A Brew Most Foul

It was the first weekend in October and a cold front had just rolled in – time to brew. What he was doing on this crisp autumn day was certainly brewing, but it was not what Jimmy Carter had in mind in 1979 when he signed a bill into law legalizing home brewing. The work of this brewer has persisted over a thousand years, in spite of laws, principalities, and powers. The brewers spice rack contains salts and minerals not found in most kitchens. On the shelf sits a stone mortar and pestle that has seen enough obscure seeds, roots, and flowers from around the world that it could give a naturalist a run for his money on Jeopardy when the category “Botany” comes up. As he lit the fire under the cauldron he thought of the constant begging and pleading from his friends. They all knew he often worked long hours on his potent concoctions, but he never shared the fruits of his labor with any of them.

The shadows in his workroom lazily retreated as the mild rays of the October sun crept through the open door. The progress of the light appeared to pause for a second before it revealed the large orange orb sitting in the middle of the floor. This was the key ingredient in today’s brew. The pumpkin cast shadows that seemed to shift in the morning light, as if there were a dark tale unfolding behind the monolithic sphere. The brewer stood over the pumpkin with a large knife in hand. A chill came over him as he contemplated the pumpkin and it’s origin that was more dark and maniacal then even he was used to dealing with. There was no reason to delay. Without thought or fanfare the brewer plunged the knife into the gourd. The scream made time stand still. It was a scream that could only be heard in the way that the stares of a hidden stalker can be felt. The sound of the inaudible cry was more visceral then any sound that could be produced by nature or heard with the ear. The first droplet of a cold sweat appeared on the brow of the brewer. Wishing to finish this work as quickly as possible, he began slicing and sawing through the flesh of the pumpkin. He had an irregular hole cut into the top in short order. The brewers hand reached into the opening; it felt warm. He cringed as he pulled out a handful of the organic matter. At first he was meticulous, one small handful at a time, he extracted the pumpkins innards. Gradually he began to move quicker. In no time he was slinging the orange entrails across the room in the quick but sporadic motions of a man possessed.

Then he froze – drenched in sweat and the lifeblood of the large melon, he became aware of what he had to do. The pumpkin was not meant to be an ingredient in his brew, it would be the vessel! As if the the entire universe were suddenly in tune, the cauldron bubbled and sputtered in agreement. The brewers eyes were wild as he poured the wort into the the pumpkin. After pitching the last ingredient, he placed the top, that he had hacked out earlier, into the gaping wound and sealed the concoction in the flame colored carcass.

For hours the brewer stood and stared at the pumpkin, unwilling to accept what he saw. At first it started out as a single crimson drop, and then another, and then then the entire path of his mad knife was outlined in red. The brewer stared at the bloody result of his unholy surgery. The transplant was a success, and the brewer for the first time in his life was sure of one thing. He would share this brew with his friends.