An Italian boy visiting the US comes across a very strange grain field in South Texas.
|I had always wanted to visit the free spirited, lively and diverse society of the US. It was, of course, the dream of every young Italian boy and girl. Little did I know that something special about to happen to me one warm spring day.
“Alonzo, wake up,” my mom yelled to me from downstairs.
I quickly got out of bed and got dressed into a pair of slacks and a long sleeved shirt. I stopped before I walked out of my room to glimpse at the wonderful rising sun shining happily through my window. I’ve always loved mornings since I was a small child. I sprinted down the carpeted wooden staircase and approached my mom at the table and sat.
“Good morning,” I said gleefully.
“I have good news for you. Remember the contest?” My mother said.
My heart jumped into my throat. “Yes!”
I jumped up and hugged her with a joyful feeling. “We’re really going to go to the US? Wait until dad hears!”
“He already knows,” my mom said pointing to three suitcases. “We leave today.”
Just then my dad walked inside. My excitement must have shown through my face from the way he addressed me.
“I take it you heard the news?” he said calmly.
“I can’t wait.”
It was now 9am and our plane would depart at 12pm. When the time neared, we left for the airport.
“I can’t believe I’m going to America,” I said as I stepped onto the small plane with my luggage case.
"Who would have thought that out of dozens of families who paid to enter the contest, we would win,” my mom said.
Although none of us had ever been on a plane, the prospect of visiting the US overcame any plane anxiety. I looked out the window as we took off into the air and found myself elated as we rose higher and higher. Soon we were soaring as the three of us looked at the buildings and streets below us. Later we were flying through clouds with the grey blue ocean under us.
“Where in the US will we be going?” I asked my father.
“At a ranch in southern Texas.”
Recollections of Wild West movies made in the US came to mind; cowboys and Indians, revolvers and saloons. The plane flight was long and we three talked about what we would do and see. It was like this the whole ride through except for sleeping of course. At last we came to a large airfield. We exited with our luggage into the port. Right there was a man with our last name on a sign. We approached him.
“You are the Lino family?” asked the thin, stoic man in a suite.
“I was told we would need a narrator,” my dad asked.
“I am versed in many of the fine tongues.”
We all shrugged and followed the man through the immense port with bright lights, booths and escalators. We were like sheep being herded through a forest. Then we were outside.
“This bus will take you to the Hampton ranch.”
Me, my mom and dad smiled at each other and stepped inside then found three seats. The drive was a few hours but we could tell we were getting closer by the rural surroundings. We stepped out and came to a big ranch house and knocked on the door. An old man with a bald head and glasses emerged. “You must be the Linos. Come in. I’m Bob.”
The interior was impressive but I was more interested in the outdoors. Our host was very curious about our native land and wanted to know everything about it as were we to his culture. We sat at a table where my parents and the old man talked. I soon grew bored with the hours of verbal exchange. I was interested in learning about US culture but I soon grew tired of conversing. So I asked if I could look around and Bob allowed me. I could go anywhere except the wheat fields.
“Thanks Mr. Bob.”
I slipped out of my chair to explore. But nothing tickled my emotions like going to the fields like I was told not to. I glanced at the three adults in deep conversation. It was mid-day. I was not used to the heat. But with a coy attitude, I chucked deviously and made for the fields. Not too long and I was deep in the fields. The blades of wheat swayed in the wind as I wiped the sweat off my face. Suddenly the wheat defied the wind and stood erect. I gasped. Then a bunch of standing wheat wrapped around my ankles and pulled me down.
“Help!” As I cried for help my body radiated with fear and shock. I could not believe what was happening. The wheat coiled about my body like a python. I felt it crush the air out of my lungs. My head jerked from side to side and I was crying. I screamed with whatever breath I had in me. I was suffocating. As I was losing conciseness then I saw a boy my age with a sickle that sliced through the wheat blades. I gulped in air as the boy helped me up.
“You shouldn’t have come. Weren’t you warned?”
“I didn’t listen,” I said as my face warmed with blush. “What happened?”
“You’ve just been attacked by home grown mutated grain.”
“What do you give it? Martian soil?”
“A special chemical compound. We’re growing them for the military.”
It was ridiculous to me yet there was no other explanation I could surmise.
“Could we leave here?”
“Scared huh? You should have listened.” said the boy.
On the way back, I knew no sane soul would believe my experience. I would take it to my grave.
“Please don’t tell.” I asked the boy.”
“Okay, but let this be a lesson for you.”
And so I returned to Italy with the most unbelievable secret.