborate, the lead time to get it set up morphed back into September.

“You know we could have an honest contest if some people wouldn’t go overboard and try to make a miniature Las Vegas in their yard,” McSwain continued when he realized Kelly’s attention was on him again.

“So you used an air cannon?” Kelly asked for clarification.

“You could call it that. I watched this program on the Discovery Channel showing slingshots, catapults and so on. For the money the air cannon is most accurate.”

“You do realize you could have seriously injured or killed someone?”

“I made sure to do it when no one was home.”

On cue a sporty red convertible rolled to a stop at the start of the pumpkin litter drive way. Both doors slowly opened and a man and woman climbed out of the vehicle and stood silently taking in the surreal scene. There was no words exchanged, instead they just continued to inventory the mess.

“Hello,” Officer Kellly called to the couple. “Are you Mr. and Mrs. Carlin?”

“Yes, the man finally replied as he shook his head.

“Who did this?” his wife asked.

“That would be Mr. . . .”

“MCSWAIN!” Mr. Carlin shouted as his eyes fell on his neighbor sitting on a bench within the yard.

McSwain got to his feet and assumed a defensive posture as the man about his age approached with an expression that conveyed anger. Kelly wondered how often these two had mixed it up over the years.

“I knew you would do something. You were the one that caused it all to short out last year the day before the judging. Do you know I had to stay up all night to swap out the blown fuses?”

“It was the only peaceful night I had last December.”

“You are insane!” Carlin declared.

“You had it coming. After you “accidentally” ran through my dahlia patch with your tractor.”

“You saw the steering wheel come loose. It was an accident.”

“I saw you drive all the way across your yard, around your fountain and between those clothes line posts with no issue.”

“Mr. Carlin, I have to ask if you want to press charges,” Officer Kelly said, breaking into the conversation.

“Yes. I definitely do.”

“Marty McSwain I am placing you under arrest for the destruction of property exceeding . . . Mr. Carlin how much does all this cost.”

“Thirty thousand,” Carlin replied.

“Dollars?” McSwain exclaimed.


“Then this is a felony,” Officer Kelly declared.

“You’re kidding!” McSwain said as his hands were cuffed behind him. He remained speechless as he walked to the police cruiser and ducked his head as Officer Kelly placed him in the car.

“I hope it was worth it,” Officer Kelly said as he slid into the seat behind the wheel.

“Oh it was,” McSwain said. “Watching the big gourds decimate that abomination of greed was worth any amount of time behind bars. What fool would spend that much on Christmas decorations anyway?”


 Check it out here: Speakeasy #129.

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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