The secret ingredient is love.

Peter looked over the plain and broad wooden table within his kitchen. The pie-crust dough had been made fresh and had already been carefully laid in the tins, so everything was ready for baking.

There would be many guests today, yes, many guests. They would all be waiting for a portion of his delicious beef pies spiced with cloves, the crust mixed with pumpkin. It was his grandmother’s recipe, a recipe as old as Methuselah, and he was determined to follow it to the letter…especially today.

This was all for Dora, of course. Oh, she was the love of his life, the apple of his eye, married for thirteen years now, and not a moment wasted. They were so happy together. Yes, happy…That was the word.

She was beautiful, with short golden hair trimmed in the fashion that was so popular today. She had ocean-blue eyes, a ruby smile, perfect teeth, perfect skin, and a slender body. Oh, the nights they’d had over the many years! She was a winner, yes, she was.

Of course, it hadn’t all been roses. Dora was…difficult…to put up with at times. She had a razor tongue, as sharp as any knife, and she knew just where to stick that blade to inflict the most pain, twisting and twisting and twisting…

Still, he loved her. She was so beautiful, so wonderful, so amazing…

And then there was Margie. Margie was Dora’s best friend, or maybe her best frenemy…It was hard to tell. Margie was really…well…untrustworthy. She’d already cheated on her husband, and Peter didn’t need any gossip to know this was true. After all, he was the one who had slept with her…multiple times…but she had that effect on men. She somehow always got what she wanted, and if she wanted a man, she took him.

Margie could control a man with only her silver words and her silken body language…Peter had fallen into her arms a number of times now. It was his insecurity with Dora that did that to him, his low self-esteem with the woman he loved that drove him into the arms of the seductress.

It wasn’t like he hated Margie…He’d just had enough of her.

He’d never tell her that, of course. She was far too dangerous to cross. There was something about her that raised a red flag…something in her dark and mysterious eyes that cornered him and made him cower.

Nevertheless, Margie had always been there when Dora had denied him his nightly advances. Margie had long curly black hair, a beautiful face, a luscious, nubile body, big squeezable breasts, a big squeezable butt…Everything about her was squeezable, though she was far from overweight. She was a sexual hourglass, just the perfect choice to relieve his undeniable tensions.

That, and she had been the one to inform him that Dora was cheating on him with Margie’s own husband…Peter had seen the pictures. He had seen the act. He had heard the things they had told each other, seen the things they had done to each other…but Margie’s husband was a lawyer, so it wasn’t like Peter could have gone after him…not in the legal sense anyway.

It was one thing for Peter to cheat on Dora, but it was entirely another for her to cheat on him, especially with a lower-than-slime scumbag like Margie’s husband. It sounded like hypocrisy, but it really wasn’t. Peter was still entirely devoted to his own beautiful wife, not Margie, not the dark seductress that led him around by the nose like he was some kind of…some kind of slave.

No, Margie still couldn’t compare to Dora…No, Margie had nothing on Dora. Margie would have to become Dora in order to compare to Dora, and the day that she did, then and only then would he love her, love the wicked seductress that whispered dark thoughts in the back of his mind.

Of course, it would not do to have Dora wandering into the arms of another man, but Peter had a solution for that little problem, a solution that would solve that problem forever.

He clapped his hands together in excitement, and snow drops of flour puffed gaily above the tins…Today was the day, and oh, what a day!…But…

He had a sudden breakthrough, a flashfire of memory that flamed into existence without warning. It attacked him without mercy, and he clutched the sides of his broad head as he suffered through it.

No! He didn’t love Dora! He did not love that terrible woman! He wanted out!…He’d wanted out for years now…He wanted to…He wanted…The singing in his head…The children…They were…They…

He could hear the children singing in the recesses of his psyche, skipping rope to that old nursery rhyme he loved so dearly:

“Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater…”

No, this was his day, it was, it was. This was his day for Dora. She was all he needed. This was the day, it was indeed. Now everything would be perfect. The guests would arrive soon. Dora’s whole family and his whole family were coming, including their aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and of course, good old Mom and Dad.

