Pumpkin Diplomacy

Pumpkin Diplomacy

This story is the eighth one to my Squish-Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds Prompt Call.  It comes pretty much exactly after Lexiconal


At least when you were snowed in, you had no shortage of ice packs.

Maddy held one to her face, where she’d gotten in the cross-slapping of swinging dictionaries.

They had been snowed in for days now, they were as stuck as stuck could get, and they had run out of ideas.

They were getting something past slap-happy, and she had to do something – well, someone had to do something, and Maddy had gotten them into the dictionary fight – and into the scrabble that had led to that – and maybe she really ought to quit while she was behind.

She looked over at Kennedy instead. “Your turn.”

“My – oh, did you know we have a grill out there? And we have about 17 pumpkins in here; I found them when I was looking for the charcoal. I think the RD was thinking of doing some sort of activity?  But I mean, she’d home and we’re here and… maybe we can do something with them?”

“Food.”  Maddy relaxed.  “We can turn half of them into food and we can roast the seeds and carve the pumpkins, how’s that sound?”

“Better than throwing dictionaries.”

Maddy winced.  “Yeah, well.. I thought board games would be a good idea.”

“Oh, they were, that’s not the issue, it’s just that, well, everything’s going to be a bad idea right now.  Like, I was thinking we could break up into teams, you know, like Hogwarts Houses? But then I thought about getting the wrong people on different teams and the rivalries and right now, everyone is stressed and a little scared.  So maybe, maybe even the best ideas are bad ones after a bit?”

“Well.. pumpkins sounds safe for now.  I mean, I suppose we could probably throw those, too, oh, man, we should clean up or the janitors are gonna hate us.”

“I figure we can do that while we’re cooking something. “

“Speaking of, with the power fluctuating, you’re thinking the grills, right?”

“I am!  I figure you can cook anything on an open fire if you’re determined enough, and the Omicron Omicron Pi guys from the third floor seem very determined.”

“That’s their hangovers.”

“Comes down to much the same thing, doesn’t it?  Okay.”  Maddy smiled, feeling a little better about herself.  “Let’s see what we can do.”

An hour later, the ΟΟΠ guys were in a spirited but friendly debate with the theatre club kids and the CS majors about the best spices for a pumpkin while the Beta Omega Phi Lambda ladies were in an argument with the Art House group about the best designs for a pumpkin.

Maddie leaned against a chair, packed snow in a towel pressed against her bruise, and let herself smile at Kennedy. Everyone’s belly was full or half-full, the pumpkin seeds were roasting on the dying coals, and she had a bowl full of something that wasn’t quite pumpkin pie (there’d been a debate about that, but with all the dictionaries about, it was an easy one to solve) but was delicious nonetheless.

“All right!” hollered one of the ΟΟΠ guys – no, that was one of the theatre kids.  “Who can eat the most super-hot Spice Doom of Fire Pumpkin Seeds in one sitting?  I bet it’s Ursel!”

Maddy coughed.  Were they really – were they going to?

“Here.”  Kennedy sat down next to her and popped an umbrella.  “Think about it this way, at least pumpkin seeds don’t usually leave bruises.”


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4 thoughts on “Pumpkin Diplomacy

    • well, too salted, or too fast, or too soon off the pan?
      I eat butternut seeds almost before they’re done roasting, so…

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