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Jolly Jack-o-Lanterns     

by Nerisha Kemraj


Mr. Bones boasted the best decorated yard all through October. Ghastly ghouls and ghosts glorified the trees within the yard, while spooky skeletons spanned across the entire house. Mr. Bones truly encompassed the spirit of Halloween, out-doing all his neighbours when it came to decor.

It was definitely a sight to see, especially on Halloween day itself, when magnificently spooky jack-o-lanterns magically appeared throughout his front lawn as the night wore on.

This was why little Jacob was most eager to visit the place, regardless of the creepy rumours surrounding Mr. Bones.

Jacob ran down the street, ahead of his mother, impatient to visit the best house on the block. He crashed into the gates, flinging them open before bounding up the stairs.

“Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat!” he yelled but it seemed that the spooky house was empty. “Mr. Bones, Trick or Treat?”

Feeling very let down by the absence of candy, Jacob ran around the yard—to explore, and to see up close all of the dazzling decor.

It wasn’t until he reached the back of the house that his mother entered the yard, spotting him before he could disappear towards the back.

“Jacob!” She shouted in vain.

Her eyes widened, almost popping off her face as she watched Mr. Bones turn her son into the most beautiful jack-o-lantern she had ever laid eyes on.

“Mom!” She heard the faint whisper as the lantern glowed a fierce orange.

She turned to run but felt herself fall onto the floor, smashing into a pulpy pumpkin puddle.




Author Bio

Nerisha Kemraj resides in Durban, South Africa with her husband and two mischievous daughters. While poetry has been a love since high school, she began writing short stories in 2016.

A lover of dark fiction, she has over 150 short stories and poems published in various publications, both print and online. She has also received an Honourable Mention Award for her tanka in the Fujisan Taisho 2019 Tanka Contest. 

Nerisha holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Science, and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of South Africa.


Julie · November 1, 2020 at 2:14 am

So THAT’S where jack-o-lanterns REALLY come from!!

Kelly Matsuura · November 1, 2020 at 5:54 am

I saw it coming but it still hurt…. Well done!

Shawn M. Klimek · November 1, 2020 at 10:35 am

Serves her right for abandoning her son. 😉

Dawn DeBraal · November 1, 2020 at 10:45 pm

Such a nice lead on. Thinking this guy has Halloween spirit. I loved the ending. Pulpy pumpkin puddle! Great Job, Nerisha!!!

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