He whistled a jaunty tune as he slid out a large butcher knife from its protective wooden block. He stared wistfully at the razor sheen of the blade. He could see Margie’s face in the reflection of that blade, not his own, not like it should have been, his reflection, his face, his block of a face with a bushy black beard.

Margie was smiling at him in that reflection, smiling and…and whispering to him, telling him things he didn’t want to hear, telling him things that made him do other things, terrible things…

He slid the kitchen instrument into his apron…He mustn’t cut himself. That would be bad. Oh, very bad indeed. He couldn’t do that yet, no, no. No, not yet. That would come later.

The door opened, and Dora walked in.

There she was, his beautiful golden idol, the one he loved, the one he would always love.

“Are you done yet?” she asked. “My God, you take forever. I’ve already been across town and back. If it weren’t for your laziness, we’d already have the new tiles I need for the bathroom…I can’t depend upon you for anything! Margie has a closet full of dresses from Paris, and what do I have?…Rags! Nothing but outdated, out-of-style rags! Oh, my God, you’re worthless.”

He loved her so much…the bell in her voice, the pouting of her sweet lips…It was all angelic bliss.

He stopped for a moment to gaze upon her heart-stopping beauty.

“What are you grinning at, you ape?” she asked. “Can’t you see I’m suffering? My family’s coming soon, and all I have is this old green dress. Look at me! This thing is already three months old!”

She was a gem, she was.  Such a radiance of intelligence, wisdom, and heart. Boy, what a find!

“I have a surprise for you,” he beamed.

Her brow furrowed in that magical way he so loved. Her soul was deep in the throes of love for him, obviously. Her appreciation of his hard work was evident.

“Surprise?” she asked through narrowed eyes. “What surprise?”

“Follow me,” he grinned.

The anticipation was killing him. Oh, the joy his surprise would bring! 

He motioned her toward the basement door.

“The basement?” she asked. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Please?” he begged. “It will be wonderful. I promise.”

“It had better be,” she scowled.

She set her shopping bags down on the kitchen floor and pushed past him. She was a take charge kind of woman, she was. She knew when to smack down his foolish ways. Oh, what would he do without her?

She flipped on the basement light and walked into the musty dankness of that underdark. He quickly followed behind, giggling like a schoolgirl with excitement, careful to shut the basement door behind them. Oh, what fun!

In the center of the dark basement was a table they used for various activities. Now it bore his surprise, his wonderful surprise for her, that surprise covered by a wet black bedsheet.

A terrible smell grew overpowering as they approached his work of art.

“What is this?” asked Dora. “What have you got? It smells awful.”

“It’s a surprise,” he explained. “A wonderful surprise. Trust me.”

“Is that my silk bedsheet?” she asked, growing anger in her voice. “That is my silk bedsheet! You stupid, dumb anim…!”

She touched the edge of the silk black bedsheet, and her voice trailed off in audible surprise. Her face paled, paling to a point where that gorgeous face looked like a mournful maiden’s ghost one sees in a painting, haunting but beautiful.

“Th…This is…” she stammered.

She held up her fingers to inspect them, but the red drops on her flawless skin gave her slight pause, a pause that was soon remedied by her own stark fear.

She pulled back from the sheet as if touched by an electric shock. Her fingers were smeared with blood, the crimson liquid smooth in the waxy light of the single basement bulb.

He yanked off the bedsheet as he heard the children singing in the back of his mind:

“Had a wife but couldn’t keep her…”

Her face froze in a vision of horror. Her mouth was a round ‘O’ of a breathless scream…That was how he knew she loved it, loved her surprise.

“Samuel!” she gasped.

Yes, it was Samuel, good old Samuel the fat-cat attorney-at-law, Margie’s husband. He was the one you went to if you needed to pull your fat out of the fryer when legal troubles descended upon you, and he was also good for other things…Yes, things like pushing his swollen member in and out of your wife, all the while talking about plans to divorce his own wife and take yours.

It hadn’t been too difficult for Margie and Peter to overhear Samuel’s plans from inside Samuel’s own closet. Peter had stood next to one of the man’s tailor-made suits, that suit designed for shattering dreams, that same suit designed to protect Samuel’s own interests, all while that same lowlife plowed Peter’s wife, a pump, pump, pump, priming the pump for more, always more…Yes, good old Samuel.

