Who's spooked by scarecrows? Surprisingly, this one was written in May of 2010 instead of October. I think it goes great with the Halloween season. Enjoy the read!
by Eric J. Krause
Teddy lifted one strand of
barbed wire high enough for Cal to scoot through unscathed. They'd
thought earlier the full moon would hinder them by illuminating their
shenanigans, but the bright light had thus far proved to be their ally
in sneaking onto the Johnstone farm.
Cal pointed at the paint
cans and brushes. "Pass those over, and then I'll help you through."
Teddy complied, and less than a minute later they headed towards the
"This'll teach his ass," Cal muttered under his breath.
nodded but said nothing. Cal hadn't explained how Farmer Johnstone had
messed with him. But if Cal said the farmer was in the wrong, that was
good enough for Teddy.
"There's the barn. Think of good cuss words to paint on the side."
Teddy frowned. "Cuss words? I thought we were just going to give it a crappy paint job."
that'd show him. Let's do his chores. The paint job on there now is so
piss-poor, I don't think it's possible to make it worse."
retort died in his throat. The scarecrow was looking at him. But that
wasn't the weird part. Its eyes glowed ruby red. And they followed him.
"What the hell's up with that scarecrow?"
Cal looked over at it. "What? It's a scarecrow. Now you're afraid of scarecrows and cuss words?"
felt himself blush. "No, no. It just . . ." What? Looked at him? He
glanced back and saw it was nothing but a crude, lifeless face. "Never
Teddy thought he heard Cal mutter that he should have
brought Dean instead. He gritted his teeth and promised himself he
wouldn't disappoint Cal.
"Alright. You got some good words?"
nodded and tried to catch his breath. He was nervous, but not as much
as this warranted. It felt like he'd just run the mile in PE. He glanced
back and saw the scarecrow staring at him again, its glowing eyes back.
wanted Cal to look at the scarecrow to tell him he wasn't crazy, but he
caught himself. He didn't want Cal to start hanging out with other
people because he was a chicken.
"Uh, what if we
just did one cuss word per wall. I mean, we'll write it a bunch of
times, but each one will have a cuss word theme."
Cal thought for a second, then smiled. "See? This is why I brought you. That's brilliant."
could only nod. His whole body felt like it was being pushed to the
ground. He looked up at the moon. Did it look bigger than normal
No, the moon wasn't the problem. The scarecrow . . .
looked back at it and had to stifle a scream. Its face. It was . . .
different. He shook his head. Wasn't its mouth straight across before? A
piece of string? Now it looked almost real.
"Come on, bro, we
need to finish before we get caught." Cal was already painting "shit"
over and over on one wall. "Either help me or pick a different wall to
Teddy decided to head around the corner to get away
from the scarecrow. Neither his feet nor the paint can wanted to lift
up. He glanced over his shoulder and tripped, spilling the paint.
"Dude! Watch it! Now we won't have enough."
opened his mouth to apologize, but couldn't. The scarecrow. It moved.
It couldn't be the wind, as there wasn't so much as a breeze. No, it'd
shifted on its own.
"It's moving, Cal, it's moving!"
dropped his paintbrush. "What? Old man Johnstone? Crap! Grab your stuff
and book." He grabbed his paint can, shoved the brush in, and took off
the way they came.
Teddy watched him go. He wanted to follow, but
couldn't move. He couldn't even scream. He found that out as the
scarecrow stumbled towards him, the hay and leaved stuffed inside
It reached him and smiled. How had he ever
viewed its face as anything other than real? The odor emanating from it,
though a pleasant harvest blend on the surface, had a decay underneath
that had nothing to do with nature. It reached out and brushed his cheek
with an outstretched finger. It felt like a mix between a dried-out
leaf and a squished slug. If he had any control of his muscles, he'd
have retched and spilled his dinner down with the paint.
"Your turn," it said in a barely audible whisper.
pushed its palm onto his forehead, and the world blinked. When
everything reappeared, he found himself standing in the middle of the
Johnstone field. At least he thought he was standing. He couldn't feel
anything at all.
After a few minutes of trying, he flopped his
head around, though he wished he hadn't. Not only was he wearing the
scarecrow's clothes, complete with hay and leaves, but someone who
looked exactly like him was hightailing it out of the field.