Fear, a concept that our brains have created for what? Protection? The sheer thrill? Wrong, we feel fear for our survival, plain and simple. Everyone looks at fear differently, the fight or flight response is a great example. When met with fear we choose to stand our ground in an attempt to protect ourselves or we run away in hope of preservation. However some of us freeze up and leave ourselves defenseless, this is not ideal, especially when you are faced with life or death. My old buddy, let’s say, Felix, for his privacy, is an excellent example of freezing up, he is dead proof after all. This is the story of how I lost all my friends and regrettably still breathe.
Two months ago I was sitting at my desk typing away at an essay for my English class about some book we read. Finishing up the third page I took out my earbuds and picked up my phone to the chimes of my ringtone set for my best friend, Charles.
“Yo, what’s up Charles, how’ve you been?”
“Hey man, where are you right now?”
“At home, why?”
“My sister is missing man, some guys drove up and snatched her. My mom is freaking the fuck out and the cops are no help right now, all we know is that they are headed South. I need you to come pick me up.”
“Hey hey, calm down I’ll be right over”
“Also, Felix, Nick, and Wyatt are on their way over right now, but Felix and I will need to get in your car”
“Sounds good man I’m on my way”
As I was finishing my sentence, I could hear Charles’s dad yelling about something to who I assumed were the cops. His dad had always been a laid-back and easy-going man who loved to spend time with his family, very rarely had he ever raised his voice even when he had every right to do so.
Once I arrived I could see Felix’s bike and Wyatt’s truck in front of Charles’s house. Two police cars left as I parked and one remained to finish talking with Charles’s parents. As I began walking towards the door my buddies came barrelling out. It caught me off guard so it took me a second to realize that Charles had Nick by his shoulders and pushing him back while Wyatt and Felix tried to hold him back.
“Fuck you dude” yelled Charles as he gave one final push and Nick fell to the floor. He scrambled to get back to his feet as Wyatt and Felix got in between the two of them. I approached and they all looked over at me. “Well look who finally showed up, it’s The Flash everyone”. Charles grabbed Felix by his shirt and began dragging him along as he made his way toward my car. “Let’s go we ain’t got all damn day,” Charles said as he slammed my door shut. I looked over at Nick and said “What did you do now man come on”. He gave me a shrug and walked over to Wyatt’s truck and hopped in followed by Wyatt. I got in mine and followed Wyatt.
“Where are we going,” I asked Charles. “South, at the edge of town near those old farms,” he said staring out the window. I laughed as I said, “They’re not old, you’re just young”. His head turned like he was dodging a punch, his eyes staring at me like a hawk. Charles was known for being aggressive at school but he knew I would kick his ass so all he did was say “This is no time for fucking jokes you arrogant piece of shit”. I rolled my eyes and murmured, “Go fuck yourself”. He slowly shifted back towards the window still staring at me until he finally went back to looking out the window.
I knew we were getting closer to the edge of the town as I breathed in the scent of cow crap. We approached a stop sign, the one that was known to always be defaced or stolen, and this time the sign was dressed in a red liquid with the word, “Don’t” written above the “STOP”. It was around 6:30 when Wyatt slammed on his brakes creating a cloud of smoke. Charles had passed out at some point and this jolted him awake in a panic as he yelled. “Dude” I yelled, “Don’t fucking yell like that holy sh-”. My sentence was cut short as Nick fell out of the truck and started throwing up uncontrollably. I parked my car and we all rushed over to help Nick who was on his knees wearing a pale face. He was covered in puke but was alright, he said he had a sensitive stomach or something like that. I had a few shirts in my car so I gave him one and he threw the dirty one into the corn field that brushed against the narrow road our vehicles were stationed on. As we began walking over to Wyatt’s truck I thought I heard a sniffle to the right of me, but Nick was on my left. I brushed it off calling it the wind however not a branch from the surrounding trees swayed an inch. I nervously looked around creeped out but saw no unordinary expression on Nick’s face and kept my cool as we sat on Wyatt’s tailgate.
“Alright guys, we have maybe an hour of sunlight left, I’ve got 3 flashlights in the truck and I ain’t going home until we find something,” stated Wyatt. We all nodded in agreement and hustled back into our vehicles and started down the road once more. The sun kept a steady pace reaching for the horizon every second that passed.