Of course, good old Samuel wasn’t feeling too well today, no sirree! He was nude, his entrails spilling out, his offensive genitalia removed and set aside, his lifeless eyes staring upwards, his blood everywhere…Yes, he was in a bad way…but, oh, what a surprise he had made!

Of course, Dora didn’t exactly see it in the positive light that Peter did…No, she most certainly did not.

She turned to run, but she wasn’t going to get far. Oh, no. She wasn’t going to make it out of this basement; he would see to that!

Peter pulled out the butcher knife and spun her around.

“Oh, my God, Peter, NO!” she screamed.

And then it was over. The quick slice, the thin line of blood across her pale throat, no way for her to scream anymore…Yes, what a surprise for beautiful Dora. Yes, indeed.  She had taste, she did, exquisite taste. Yes, their families would agree on that one soon.

She stumbled backwards as she clutched her slit throat, the blood spraying out in a hot mess all over the basement, a hot mess just like her, a hot mess he was finally cleaning up.

It was time to finish the pies. All he needed to do was prepare the meat, and the baking could begin.

He could hear the singing loud and clear now, much louder, much clearer:

“He put her in a pumpkin shell…”

Yes, he could see it all now. Aunt Grace happily munching on a bit of pie while little Susie skipped rope and sang:

“And there he kept her very well…”

Dora dropped to the basement floor as the last of her life spilled out of her. She choked out a gurgle of blood, and then she was no more.

Peter stared down at her beautiful, still face as comprehension of what he had just done crashed into him. He dropped the knife and heard it clatter across the floor, but his brain did not bother to register this fact; it simply could not.

“Dora?” he choked out.

He knelt down next to his dead wife as his tears spilled from his eyes. Whatever madness had overtaken him, whatever unholy curse had gripped his soul…it was waning now…

But the door to the basement opened.

Peter looked up through blurry eyes to see Margie walking down the basement steps.

She was dressed all in black, a tight and shapely dress to show off her squeezable, yet shapely, form. Her low top exposed the upper mounds of her big beautiful breasts, and the lowcut hem displayed her flawless legs. She was the definition of sex in a bottle.

“There’s my big bear,” said the woman, a wide and wicked grin upon her beautiful face.

“Dora…I…I…I killed her…” stammered Peter.

“Of course, you did, my dear,” smiled Margie. “Why so sad, though? Can’t you hear the children, my papa bear?…Can’t you hear them singing?”

He could hear them singing, oh, yes, he could:

“Peter, Peter pumpkin eater…”

“No…” breathed out Peter. “No…No, this…You…No, you witch…”

The children grew louder as they sang, the singing louder, pounding into his brain, merciless, unyielding:

“Had another and didn’t love her…”

“‘Witch’ is such a harsh word,” said Margie. “I prefer ‘Master,’ instead.”

She stopped in front of him, turned to show him her back, and then lifted her black dress, sliding it seductively up her perfect hips until her bare, heart-shaped bottom was revealed in all its glory.

“Now pledge your affection where it belongs,” she commanded.

Peter dropped the bloody knife in his hand and shuffled forward on his knees, his work pants now soaked from his wife’s blood, the liquid warmth of that blood a telling trial he struggled across as it soaked through to his knees and legs.

He gripped Margie’s beautiful, wide, bare bottom with both hands and kissed the enticing skin of each silky-smooth cheek.

“Samuel had gone on a fishing trip with his wife,” said Margie in a sly voice. “They had an accident, and both of them were sliced apart in the propellor. Why, there were whole parts of them that were never found…It’s sad, really…Oh, what shall I do without my Samuel?…Oh, yes…I have his money now…But what about Dora’s poor husband?…Whatever shall he do? How shall Dora’s family take her demise? How shall my Peter explain it to them?…There’s nothing to worry about there, my papa bear. I have that all…taken…care of.”

Margie let forth a bubbly laugh and then produced a piece of parchment from between her large breasts, a scroll of old and crinkly paper that she unrolled and then placed across her bare butt cheeks.

