I spent this Easter weekend at my mom's house in Connecticut, and when I got there she handed me a stack of essays, compositions and such that I'd written when I was around nine years old. Among them were pages from my fourth grade class' attempt at journalism, the "Super School Paper," a cutting edge source of information on which I served as feature editor and contributor. My early efforts included a piece on how Hermes became the patron god of those who live by their wits, a brief description of how the 1933 version of KING KONG came to be, and the following bit of Halloween fiction:
MY TRIP INSIDE A PUMPKIN
On Halloween night I was walking down the street to my friend's house. I had a log way to go so I felt a rest would be nice. There in front of me was a pumpkin! Then I felt myself contracting! There was a hole in the pumpkin shell so I went in. Then I grew to my normal height. In front of me was a... I don't know what to call it but it was horrible! It was red and panting heavily. His teeth were that of a shark's and his nails were cut to a sharp point. Then with an earth trembling roar he sped after me! Suddenly a giant bird scooped me up and dropped me to a paradise beyond imagination! There was a brook at my feet so i took a drink. It was a magic elixir. Then I was at my friend's house.
It was a real kick in the guts to see all the earmarks of my lurid purple prose evident at such a young age, to say nothing of winning first prize for pretty much tripping out and describing the unnameable Lovecraftian horror lurking in the innards of a fucking pumpkin!