A Day in the Cornfield
by Glenn Gray
One day, Karl and Stew discover strange “turd”-like things appearing in their cornfield. The things have a strange power of mimicry, and their intentions are far from clear. Karl and Stew elicit the help of Sheriff Maynard and his daughter Roxy. Consternation ensues, and the once quiet farm becomes the epicenter of national attention.
“Back!” Polowski jogged over to a group of soldiers and shouted orders. Several men ran back toward the clearing, alerting others who were unaware of possible danger.
People scattered, taking cover. Several nearby vehicles revved, quickly backed up, turned, sped away.
Sheriff, Ida and Karl skittered back behind a line of trucks, peeked and watched.
The ground beneath the cornfield rumbled. The whole expanse of cornfield rattled, row upon row, the stalks vibrating and swaying a rhythmic dance.
The flagged-off area shook and hummed and the earth separated and smoke curled upward in elegant formations. There was a loud CRAAACK and then HISSSSSS.
The first geyser blasted forth at the wide-open fissure, a black torrent of liquid shooting straight up to the sky with great force. More geysers sprang, popped, and shot skyward. Within moments, there were hundreds of geysers shooting and spraying and painting the sky black, as if an ominous thunderstorm had suddenly materialized.
The liquid began to rain down, mushy globules of gel, and as it hit dirt the globules began to coalesce toward the center of the cornfield, and it kept raining and raining and after about a full three minutes of gushing and squirming, the geysers started to lose steam, settling down, decreasing in height until finally there was silence.
What there was, however, was a black gelatinous mountain of turd stuff the size of two barns stacked on top of one another, sitting right there in the middle of the ravaged cornfield, simmering and smoking and dripping.
After a minute, Polowski, with arms stuck out to the side to keep people back, moved closer to the field, toward the smoking Mount Everest.
Karl, Ida, and Sheriff Maynard followed closely behind.
The clouds of mist and smoke dissipated and the cornfield was sunny again, the tremendous mountain glistening in the light, throbbing.
There was subtle movement at the very top of the mountain. Karl pointed. “Look!” he said.
Teetering on the top of the mound, about a hundred feet up, they could see arms flailing, and the upper halves of two bodies sunk into the gel: Roxy and Stew.
It was faint, but they could hear the sound, Roxy’s voice, “HEEEEYYYY!”
* * *
Dr. Kristine Taylor reflexively arched back when she saw the little man. He stood in the center of the container, waving his arms.
What? No way, she thought. There’s just no way.
But there he was.
She leaned in slowly and carefully so as not to scare him. He stopped waving and stood at attention.
She leaned closer. She didn’t know what to do. She had worked with many different specimens, alive and dead, but this... this was altogether different.
She said, “Hi.”
Dr. Taylor got even closer, trying to get a better look. The man wore denim overalls, a red flannel shirt and boots, just as Pierre had described. Seems Pierre hadn’t been imagining things after all.
The man appeared to be breathing, alive. She couldn’t get over this little replica of a man. Standing there. She was fascinated and knew that she was dealing with something extraordinary. Where did this stuff come from? She felt she was on the forefront of some kind of phenomenal discovery. Finally.
She stared at the eyes, looking for something. There was no connection. Nothing human in those eyes.
She tried again. “Hello there, little man.”
She figured she’d offer him something, make contact somehow. She looked around, picked up a pencil from the counter, held the eraser toward the man.
The man stared back, unflinching, blank. She waited and then he slowly started to lift his hand, as if understanding.
She moved the eraser closer, inches now, and he reached out and his fingertips touched the rubbery material. There was a spark and a sound like, PFFFTT.
The little man, startled, turned and ran, only to smack face first into the clear wall of the container and fall back on his bottom. Dr. Taylor reflexively bent back in surprise, dropped the pencil and watched as the man liquefied into a black blob of gel.
To be continued...
Copyright © 2012 by Glenn Gray