Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

The kids gathered around the pumpkin patch anticipating another fun event and eager to pick out and take home the biggest, brightest pumpkins, as the orchard staff had promised them. You couldn’t ask for a more wonderful fall day.  The sun, leaves, cornfields, and clouds conspired to give a magnificent golden glow across Harvest Valley.  Tucked inside this arboreal paradise is Jensen’s Apple Orchard, a favorite weekend site just three miles off the Interstate; once its doors open in September, families, school children, and lovers of autumn come to enjoy the delicious fruit and foliage of the season.  Fifth graders from Allenby Christ Lutheran Elementary School had enjoyed the last couple of hours running through the corn maze, moving cautiously through the Haunted Barn, taking a wagon tour of the apple orchard, eating honey crisp apples, and drinking Momma Jensen’s apple cider.  What these youngsters couldn’t know, of course, as they reached for their orange gourds, was that their teachers, a teacher’s aide, and the bus driver lie dead in the back of a shed.  After the proprietors of Jensen’s Apple Orchard had drugged them with free samples of pumpkin spice coffee, they strangled them to death, ever so careful not to shed any blood.  Now they were about to grab these hapless children and offer them as burnt sacrifices to appease their pagan ancestors, who, they fervently believed, had suffered for centuries at the rapacious hands of Christian marauders.