Fantasticoe 2004

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Masumi Fottral

Opening Day


     It was an unusually warm autumn day, and the leaves on the trees were beginning to change into brilliant colors. I wanted to take advantage of the nice weather before the air became too cold for comfort. I decided to stroll along the path to old Bill Franzman's farm, just to check out the cornfield and see if all of the corn had been cleaned out. As I came closer to the cornfield, I noticed it hadn't yet been harvested, and was untouched by human hands. I had heard from my birdbrain friends that old Bill's farm was notorious for lurking monsters during this time of year. They had last encountered these monsters a year ago, barely escaping the clutches of death, and adamantly recommended staying out of this field in the fall. This was, however, one of my favorite places to go, and I had never seen any monster they spoke of, and besides, I was not going to let this scare me off. I wandered deep into the field, minding my own business enjoying the crisp fresh air and the musty smell of the corn. There was not a soul around. Suddenly my senses sharpened. I perked my head when the squirrels on the oaks from the far side of the field began to boisterously chatter. This was usually a good indication that something was going on. Not long after, I heard threatening footsteps coming closer to me from a distance.

     I quickly moved to the south end of the cornfield, trying not to rustle the corn as I ran, exiting the rows and heading into an area of tall grass. I had a good view of the field I had just been standing in and ducked down to avoid being seen. I stepped back into the lofty grass and camouflaged with my surroundings. The loud noise I had observed became louder, resonating throughout the quiet field. It was a mixture of panting, snorting, and loud footsteps crashing through the corn. A frighteningly dark creature emerged into view, only one row away from the exact position I had been standing previously in the field. It had to be a monster from out of this world. Large, deep, grimacing eyes gave a stern look of death, with a gruesome mouth filled with fangs and dripping saliva. It made a snorting noise and scurried around on four legs, with its nostrils pressed close to the ground as if looking for my scent. My heart pounded in my chest, and while I desperately wanted to run in the opposite direction of the monster, I was frozen and unable to move in any direction.

     As the monster moved closer, I tried even harder to remain inconspicuous since fleeing did not seem to be an option at the moment. The dark-haired monster veered away, then quickly spun back in my direction. Its off track, zigzagging pattern seemed like it would avoid me. But just as I began to think I would remain unseen, the monster abruptly changed course, following a direct route to my grassy hideout. I anticipated a swift death, and anxiety swelled. The black creature continued on its course, stopping about two feet away from where I crouched. Its long black nose pointed directly at me, and its eyes pierced a burning hole through me. It stood motionless, as if waiting for me to make the next move.

     To my horror, my nightmare heightened. Behind the long-nosed black monster, another noise could be heard. Thrashing through the field, a tall giant stepped out of the cornfield, within view of the tall grass. The giant had to have been at least a hundred times taller than me, dressed in blaze orange and carrying what appeared to be a long, slender wooden stick. The tall giant yelled something to the black creature, and I strained my ears to listen. I wasn't really sure of the language, and I listened even more intently. "Get 'em Skeet!" the tall giant yelled to the black monster. I knew that this was my cue to get the hell out of there…escape!

     I desperately wished I could fly. If there is a god in this cruel world, please give me wings, I thought. This is not how I envisioned dying, not as a monster's lunchtime meal. I vowed that if I were to make it out of here alive, I would take the advice of others who had encountered the monsters and stay away from this field. What felt like slow motion next occurred in a matter of seconds. The black monster lunged at me, and I jumped up. To my amazement, I began to fly. There must be a god, I thought as I vigorously pumped my arms, rising above both the orange giant and the black creature. The giant raised his slender wooden object towards me, and a black barrel pointed at my chest from the end of the wood. Then there was a loud boom and little orbs whizzed by in all directions. I avoided contact with any of the orbs and continued flying. Another thunderous volley of silver orbs, and a stinging sensation entered my foot. I continued flying, and didn't stop for several minutes. My foot ached and I looked down to determine the damage, half expecting to find a missing foot. Luckily, the silver orb had only brushed across the surface of my foot, which was still soundly attached, leaving a painful, red-welted surface wound.

     I continued flying, taking advantage of my wings that I had forgotten about in my panic. Down below me, the black monster and orange giant were beginning to blend in with the horizon. Then, the farm to Bill Franzman slowly began to merge in with other cornfields in the distant horizon. Far from range of the monsters, I glided to the closest safe spot, a low ditch filled with brambles. My foot ached and my heart pounded, and yet a new emotion blossomed from deep inside me. I felt triumphant and confident. I had survived the monsters and was alive. I was even able to brag to my friends about the close encounter. Little did I know I had nearly stumbled into death on the opening day of pheasant hunting season.

Thank you Jamie for giving me the inspiration to write this story after the weekend you went pheasant hunting. I want to thank the class for reading and re-reading this story and constantly giving me ideas for improvement and revisions. Also, thank you Terry Heller for your help and ideas and for making this a lot of fun.