About 15 minutes after we began driving again I asked, “How big are these corn fields? Last time I checked our town was only to the phone line poles but we passed those miles ago”. This must’ve made something in Charles’s head click because he told me to stop the car and he reached over and began honking the horn. Wyatt stopped and Charles walked over to his window and when he got back into my car he said, “Just follow Wyatt, don’t ask questions”.
Wyatt’s tires turned and he began driving into the corn field. I sighed and shook my head but stuck close to his rear bumper. The corn caressed the sides of my car until we got to an open field. Just as I noticed a house in the distance Wyatt darted towards it with me not far behind.
We pulled into the front of the old wooden house surrounded by giant trees and a black van occupying the driveway. We piled out and grabbed the flashlights Wyatt had, Nick and I being the ones who did not get one. We made our way to the front door but it was, of course, locked. We then tried the van to no avail. Wyatt and I made our way around the right side of the house and the others on the left. It was about this time that the sun barely touched the horizon and we were about ready to turn our flashlight on until a crash came from the corn field surrounding all but the front of the house. Wyatt jumped and I scouted the wall of corn that stood no more than twenty feet away. From left to right I saw nothing, but I could feel eyes piercing the leaves of corn.
“Hey guys over here, hurry” shouted Charles from the back of the house. We darted over to them and came upon them attempting to open the back door. Right as we came up the porch stairs, the door broke open with dust pouring out. We all coughed and backed away. They turned their flashlights on and we entered the house prepared for anything that came at us, at least that’s what we thought.
The floor was covered in empty corn husks and littered with decaying pieces of corn. The smell hit me hard and Nick even harder because seconds later the floor was also covered in whatever was left in his stomach from earlier, thankfully my shirt was left unscathed. We continued through the creaking house that got darker with every room we entered. There was nothing, no trace of anyone being there.
We went back outside to a now moonlit backyard of old farming equipment and walked back to the front of the house, only this time there were 2 vehicles out front. The black van was nowhere to be seen, and looking back at it now, I never noticed tire tracks leading to the van when we first got there, and there were none when we found it missing either. We all looked around, those with flashlights lit up the perimeter of the corn field, and saw nothing.
It wasn’t until I got into my car that I realized how close the corn stalks were to us, the open field was not that big, to begin with, but it felt like it had grown smaller since we had arrived. We both tried to start our vehicles but after a few minutes of trying, neither one roared to life. Something did however roar from the corn field, this time we all heard it.
We darted for the house and along the way Charles tripped on one of the old tractor engines and twisted his ankle pretty badly. He said it wasn’t that bad but I think the adrenaline and fear blinded him from the truth. He carried on but in a poor attempt to conceal the pain.
We hunkered down in one of the bedrooms, frightened as we heard noises and screeches indescribable. Felix began to break down and cry, he wept for a while and nothing we did helped him. I think we all knew the inevitability that was to come. That thing in the corn field would make its way to us and we would all be dead.
I needed to take a piss and I made the stupid decision of going outside to do it. As I progressed down the hall and out the back door I could hear the creature’s howls grow farther. I didn’t go anywhere near the corn field, I stuck as close to the house as I could and did my business. Right as I turned around to head back inside I heard a deep inhale sound coming from the edge of the corn field. I took my knife out and pointed it towards the field like that would have done anything. I didn’t bring a flashlight so all I had to rely on was the moonlight. I slowly side-stepped towards the door as I stared at the corn that swayed in front of me. I managed to get back inside but I never saw anything but corn.
“We are in some sort of hellhole, that creature isn’t the only thing out there, there’s something else,” I said as I entered the room. “Maybe the corn is alive and it’s watching us,” Wyatt said in a semi-sarcastic manner. The other guys laughed as I shook my head and sat back down. We always had that type of humor, especially in bad situations. It lightened the mood but that stopped the moment a big creaking pop echoed throughout the house. We could feel the floor vibrate, not from giant thuds, but many smaller thuds, like children running around the playground.
Felix stood up and walked into the doorway but was still in the room. He turned on his flashlight and squinted his eyes looking for whatever was making the noise. The thuds stopped and Felix’s face turned white. I heard breaths, heavy breaths, not from Felix, but from all around the house. Felix stood still, mouth quivering as if he was trying to say something but he was choked up. The thuds began again faster and harder than before. Felix’s eyes widened nearly out of his sockets, but he didn’t move a muscle, he froze up. We all stood to our feet, I took my knife out as well as Nick. Seconds later, corn stalks came barreling through the doorway and engulfed Felix’s body.
