Beccah Posted October 3, 2018 Share Posted October 3, 2018 Artwork Courtesy of Shannon Stamey @October Illustrations. MAGICKAL MEANINGS OF INGREDIENTS: PUMPKIN ~ Fertility, plenty, abundance, prosperity. Male sexual stimulant. DRAGON’S BLOOD ~ Entices errant lovers to return, increases power of other ingredients. Love, protection, exorcism, potency. EARTH ~ Grounding, centering, protection, renewal, reincarnation, life. FRANKINCENSE ~ Purification, consecration, protection, exorcism. Associated with silver and the moon. MYRRH ~ Stimulating, soothing. Powerful guard against evil. PATCHOULI ~ Soothes and uplifts; sensual, sexually stimulating, lust, fertility, money. Meditative and transforming. WALNUT ~ Wishes granted, strengthens the heart, enhancement of mental powers. Dark earthly powers. OAK MOSS ~ Luck enhancing, financial success, protection, charity. Parental love. GUNPOWDER - BOOM! A haunting unisex blend of spicy pumpkin accords buried within freshly-turned earth, mingling with resinous accents of patchouli, dragon’s blood, oakmoss and frankincense & myrrh plus enigmatic touches of walnut and gunpowder. FYI - The first Jack O' Lanterns were made from root vegetables, called Mangelwurzels. “Harley! Dude, I don’t wanna have to look for this place in the dark, c’mon!” Tad was playing some deathcore band or something, melodic music but the guy was screaming like he was actually trying to kill his vocal chords. “What the hell is this?” “It’s bitchin’ is what it is.” My roommate, who imagined herself an amateur anthropologist, came bounding down the stairs, excitedly waving pieces of paper. “Finally! It took me forever to try and find that message board again.” “So what’s the deal?” “C’mon, c’mon, let’s go!” she shouted and we all got into the car. Tad pulled away like we had just robbed a bank, the goofball. “Okay so there’s this town about twenty miles on the way to Centerton where they do the Terrible Turnip thing for Samhein.” Tad and I rolled our eyes at each other. “Some freaky pagan shit? Hells ya!” he said, throwing horns. Harley smacked him. “Can you please turn this crap down? I can’t even hear myself think!” “So you said they used to use turnips instead of pumpkins?” “Yeah, it’s a totally ancient tradition, to ward off evil spirits they would carve a face into a turnip and place a coal from their fire inside.” “So this town, or whatever, they still use turnips?” “Not just any kind of turnip - the Terrible Turnip, said to be totally terrifying all on its’ own.” “How the eff can a turnip be terrifying?” Tad wanted to know. “That's what we’re gonna find out. Okay, so follow the highway till you see exit nine - that goes to Mangelwurzel.” “That’s a mouthful!” I joked. “So I read an entry about the festival in that book I told you I found, the Fiendish Field Guide. It said there’s a pagan sacrificial ritual enacted to appease the dead who have pierced the veil and intend to remain in our world.” “What, do ghosts want turnips?” “There it is!” Marley cried and Tad made a quick right like he thought he was a stunt driver. “You better stop driving so crazy, dude, if we even wanna make it to this turnip town!” I exclaimed. “Okay so now it’s gonna be about 20 miles to the town and the Guide said we should see the sign from the road.” As we drove I noticed that the surroundings looked rather deserted, I had never taken this route to Centerton myself. Most everyone I knew took the main highway. I was getting a creepy feeling, no doubt inspired by any number of found-footage movies and the like. “So what kinda place is it, that they have pagan rituals and stuff?” “It’s a farming town, it was founded around the time that outliers first came to this region.” “And it looks like it hasn’t changed at all,” I said, peering up at the trees just beyond the road. They were so thick I could barely see between them. “The Guide said it was ‘rustic.’” “So it’s a party, right?” Tad said, turning up the music again. “Like we can get some grub?” “I brought snacks!” I rummaged through a cloth bag. “Who wants an apple?” “Ooh, are they from that pick-your-own orchard?” Harley asked. “You know it, girl!” I tossed her one. I motioned to Tad but he shook his head. We crunched and munched and Tad bobbed his head along to the music. The sign seemed to appear out of nowhere: MANGELWURZEL, with a painted border of vegetables around the name. An arrow affixed below the sign pointed to another turnoff and we bumped along a tar-and-chip road which was really more like a path until we came into a clearing and there was the town. My mouth hung open, and I think Tad and Harley were equally stunned. The place looked frozen in time, somehow. The architecture looked to be from the early 1900s but there were elements which appeared older than that. But more than that, it looked like it was somehow entirely out of our world. Tad slowed down as the car approached the town square. An enormous scarecrow was erected there, with incredibly long arms and legs, topped with a jack o’lantern. “Wait, I thought you said they were into turnips here,” I said to Harley. “They are, but this is The Protector, they burn him in effigy every year to appease the restless spirits. A symbolic sacrifice.” “Duuuude, wait a minute, does that mean they used to sacrifice an actual dude?” Harley smacked Tad on the arm again. “Don’t be disrespectful of their traditions!” “Yeah but, human sacrifice is not what it used to be,” I said. We exited the car - Tad having mercifully killed the stereo mid-bellow - and looked around. It certainly didn’t look like a festival, or any other celebration I’ve seen. There was absolutely no one around. Placed in front of the so-named Protector was an enormous pile of vegetables. “But what are they gonna eat in the wintertime?” Tad asked, picking up an onion. “If they throw all this stuff on the bonfire or whatever?” “The Protector provides,” a voice called out and we looked up the street. There was a crowd gathering about a block away, and they held in their collective hands the implements of the harvest: pitchforks and scythes and rakes. “The Protector has always provided for us.” “Tad?” Harley began, her voice trembling. “Remember how we always tell you not to drive like a crazy man?” “Uh, yeah?” “Well can you do it now please because we need to get the hell out of here!” We scrambled to get back in the car, screaming at him to move move move and he managed to reverse it and pull away as they advanced on us, running. We were far down the bumpy road before I felt safe enough to look behind us. No one was following, but Tad continued to drive like he was in a rally car race till we hit the main road. “Go to a pagan festival, she says. It will be fun and educational, she says,” Tad chided. I handed him some beef jerky and a soda and that seemed to calm him down. “Well I thought it would be!” “I think it would be a good idea not to take any advice from a book with ‘fiendish’ in the title ever again.” “Geez, you have one little run-in with an insular cult-like community and your credibility is ruined!” We laughed, but…I still dream about those people. They looked so determined. And that’s why their harvest was so bountiful. I bet it is every year. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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