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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2260385
A family confronts a monster.
Halloween on the Farm
WC 729


I shake my snoring husband.

“Wha—Huh?”

“Wake up, Fred,” I yell/whisper.

“It’s the middle of the night, Jackie. I have to get up at 5!”

It’s harvest time, and the other farmers will be helping Fred get the corn picked in the morning.

“There’s something in the cornfield!”

“Corn?”

“No!”

“No corn in the cornfield? I should call the guys and tell them not to come.”

“Yes, Fred, but something else.”

“A scarecrow?”

“Yes, but there’s something else out there!”

My husband is a pigheaded know-it-all. I know nothing! I am just a ‘dumb farmer’s wife’. (Those are his words.) Well, I’m not. I was dragged from the suburbs, kicking, and screaming. I left my job of ten years as a paralegal in the city because my husband wanted to farm. So there! And farmers' wives are not dumb!

And I know what I saw!

“I was looking at the moon.”

“As in baying?”

“And I glanced toward the cornfield and saw a large hairy man—no, an animal—no, a manimal—lumbering between the stalks.”

“Is manimal a word?”

“I made it up!” I add, “Get up! I’m serious.”

“Is lumbering a word?”

“Walking clumsily.” I demonstrate. “Get up!”

“A drunken werewolf, perhaps?”

“Maybe!” I shake him again. “This is serious, Fred!”

“Probably a trick-or-treater on a bender, Jackie. It is Halloween. Come back to bed.”

We live in the middle of nowhere. I haven’t laid eyes on a trick-or-treater since we left the suburbs…not one kid, let alone an adult.

Fred has already rolled over and is snoring again.

“Great!” I pretend-smack his head.

I hurry over to the window and look out across the field. The werewolf is gone. My imagination does play tricks when I’m home alone on this desolate farm, but not usually when Fred is here.

I start to feel silly and turn to go back to bed. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the lumbering, (I think it’s a word!) hairy hulk in the side yard, moving toward our back door.

I hear our Golden Retriever, Pax, start barking. There’s a thud and a few whimpers from our loyal dog, and then silence. The unlocked back door creaks open.

I scream, “Fred! Wake up, now!”

I guess I sound serious because he jumps up out of bed, pulls the loaded 357 out of the nightstand drawer, and heads down the hall at a gallop.

I call the police, hang up, and run for the bat we keep in the closet. Fred is almost to the landing. Bat in hand, I hurry down the hall to catch up with him.

Three shots ring out from the top of the stairs. Boom! Boom! Boom!

I hear the werewolf howling as he lumber/limps through the parlor. His toenails scrape across the kitchen floor. He escapes out the back door, down the steps, and into the side yard.

Fred takes chase.

I fly down the stairs and look out the kitchen window to see my husband running, gun in hand, chasing this hairy creature back into the cornfield, where it disappears in the tall stalks.

Fred jogs back toward the house, locks the back door, and tends Pax’s wound while I clean up the trail of monster blood.

“Well, that was exciting,” he says almost casually, although his hands are shaking as he cleans blood from Pax’s head. “Shouldn’t you leave the crime scene untouched?”

“Jokes?”

“No, I’m serious! That was something not human. I think I got him good. He—it—he won’t be back.” He adds after a bit, “Not until next Halloween!”

I smack my comic husband on the shoulder. “That’s not even the least bit funny!”

“Just trying to lighten things up, honey,” he says as he takes hold of my hand. “We might as well stay up and wait for the cops.”

“If they ever get here.”

“Jackie, we're not in the suburbs. Response time is slower in the country.”

No excrement, Sherlock!

“I’ll make some coffee,” I say instead.

I might never be able to sleep in this farmhouse again. I decide to leave that revelation for later. Fred, Pax, and I have been through enough for one night.

I can hear the sirens in the distance, heading toward our farm. Not the best response time, but at least Barney and Gomer are on the way.



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