I know the time for pumpkin-flavored anything is passing by, but it is still utterly frigid in parts of the world, and that is cause enough for seasonal warmth and beer drinking. As you depart on this alcoholic adventure toward stranger horizons, you will no doubt meet strange beverages, and stranger beings. I met a strange being–a man, in fact, with a pumpkin head. He gave me a beer, and it wasn’t very good.
I had been walking home one fateful night, taking a less-traveled forest path. A fog had rolled in, quickening my step. I could not see much around me, so it was no surprise that what appeared had seemed from the air itself. As the figure became clearer, my arms tightened, and the warmth of doubt fled from my skin. The light of its eyes revealed its terrific face, its heavy coat, and I knew with certainty that I was before the Headless Horseman himself. Fear turned me quickly, but his raspy voice caught my heels, climbed my legs, and stopped my escape.
“No,” it said, “don’t go.”
His voice was an old building giving way, and it was falling all around me.
“How many years now…eight hundred? A thousand? Things…things have changed so much.”
The man stumbled forward, hands like tree roots keeping him balanced. The flame behind his eyes dimmed.
“Tell them I’m still here,” he said, “Tell them I’m still here, and maybe I can be strong again.”
He reached into his coat, removing a bottle. Pumpkinhead, it read.
And I did.
The beer was sweet, incredibly sweet, like a good thing left unbalanced. Box cake and little more. It is unfortunate what happens to myths when people stop believing in them. Do we blame the dullahan or ourselves? Pumpkinhead, dear readers, could be better, just like its fabled mascot could one day ride again. Until then, however, he is just a man without a horse.
Drink well, my friends, and believe. Like the beer aisle in a mini-mart, the world is still with wonder and the allure of something new.