A/N: Hi all! I volunteered to do this to stretch myself but found it a hard task as I am not a lover of Halloween or scary things that go bump in the night. SO, I chose to do a simpler Halloween tale based loosely off the children's Halloween cartoon, Monsters vs. Aliens: Attack of the Mutant Pumpkins. But my version is Cullen-fied.
"Melanie Katherine Cullen, you better get this table cleared off if you want to carve the pumpkins when your dad gets home." I yelled at my boisterous seven year old daughter for the third time in an hour.
"I'm coming mom, just let me finish this game." She yelled back from the computer desk around the corner from the kitchen.
I shook my head, and cursed Edward in my head for showing her that Halloween game on the computer. Between her inheriting my love of books and Edward's love for all things electronic the girl was doomed to be a nerd.
But, I loved her regardless and couldn't be more proud of her heritage.
I heard Edward's car pull up into the driveway and started to dry my hands. "Melanie, your dad is home and if this table isn't cleaned off in the next five minutes, there will be absolutely no pumpkins carved in this house."
I heard her huff, pause the computer and stomp into the dining room where her homework and art supplies were scattered all over the table top.
Edward walked through the garage door just as she finished packing everything back into her backpack.
"How are my beautiful girls today?" He said as I sighed and greeted him with a kiss.
"Hmmm, missed me did you?" He grinned as we broke apart to the whine of 'ewwws' coming from our darling daughter.
"Remind me again why we chose to have a child?" I asked, teasingly to my husband.
"Because she is the spitting image of you and the world couldn't stand not to have two versions of the most beautiful girls on the planet." He said as he picked Melanie up for a kiss.
I quirked an eyebrow at his attempt to woo me with his words. He laughed at me and winked.
"How was your day, pumpkin?" His voice was soft and calm when he spoke to our child. She was able to reduce the hard-working surgeon into putty with a single look.
"It was great, we told to ghost stories in class today." Her eyes lit up as she told him the story and I started to cook our dinner, having already heard this story twice already. They walked through the kitchen to the living room, part of their nightly routine.
"So, aren't we supposed to work on some pumpkins tonight?" He asked as he walked back into the kitchen, freshly showered with Melanie at his heel.
"Yes, we are." She declared matter of fact. "But, dad, can you tell me a scary story while we do it?" She asked as she plucked a few grapes from the bowl on the counter.
"I'm sure I could manage a story or two. But, have you decided which design you want on the pumpkins?" Edward asked as he started to set everything up.
"Yep, I want the three scary jack-o-lanterns that we saw on that website." She announced and ran to grab the picture that they had printed off the night before.
Edward went out to the garage to retrieve the pumpkins we had so painstakingly picked from the pumpkin patch the weekend before.
I stood at the bar and chopped some veggies for the stir-fry and listened with rapt attention to the tall-tale he was about to embark on in order to amuse our inquisitive child.
"Well, Melanie, did you ever hear about the Mutant Pumpkin invasion?" He asked as she shook her head while she hung on every word he said.
"There was a UFO sighting near Farmer Jed's pumpkin patch a few days before Halloween the year that Uncle Jasper and I were twelve and Uncle Emmett was thirteen. Apparently, it had been spotted by numerous people around town. An investigation was done the next morning but nothing was ever proved. But, it didn't stop people from talking about it or coming up with ridiculous stories about what had actually happened." He paused and guided Melanie's hand as they started to cut open the tops and remove the gunk inside.
"Did you know about it, Daddy? Did the Aliens leave one behind?" I chuckled silently, knowing that Melanie was referring to ET from when we watched it a few nights ago for family movie night.
Edward laughed. "No baby, there were no aliens left behind but the spaceship had sprayed something on the pumpkin patch that no one had known about. But we'll get to that part."
He cleaned off his hands and came to get a plastic bag out of the cabinet but stopped to kiss me on the side of the neck in the process. I shooed him away so he could resume his 'scary story'.
"Daddy, what did the aliens spray on the pumpkins?" Melanie asked curiously.
"Hold on, pumpkin, we aren't to that part of the story yet." Edward chuckled and resumed his work on cutting open the next pumpkin as Melanie scooped out the guts with a small cup.
"So, people started to show up at Farmer Jed's to pick out pumpkins but no one could find him. They assumed it was okay to just take the pumpkins and word quickly spread that there were free pumpkins to be had. But no one inquired as to where Farmer Jed had gone. Jasper, Emmett and I knew that something had to have happened to him because he was meticulous about those darn things." He stopped talking as Melanie threw her hand up.
"What's that word you just used?" She and Edward played this game where he would introduce her to a new word every couple of days. I guess todays word would be meticulous. He spelled it for her as she wrote it down to look it up in the dictionary later, and then resumed her gut removal on the second pumpkin.
