John woke up. The darkness surrounding his bed indicated that it was the middle of the night. “03:27 a.m.” he read from the big clock hanging on the other side of the room. It was the same dream. She walks toward the open door. The light in the other room seems to come from heaven. Her beautiful golden hair. Light blue dress. Before she finally disappears on the other side, she turns. Her white like the snow skin. Happy smile. But especially her green irises. The most marvelous Irises he had ever seen. She slowly turns back and enters the magic room. He only hears “Daddyyy”, before the light turns into cold darkness.    Now when she was gone his whole life lost its colors. “Oh, Emilly” John shouted and started crying.                                                            ****             It was a dark night, the darkest of darkest. Not only because of the absence of the moon, but also the malfunction of the local power plant. No one from the 17,000 inhabitants of Bratford wanted to be outside of his house. In fact no one

was. Usually the bad nights are followed by rainy mornings, but not in this case. When the workers left their homes to drive to the local automotive parts factory, in the background of the calm blue sky, they saw the most amazing rainbow of their lives. The farmers discovered that the amount of corn in their fields had doubled. The only one left without was the mayor. The city debts were still as high as the day before. He had just called the city council to try to resolve the financial crisis and know was walking around his office trying to write a speech, which would allow him to preserve his position. Suddenly he stopped by the window. Something has changed. He was in despair. The project of his life. The greatest artwork of Bratford was gone. He had spent 3 long years trying to convince various world renowned florists to design a composition for the city square. Many believed that it was wastefulness, but he insisted that his city must have something, no matter what it was, to be famous for. He ran out of his office. To be completely clear, for most of the people around this looked more like a fast walk, but keeping in mind his 300 pounds, this must have been an enormous effort.

            The flower bed was freshly cut and raked. Nowhere could he find even a trace of his exotic plants. His despair deepened. This was his plan, his mysterious project to get more tourists, more money to pay city debts. Now it all was gone. His future stood in front of his eyes. It wasn’t bright. Having finished only technical courses in high school, his adult life was connected with the work in city hall for his father, former mayor. Now he would have to return to the work force and, like many of his classmates, work in the automotive parts factory. Somewhere between night shift and troubles with financing his mortgage, he realized that the flower bed is not empty. In the middle of it, there was a little green shoot, a pumpkin shoot.
   Within ten days the small shoot developed into a small green pumpkin. People of Bratford were a bit surprised  that mayor had destroyed freshly done flowers to grow pumpkins, but since it was only few days to Halloween they decided that maybe he had another not so clever plan.  In the meantime, the pumpkin was growing. Within 2 days it reached at least 30 pounds. It took another week for it to reach 100 and after two weeks from its mysterious birth it was the biggest pumpkin in the whole world, as stated in “the Guinness Book of World Records”.             In only one weekend the city was visited by more tourists than during the previous 5 years. Everyone who lived within a 300 miles radius of the town, wanted to see this miracle personally. Among them there were also tourists from Europe and looking through the view-finder Japanese. Every restaurant in the city had in its menu at least 10 pumpkin dishes.  You could buy pumpkin hangers, pumpkin torches, simply every pumpkin object they produce in China. The city debt was paid quickly, but the giant vegetable didn’t stop growing. It had a diameter almost 3m and the scientists from neighboring university estimated that it must weight at least 1000 pounds.                                                            ****            The problems began on the Halloween night when one of the almost 30,000 children, who had arrived to celebrate the big pumpkin, disappeared.  The authorities were helpless. The number of tourists disabled them from starting the search and they had to wait till the crowd shrank.  On the second day, having a little hang over many parents discovered their children are gone too. The police, suspecting a prowling pedophile, ordered a check of every single car, every single house and inch of the land. They couldn’t find anything and parents in despair had to return to their houses alone. Local children continued to disappear, this time without any further search. Every member of the community had his own theory and as always the most incredible gained the most recognition. Soon the place was crowded by hundreds of UFO researchers. They studied the electro-conductivity of soil, the density of the water,  the weight of the air and every other sign of alien presence that science discovered. Since they didn’t find everything they left disappointed.                                               ****“The only salvation is in the pumpkin” was the most common phrase in Bratford. In fact it was the conclusion of every single conversation in the city. For many people outside was it impossible to believe. How had this previously Christian society become barbarians? Some more radical voices raised the need to give bloody sacrifices in order to get children back. Their obvious madness, encountered the common agreement. On the night of the full moon the whole city decided to gather together around the pumpkin and sacrifice 3 chickens.             The rush reached its highest level. If there would be an observer he wouldn’t be able to distinguish the difference between the Aztecs and this formerly civilized community, but there was no one witness. They sang a song in an unknown language. The lyrics came from their heart, so is the will for blood.  The silence of the empty blocks was torn apart by the roar of the engine. A Speeding car was passing through all intersections without even looking at the stop signs. Inside of the pick-up John was feeling the remorse. In his mind the endless sequence of bad scenarios was under construction. His imaginations created more and more pessimistic answers for the question what will happen if he arrived too late. The thought that he may never see Emilly again, was too painful and instinctively caused him to press the pedal harder.  The clock on the church’s tower struck midnight and the bells started their cacophony of sounds. Today it seemed that they form the melody of a funeral march. “I hope they haven’t started” John thought taking the last turn “The prayer may not be valid without me”. In this moment he saw a person rushing for the ceremony just in front of his car. Trying to avoid an accident he moved the steering wheel to the left, it was too much. The car lost its balance, and started to roll-over down the street. The scared people screamed and panicked, but there was not much possibilities to avoid inevitable. The car smashed the pumpkin.                When they gathered around the remnants of the magnificent vegetable the people of Bratford discovered that instead of seeds it had the human eyes. In the middle John saw the pair of green irises, the most marvelous irises he have ever seen.