The screams. The yelps. The sounds still echo from within my brain. The corn was slashing away at his skin splurting blood everywhere. We all backed up and started to slowly make our way to the door and managed to squeeze out. It sounds like we deserted him I know. But I don’t think any of us knew what we could do. He was dead within seconds from all the cuts to his neck so it would have been pointless to risk ourselves to save a deadman.
We made our way to the back door as fast but quiet as possible. We stepped out only to be greeted by the cornfield standing only a few feet away. We all stopped and looked at each other. I nodded and we proceeded around the house sticking as close to it as we could. As we turned the first corner the corn was a bit further away, but we could hear the thudding pick back up again from within the house. We all started to pick up the pace as we made our way to the cars. Charles’s ankle was still screwed up so as we ran off, he was stuck limping behind us. We were all so scared that I don’t think anyone remembered that he fell earlier because we all left him behind. By the time we got into the vehicles, he wasn’t even halfway to us.
Suddenly glass shattered from the front of the house causing Charles to stumble again. He got to his feet but the corn stalks already withdrew from inside the house. Wyatt opened his door yelling for Charles to get in. However, Charles barely made it to the truck before he dove underneath. Why he decided to do that, I will never know, because right after he did, the corn snatched him and hauled him away as he scratched at the ground trying to shake them loose.
I managed to get my car started, but as I did a swarm of them came flying towards Wyatt’s truck. Wyatt was still standing on his seat looking over at Charles with his back turned to the corn.
I honked but it was too late, he looked over at me right as the swarm slammed into the side of the truck. He then became imprisoned between the frame and the door. I could see him gasping for air as his throat was being crushed more and more with each stalk of corn joining the crowd.
More came until they flipped his truck over. I watched in horror as his dead ejected brain matter and blood as his skull shattered like glass. I put the car in reverse and darted out of there, I didn’t even look back to see if they were following me. I just drove straight through the cornfield that stood ahead.
As I pierced through the edge, I could hear and feel them striking my windows, and maybe about halfway through they broke the front windshield open on the passenger side. One made its way into the car and began attacking Nick, it went straight for his throat. I pulled my knife out and started swinging at it but it was too late. I could hear Nick coughing up blood, I couldn’t see him, but I knew he was a lost cause.
I managed to cut the stalk of corn straight through, and the moment I did I heard the most deafening screech I had ever heard in my life. My ears rang for a few minutes after that but I managed to get onto the main road and back the way we had initially come. I drove for miles crying and praying that I could make it out alive.
None of the corn came at me from the front, but I could see at least a dozen of them chasing me as they were illuminated by my rear taillights. I turned on my interior lights and saw Nick’s limp body laying still and covered in his blood. I looked down at myself and I was covered in his blood too.
I should be dead. There is no reason as to why I should be alive right now. But that is not the craziest part. The craziest part is that the corn stopped chasing me once I made it past the telephone poles. My theory is that something is keeping them from going past it. What it is that’s holding them back is far from my comprehension.
The police helped me in no way whatsoever. They looked at Nick’s body and did nothing. Thankfully they didn’t arrest me for murder, I don’t know why. I feel that they know exactly what happened. They know the truth and they didn’t do or say a thing to help me. All they did was send a search party out to the cornfields the next day and said they found nothing and that I made it up. They filed a missing person case on Felix, Charles, and Wyatt.
Wyatt’s truck never turned up and the cops didn’t question it. A few days after the incident I was taken to the police station and interviewed by both the police and a group of men who I’m sure are with the FBI. I told them everything and they wrote down every single detail. They suggested I take some therapy and left without another word.
The next day I saw 5 black hawks heading South. I know what I saw, and I think I’m going to end myself tonight. Every day I am being questioned and I can hear the kids at school whispering rumors about me.
I chose to run, not fight. I chose to leave my friends behind for myself to stay alive.
Whether or not I could have done anything to save them is a mystery. But I feel more guilt and pain than I have ever felt before. I am the reason all my friends are dead. I am the one who betrayed them and took the easy way out.
The screams and blood-infested breaths gasping for air, dance in circles around my head. I can see the fear in my friends’ eyes. Every time I look in the mirror I see Nick’s blood pouring down my face and covering my shirt.
Don’t trust the corn, and don’t listen to the things they say to you.
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