"Are you sure you want a scary story, honey?"
"YESSSSS. Really scary!" he cried.
"OK, Gourdy, but then you have to go to sleep," said Momma Pumpkin, tucking him in. "Once upon a time, we Pumpkin-kind started rubbing ourselves with a Sacred Spice Blend to protect us and make us tasty so that People wouldn't notice that we're actually kinda slimy and starchy. We wore the Spice, and People loved us and planted us and made us into sacred pies to celebrate their Day of Gratitude. Everyone was happy. But then there was a Marketer, who saw that there was all this leftover Pumpkin Spice that wasn't making anyone any money, and so he started telling People to put Pumpkin Spice into everything!"
"EVERYTHING?" Gourdy said, his eyes wide.
"Yes! First it was just coffee and Yankee candles. Then, as time passed, they started putting it in beer, and then into Oreo cookies and potato chips and pizza and skin cream."
"What happened then, Mommy?"
"Well, soon there was no protective Spice left for us Pumpkins. And our flesh began to rot away and people noticed we were actually kinda gross and mealy, and then the beer and the coffee and the cereal and the bratwurst and the shampoo, who were all sick of smelling and tasting like Pumpkin Spice, got really angry and came out through the night and gathered around all the Pumpkin patches and got ready to come in through the vines and smear themselves all over us and force us to taste like them. They're outside the patch right now ... can you hear them whispering?"
"I can! I can hear them, Mommy!" Gourdy cried out in terror, diving beneath the covers. "I don't wanna taste like a shampoo!"
And Momma Pumpkin realized she had made the story too scary again, and felt terrible, and began to try to comfort Gourdy and remind him it was all just a story, but then she felt the vines shift all around and heard the chant -- taste like us taste like us. She felt the cold, sharp edge of a Pringle against her skin and she realized that they had finally come.