In the country, cornfields outnumber everything.
You can ride your bike for miles and miles down the roads and always have at least one cornfield on the other side of you. It isn’t as much as it is in middle America, which is the breadbasket of our nation, but there is quite a lot of corn.
None of the corn was for people to eat, it was mostly for feeding all the livestock in town. It all worked out in the end for everyone, nobody went hungry as long as neighbors helped each other out. There is an unspoken law that livestock were to be fed before people, as they relied on us entirely for everything.
The cornfields would stretch on for as far as I could see, all the way back to touch the foot of the mountains that made up our valley. They were like small forests of grass that went on endlessly. It was no wonder why people got lost in them.
Us kids were always warned to stay out of the cornfields. You could get lost. You could step on a snake. You could trip and hurt yourself. We were to stay out, and never go into them.
That suited us just fine, the cornfields were spooky. No matter how bright the day was, it was dark in those fields. It’s no wonder they make mazes out of corn for the fall season. There’s just something eerie about it all, from the way the wind would rustle the leaves all the way down to how it seemed to be endless.
I was small at the time I noticed that there was more to the fields than what was told to us. By then, my father often drove me up to my grandmother’s house in the town over, so she could watch me while he was at work. This meant being awake past the witching hour and before dawn, so the early mornings were dark and cold. I could see my breath, even in the summer, as I was put into that old pickup truck for the journey. Sometimes I slept, sometimes I looked out of the window to pass the time.
As the truck drove on, I used to like to imagine that there was a little man running besides us, jumping over rocks and doing all sorts of acrobatics. I was bored, and it kept me busy and out of trouble.
This morning however, I saw something else.
Out in the fields, a little ways away, were two red eyes, glowing like hot coals in the darkness. Once in a while, they’d blink and vanish into the shadows of the corn stalks. They’d reappear further along the fields.
I realized then that those eyes were following us. Somehow, they were keeping pace with the truck. I could only watch, transfixed as those red eyes got a little closer with each pass of the fields.
Then, I saw a shadow of…something. I can’t really describe what it looked like, only that it was big and moved wrong. It was kinda like bad animation, with bits of the outsides wobbling and twisting as though it was all drawn by a shaky hand. The eyes stayed completely still and stable, flashing as they came closer. It crossed the road with terrifying speed, and before I could say anything, it rammed itself into the passenger side door.
I felt myself be thrown to the side to land in my father’s lap as bits of glass rained down around me and my seat. My father swore and swerved, nearly running us all into the ditch. Thankfully, he got control of the truck enough where we didn’t end up in the field. Instead, we skidded back into the road and my father floored it, tires squealing all the way.
It was a very close call.
As we zoomed on by I remember being too shocked to cry or make any noise. I didn’t know what I saw. It could have just been a deer. Or perhaps a bear. What I saw I didn’t think could actually exist. It was just. Wrong.
My father did not stop speeding until we got on a major highway, pulling into the nearest well lit and populated gas station. It was there he finally stopped and unbuckled us both. I was lucky to not get any cuts from the glass in the end. Once he pulled me out of his side of the truck was when I could see the actual damage.
The whole passenger side door was crumbled inward. The glass was knocked out by the sheer force of the hit. Whatever hit us, was heavy, and going fast.
I just stood by my father’s side as he talked to some of the other men who came to check on us.
“That must have been quite a deer.” One of the men looked over at the large dent.
My father just shook his head, a little paler than usual.
I could tell from his face that what hit us wasn’t a damn deer. It was then I could look around, now that the shock was wearing off. It was a simple gas station, surrounded on the sides by fields.
And there were a pair of red eyes staring out at us.