“Take a look, my papa bear,” said Margie. “Look, and you can hear the children singing.”

He looked at the scroll laid out across her bare bottom, and he could indeed hear the children singing, that singing loud and clear:

“Peter learned to read and spell…”

He stared at the strange symbols upon the page, but the only thing he recognized was the large pentagram in the center of that page, that page without ink, or rather, that paged inked in blood.

The strange symbols upon the scroll called to him, glowing a sanguine light to match their sanguine composition. He understood now, all of it, and he knew what to do.

“You do know what to do, don’t you, my big bear?” asked Margie.

She pulled the scroll away to reveal her bare self once more.

He spread her cheeks and kissed her in her dirtiest place, a pledge of his eternal servitude.

Margie giggled and then shook her head once.

“That never fails to give me a chuckle,” she said. “But enough of this groveling. We have to prepare, so hand me the knife, my love.”

Peter picked up his dropped butcher knife and passed it to her. She knew what to do with it, oh, yes, she did.

Margie took the blade, sliced open her right index finger, and then pressed her fingerprint into the center of the pentagram upon the blood-inked scroll. She then handed the knife back to Peter and laid the scroll back across her bare bottom.

“Pledge to me in blood, my love,” she commanded.

Peter sliced open his own finger and pressed it onto the scroll as well. The scroll lit up in a bright glow of crimson light, and then it was gone, burned away in a flash of spontaneous combustion.

“Yowie!” cried Margie. “I really need to learn to move the contracts away from my bare skin, especially when it’s down there.”

Peter stared up at her as she turned to stare down at him.

“You’re my papa bear forever now,” she grinned. “We have work to do, though…That’s right…Once your family and once Dora’s family eats the pies we make out of our own beloved Dora and Samuel…then I’ll take her place, my love. They’ll think I’m their Dora, and won’t that be grand? I’ll have Samuel’s money, I’ll have my big bear, and I’ll have the quiet and loving support of both families…

“I’ve already had Samuel bequeath all of his money to your former wife. The court will think his money has gone to his ‘lover.’…Oh, yes, I’ll become Dora, and Dora…will…become…me.

“You see, my love, everyone will think your Dora was Samuel’s wife, and we both know his wife was killed in the boating accident right alongside him…Only we’ll know the truth…It’s perfect, isn’t it?”

But it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfect, no…Oh, no, no, no, it wasn’t!

Some part of Peter fought against this insanity, this craziness brought down upon him by this witch, this parasite that had wormed her way into his life.

He gripped the butcher knife in his right hand as his facial muscles tensed from the strain of fighting against her. He tried to stand, but willing the action was like trying to swim through mud. He simply could not act against her.

“N…No…” he stammered. “I won’t…let you…I…I won’t…You can’t…do thi—”

“I can do whatever I want, my dear,” said Margie with a cold smile. “You see, Samuel served his purpose, and now I’ve replaced him with you, like I’ve done with every one of my men for a very, very long time now, ever since the Dark Ages…You belong to me now. Even the children can tell you this one…Can’t you hear them singing?…They know the truth, Papa Bear…I’m your Dora now.”

And he could hear the children singing. He could hear them, but he didn’t want to:

“And then he loved her very well.”

He understood again, all of it, everything, but this time, he did not fight it. He had been blind before, but now he could see, he could see it all, and in that vision was nothing but his Dora and no one else.

Yes, his Dora was the love of his life. She was so beautiful and smart and kind and wonderful. Her long curly black hair was gorgeous, her dark eyes, mysterious, her hourglass body just an incredible playground of sexual desire.

He kissed her beautiful bare bottom again and gripped her around the legs to nuzzle into her hind end.

“I love you so much, Dora,” he grunted out.

“That’s my papa bear,” smiled his new Dora. “Let’s make some pies, shall we?…But first, show me your affection. Kiss me where it counts, Big Bear.”

He spread her cheeks and kissed her in her dirtiest place again. Yes, he loved his new Dora very well, very well indeed.

Pumpkin Eater Copyright © 2022 bloodytwine.com Matthew L. Marlott

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