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When I got home that night, I noticed the smiling jack-o-lantern in my front yard was crushed.

“What’s wrong,” I asked. Sitting next to my little friend.

“No one came.”

“No one?” I said, disappointed.

“Not one child came to this door,” he said, tiny orange tear drops forming on his skin. “Our lane is too dark. The children are afraid to come down here.”

My heart sank. Poor little fellow. He was right. I walked to the end of the lane and looked out. The main street was brightly lit with purple and green blinking lights and yellow candles, making it look as if a carnival ride had tipped over on the sidewalk.

I walked back to the front step and looked at the other pumpkins and squash. They too looked crushed. They had worked all summer to grow big and bright. To be chosen out of the garden to sit upon my step meant they’d reached their highest calling. And now, no child would see their crooked smiles and candlelit eyes.

I patted the jack-o-lantern on the stem and walked slowly into my kitchen. I took a breath and knew what had to be done.

I ran to the forest on the north side of the house and jiggled the first tree awake. I whispered so she would hear me without letting the folks on the step know what I was doing.

“I know it’s early, but I need your help. Glow,” I said.  “Glow like it’s Christmas Eve.”  

As the breeze blew through the trees, each lady stretched awake bringing a gentle white shimmer steadily down the lane.

I ran back to the house and grabbed my plate of candied apples and snuggled into my front porch swing.

Soon, they came. Laughing and giggling up the step where my little jack and his friends stood tall and grinned wide.

At night’s end, we hugged and I blew out his candle.

“Sometimes, my friends,” I said as I turned out the light. “Where there is darkness, a whisper in the breeze will bring us light.”  Copyright 2015 Karma M Fitzgerald

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