Two nights before Halloween I went with my sister and her kids to a pumpkin patch hosted by a local high school softball team. After browsing a color-coded fruit labyrinth, we each chose one and returned to my sister’s house where we sat in the driveway, listening to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” and carved.
My pumpkin was round, though not perfect. The bent stem didn’t shine, but was strong. One side of the fruit was rough, however overall it stood firm. Bonus, it had an eye-catching bold hue and astounding negotiation skills. I named it Ollie Edgar Pumpkin.
After I carved a loud jagged face, Ollie convinced me to drive him to the downtown job fair where he confidently introduced himself to the lead recruiter of a prominent medical equipment sales company. The recruiter hired Ollie on the spot. And thus a full life began.
Ollie began as a sales representative who traveled between local hospitals and outpatient medical facilities; soon after, he was promoted to traveled nationwide, and then internationally. He repeatedly declined recommendations from the CEO to advance towards a career as Director of Marketing.
At his prime Ollie obeyed his innermost desire to use his talent to help the community and retired from his sales rep career to became a fulltime motivational speaker. His optimistic persona quickly became widely coveted for employee wellness programs, university talks, and political conventions across the country. And, wherever his travels took him, he kept a framed photo on his desk always, of his carver (me) and all those present at the time of his carving (my sister, her children).
One Friday evening, Ollie collapsed. The ER doctors, who seemed largely confused, and one very helpful botanist informed us that Ollie’s fruit walls had decayed and were beyond rescue. His time had come.
Mr. Ollie E. Pumpkin will be remembered as an exceptional go-getter who never waited to be given a candle to light up his face.
Prompt by Pages of Fiction: Write about the pumpkin you carved this year.