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.
Stew shook his head, slightly disoriented. All he knew was that he couldn’t move. Stuck. His lower body was sunk into warm gel from his waist down. He tried wiggling his toes but that was about all he could do. Couldn’t even twist his torso.
It was coming back to him.
Him running and jumping into the crater. Him sinking down into warmth like a warm pool in the summer. Then swimming. Looking for Roxy. Feeling Roxy’s presence and then the shaking and spinning.
He was covered in gel, his hair flattened, matted down and his flannel shirt slick and stuck to his body. He couldn’t see. He flicked his hands, trying to clean off the gobs of warm gel.
He wiped his eyes with his fingertips, so that he could open his eyelids and see. He heard a noise. Looked over. “Rox?”
Roxy was but a few feet away, also stuck, wiping her face with her hands. She was covered in gel too.
“Oh, Roxy!” Stew couldn’t hold back his excitement. “You okay?”
“Think so,” Roxy said. “Where the heck are we?”
Stew looked around. Took in the view. Saw his smoldering house in the distance, the destroyed cornfield. People like specks on the ground running about. Trucks, cars. “We’re on the top of a turd mountain!”
Roxy assessed the surroundings. Took a moment. “Think you’re right, Stew.”
“Can you move?”
“Nope.” Roxy tried to push up with both hands, but her arms just sank in the gel. “Stuck here just like you, Stew.”
“Hey, that rhymes,” Stew said. “‘Just like you, Stew,’ huh?” Stew laughed a silly laugh. He thought a moment. “That was some explosion, huh?” He remembered some more, things coming back now. “And sailin’ through the air like some bird.”
Roxy wiggled a bit more, then gave up. “All’s I heard was a loud bang.”
“I know it. Weird.”
“Was kinda blank after that.”
“Right?” Stew squinted and gazed downward, pointed. “Wow. There’s lotsa folks down there, eh, Rox?”
“Hmmm.” Roxy put her hand to her forehead, to block the sun. “Yup. Looks like a lot of military to me. I see some tanks and Army vehicles.”
“They started to get to the cornfield after you went underground,” Stew said. “Hey, I can make out your Pa, there. Can ya see?”
“Yeah.” Roxy smiled. “Karl and that lady, Ida. They’re there too. Theys lookin at us. Wave!”
Stew waved frantically.
“HEEEEEEYYYY!” Roxy yelled.
“I’m sure they gonna get us now, huh?”
“Yuuuup. They better.”
They relaxed, settling their bodies into the gel.
“Stew?” Roxy said.
Roxy took a deep breath. Not quite sure if she wanted to go down this route. “You really jumped in just to save me?”
Stew blushed, looked away. “Yup a-huuuh. I did it.”
Roxy grinned. Glad she said what she’d said. “Ya know, I could hear everything from down there. It was weird. Did you feel it? I could breathe and everything. I felt like... I dunno. Like I was floating or something.”
“Yeah, me too,” Stew said. “Heck. Was downright peaceful like. Kinda like it might be if you was a baby in the womb or somethin’. Know what I mean?”
“Yeah, that’s it.” Roxy laughed. “Total calm like. I wasn’t worried after a while. I was scared at first. Called out. Then I realized I was warm and comfy and I could breathe okay. Then I heard you guys, no problem. Like the sound was channeled in or something. Crazy.”
“Well,” Stew said. “You know. I couldn’t stand not knowin’ if you was okay, Rox. I was goin’ crazy out there.”
Roxy looked over, a satisfied and pleasant look on her face. She reached out, opened her hand and offered her palm.
Stew hesitated, not quite sure what to do. He just figgered he’d do what his gut told him to. He reached over too. Curled his fingers around hers. Then he squeezed. He felt some kind of energy. He took a big breath, smiled a big ole movie-star grin.
Roxy smiled too, her eyes locking into Stew’s. A wide glowing smile.
“Rox?” Stew said. He let a long beat pass. Let his gut talk. “I think I loves you.”
Roxy beamed, batted her eyes. “Well gosh, Stew,” she said, knowing full well she loved Stew with all her heart. “I’m pretty taken with you too.”
“I think I loved you ever since we was kids, Rox.”
“Me too,” Roxy said, tilted her head with a smile. “Me too.”
To be continued...
Copyright © 2009 by Glenn Gray