"So what did you do, Daddy?" Her eyes and ears were trained to his every breath.
"Well, we dressed all in black and snuck out of the house one night to go do our own investigation. We hiked the half mile out to the farm but couldn't find anything in the dark. Emmett volunteered to stay the night and stake out the place, saying he would walk back home at first daylight. So, Jasper and I grabbed a few pumpkins and walked back home." Edward paused and grabbed the markers to draw the outline on the pumpkins face.
"Daddy, you and Uncle Jasper walked in the dark? Weren't you scared?" Melanie asked in awe of her dad.
Edward chuckled and tapped his finger on her nose. "Yes, a little but I couldn't let my twin or my big brother know that. I'd have never lived that down, besides, I think they were scared too."
She giggled and shook her head at him.
"So, the next morning Uncle Emmett comes home and tells us that he kept hearing noises but never actually saw anything. We chalked it up to nighttime noises on a farm and dropped it. But, then the night of Halloween we decided to dress up as Pumpkin heads and scare the trick or treaters. We hid in the bushes outside Grammy and Grampa's house. As the little kids started to approach we'd jump out and they'd scream. Grammy finally had enough of our shenaigans and told us to scram or she'd put us to work handing out candy. We started to walk around the neighborhood as it was growing dark and we wanted to go to the haunted house a few blocks over."
As he told the story, I watched Melanie, her eyes never left her dad's face. She was completely enraptured with him to the point that she wasn't even helping with the pumpkin carving.
"Melanie, are you going to help your dad or not?" I teased her and she shook her head like she was coming out of a daze.
"What? Oh yeah, sorry Dad." She said as she continued scooping the guts out of the third pumpkin.
"Well, we started to notice that all the kids were running and screaming down the street dropping candy along the way. So we turned around to go back in the direction that they were all running from. Then, we saw them...three giant pumpkins, with scary faces, similar to what we're carving here, scooting down the street making mysterious noises." He paused and took in Melanie's awed expression before he quickly glanced at me and winked.
"The pumpkins were glowing green on the inside and kept coming towards us. Needless to say me, Jasper and Emmett were actually scared so we started picking up the candy to throw at them. But, they ate the candy that we threw at them, which only made them grow larger. We took off running back towards our house to get some weapons. Emmett had the bright idea to get sling shots and air guns to shoot at them. We started to fill our pockets with candy, as much as we could get our hands on." Edward was getting animated and his excitement in telling the story was seeping through to the rapt attention Melanie had as she was actually half sitting and half standing up in her chair.
"Well, soon all the kids saw what we were doing and joined in our fight to destroy the three unruly pumpkins. We pelted them over and over and they grew larger and larger, still glowing green. Someone must have called the police or the army because suddenly there were helicopters and choppers in the sky and they started to dump sugar on the enormous pumpkins. The sugar caused them to all form into one single shape and they blew up, spewing slimy green goo all over everything and everyone." He paused and took a sip of water.
"The goo started to make all the plants and trees in the neighborhood grow so the army went up and down the streets spraying everything with sugar. But, they missed our backyard. So that night when we were all in bed, we were all glowing green, kind of like the incredible hulk. Well, your Uncle Emmett started to scream so Jasper and I took off running to his room where we found our pumpkin heads from our costumes attacking him."
"Me and Jazz picked up the baseball bat and hockey stick and started to beat them off him. Em was screaming like a little girl, 'get them off'...and we tried to but all of the sudden your grampy came running into the room screaming 'get out of the way boys' and stabbed them with a special knife that he also kept hidden from us."
Melanie was completely standing now and Edward was acting out the motions of stabbing the pumpkins.
"He finally killed them all and Emmett was saved. We found out later that some chemicals were retrieved from the destroyed pumpkins and it was full of all these weird things that the army couldn't identify."
"What happened to Uncle Emmett?" Melanie asked.
"Oh, there are times when he gets mad or upset, he actually turns green and glows. But, don't ever ask him to eat pumpkin pie, 'cause he hates pumpkins now." Edward said as he had finished the last carving.
"Oh, so that's why Jack and Lilly wanted to come help us. Uncle Emmett wouldn't let them buy pumpkins because he was scared of them." Our child was extremely bright and I definitely could not wait to see the expression Emmett had when she saw him next.
He was going to kill Edward for telling her that story.
"Dinner's ready." I announced as they both washed their hands and came to sit at the bar where I had everything laid out.
"Dad, do you still glow green?" Melanie asked.
I laughed out loud, because when it comes to me and his daughter, he is full of green where other men in our lives are concerned.
"Sometimes, but it's nothing like Uncle Emmett." He teased her.
And I knew, I just knew that she'd be sleeping in our bed tonight.