A Day in the Cornfield
by Glenn Gray
“They’s comin’ for us, Karl.”
“SHHH, Stew, just shush it.”
The line was now fifty feet away, approaching slowly.
“Whatcha wanna do, Karl?”
“Don’t know, dangit.”
“Maybe we just say hello, try and make friends?”
“Friends? Thems are freaky lookin’; ’specially those dog-head things.”
“I know it,” Stew said. “And that slew a’ midget Karls. A little army of ’em. I’m gettin’ nervous. The heck they want? They lookin’ like they mean business.”
“Just hold tight and make believe we just hangin’ around, doing nothin’.”
“But we’re standin’ here.”
“Hobble your lip, Stew,” Karl said. “Shhh...”
The little army was twenty feet away now. Karl and Stew could see them real good, up close, glistening wet, matted hair.
“Dang, they look real, real weird,” Stew whispered. “Reckon about now we should skedaddle?”
“I said just shut your trap, don’t make a fuss,” Karl said. “No skedaddlin’ just yet. We’ll talk to em.”
“And say what?”
“The heck do I know. Tell ’em we ain’t gonna hurt ’em.”
“Maybe see if they don’t need some towels, being all wet?”
Fifteen feet away now, the twenty-six beings stared, expressionless, tilting their heads.
Karl and Stew stared. Tilted their heads. They were mesmerized.
The beings started to move closer and that was about it. They were real close now, uncomfortably close.
Karl and Stew glanced at each other, stone-faced and there was quiet beat and then, “AARGGGGGGGHHHHHH!!!”
The beings looked around and all twenty-six said, high-pitched, like a little mini-choir, “AARGGGGGGGGHHHHH!!!”
Karl and Stew twisted on their heels and darted back and SLAM, smashed right into Sheriff Maynard rounding the barn and all three fell to the ground and screamed, “AARGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!”
Sheriff Maynard started to climb to his feet, hands and knees first, struggling, a little out of breath, saying, “The heck you boys doin’?” He stood and grappled at his holster, drew his gun.
Karl and Stew jumped up like a couple of gymnasts, started to run and the Sheriff said, “Hey!”
They stopped and looked round and they both said, “RUN!”
Sheriff Maynard trotted a few steps toward Karl and Stew and they all grabbed at each other in the excitement, getting tangled, and the Sheriff blurted, “WAIT!”
They straightened up, looked toward the yard.
The Sheriff saw the beings up close, now getting into a circle, close together.
Stew said, “They havin’ a huddle?”
Karl said, “Maybe they settin’ up an attack.”
Sheriff Maynard said, startled, “Not on my watch,” and he began to swing the gun and Karl and Stew reflexively jumped him, grabbing at his arm, “NO!”
The Sheriff said, “Let me alone, boys!” and tried to aim but was being pulled down and there was a BLAM and the three fell to the ground. The bullet arced wide and lodged itself in a distant tree.
The Sheriff leaned on an elbow to look.
Sheriff Maynard said, “What the...?”
Karl and Stew got up on their knees.
Karl said, “What in tarnation....?”
In the yard, where the beings had been, there was a huge black mound, draped with clothes, scattered with mini-shovels and a couple of sticks.
There was a silver mist rising into the air and the subtle smell of burned toast.
The Sheriff, Karl and Stew got up, patted some puffs of dirt from their trousers, slowly shuffled toward the mound.
They started to circle the thing and they just stared and watched for a minute in silence, keeping a little distance.
“Dang,” Stew said. “Them just emvaproated again.”
Sheriff Maynard said, “By golly Jesus have mercy.”
“Holy Moly,” Karl said. “They just went POOF.”
“Lookit under those clothes,” Stew said.
Karl said, “Yup, that ain’t just clothes, huh?”
“No-siree, that’s like one a’ those big turds, Sheriff,” Stew said. “Told ya we seen ’em.”
“That’s the largerest godawful turd I ever seen,” Sheriff Maynard said. “Like a rhino turd.”
“Bigger’n that.” Stew scratched his head. “Like a dinosaur turd.”
“Heck,” Karl said. “It’s like a King Kong turd.”
There was a strong gust of wind. Leaves and dust kicked up. A small bird, what looked like a sparrow, scurried by, fighting to get its bearings in the wind, and landed on the mound. It pecked its beak at the blackness and then SCHLOOP, was sucked into the gelatinous matter.
“Whoa!” Karl said.
“Lookit!” Stew said, pointing.
The bird popped out the bottom of the mound, near its base, and darted into the sky, squawking.
The three looked up, watched the bird disappear. Clouds sailed across the blueness.
The mound started to jiggle a little bit.
Then there was a subtle vibration.
And then the mound started to shake.
They all looked at each other, reading each other’s minds, and started to step back.
Step. Step. Step.
There was shaking and gurgling now and then the ground vibrated ever so slightly.
The clothes that were resting on the big blob started to sink into the blackness. Slowly at first and then, gone. Getting sucked in, SCHLOP SCHLOP.
The blob thing was sucking in the clothes and Karl and Stew and the Sheriff backed away even more, frantic looks on their faces now and the clothes and sticks and mini shovels were sucked in faster and there was more gurgling and bubbling.
The wind was swirling now. Bongo whimpered and trotted back around the barn and toward the house and then the huge turd-mound started to glow.
It started out black and then was orange and then for a moment red and then black again and then some more mist. There were some popping sounds like little firecrackers and that sent Karl and Stew and the Sheriff running toward the house and then there was a large BANG!
Karl and Stew and the Sheriff found cover behind the cruiser, ducking and crouching.
Their eyes were riveted, jaws slack.
Sheriff Maynard’s eyes rolled up and he fainted, his face smushed up against the fender, arms hanging at his sides.
Karl looked down, then up, then down again, peeled the gun from the Sheriff’s hand.
“Karl?” Stew was peeking up above the hood, staring straight ahead beyond the barn. “You see what I see?”
Copyright © 2009 by Glenn Gray