“Remind me again why we got the bear its own pumpkin?” Sinbad was dumbfounded that pumpkins could even be grown that small.
Shark looked down at the little stuffed toy sitting next to him, and smiled. “I didn’t want it to feel left out when we did this.” He knew the bear couldn’t actually carve a pumpkin, but he or Sinbad could do it themselves later.
This answer got Sinbad to look at him funny, then went back to carving. He didn’t get very far before Lolly came up the steps, just barely avoiding getting kicked.
“‘Sup, princess? Wanna carve pumpkins with us?”
Lolly glared down at Sinbad like he’d just threatened her very life. “Pumpkin carving? Isn’t that for babies and losers with no jobs?” She then stomped into the house, not even registering her older brother’s hurt expression.
“Well, I know someone who ain’t gonna be getting in on roasted pumpkin seeds later.” Sinbad looked over to see his fiance on the verge of tears. “Hey, after we’re done with this, you wanna go out for dinner?”
A promise of a night out certainly cheered Shark. “Do you get some kind of discount since you work there?”
“Sure do. And,” now Sinbad pulled out what looked like coupons from the Bistro. “these probably won’t hurt, either.”
“How did you get those, anyway?” Shark held Sinbad’s arm as the two were led to a private section of the restaurant.
Sinbad thought of the best way to explain it. “You remember that co-worker that got punched in the face a while back?”
“Gala? Yeah, I do. What about her?” Shark listened to Sinbad’s explanation about how he got such a sweet acquisition.
From what he stated, appealing to Gala’s vegetarianism had been a good thing. There was a chance she wasn’t coming back to work again, lest Mr. Castor return and cause even more trouble. Sinbad’s little gift apparently changed her mind.
“I don’t see what the big deal was,” Sinbad muttered as they entered their room. “All I really did was hand her a fancy salad dish and say ‘come back to work soon’. Literally, that’s all I did.”
Shark was in awe at the setting and decor. “She must’ve really appreciated it, if this is what you got in response. What about your other coworker? Did she not get something like this?”
“Who, Julienne? Eh, she and Gala don’t get along so great now. Not really sure what happened, didn’t bother to ask. All I know is that one requested a different shift than the other.”
As they were being seated, Shark persisted in pressing the matter. “Do you think there’s a man between them?”
Sinbad threw up his hands and made an indecisive sound. “Like I said, I didn’t ask.” He looked over the menu, eyeing the appetizers. “Can we just drop it now? Whatever the issue is, I think two grown women can settle it between themselves without me getting further involved.”
By the time Shark and Sinbad got back from the restaurant, a messy sight lay before them.
The two jack o’lanterns that they spent carefully working on earlier now lay splattered about the porch. Shark’s bear sat in the corner nearby, covered in the pulpy remains.
Sinbad was dumbfounded to the point he could only repeat the words “What the fuck?!” over and over. Shark made a beeline for his bear, wiping it clean and then holding it.
“Were we not supposed to put Jack O’lanterns out so early?”
“It’s mid-October. It was weird that we didn’t do it before now.” Looking down, Sinbad could see tears falling down Shark’s cheeks, and sighed. “I’ll get a shovel. Unless you still want to do something about all them seeds and other shit.”
There was no answer, except for a shake of the head. Again, he sighed. “Shovel it is.”