I could spend spring break at the beach.
Or I could spend it at the Caribbean.
But no, I was going to spend MY spring break with my idiot friends at some historic house in the middle of a cornfield. I wouldn't have even agreed to this had Becky not been going. God was having a good day when he made Becky. She was perfection. Smooth, silky red hair and catlike green eyes on top of the curviest body I'd ever seen. Call me a pig, but she was a gifted woman. The only problem, she was a history buff. Becky spent more time bent over a history book then her cell phone.
So yeah, I was an idiot but sometimes it was worth it.
"Hey, Hollywood, how you doin' back there" Samson called from the driver's seat. Yeah, I was Hollywood. My friends haven't let up on that name since my short film won first in our schools contest. Sore losers. But let's face it, if you had a choice between a historic reenactment, a war story, or an exhilarating, heart throbbing adventure about a spy trying to save the love of his life and end up watching her last breath, which would you choose?
"Your van stinks!" I called up "it smells like rotting possum back here!"
"Smell of adventure, mate" he laughed. His van, a great, red clunker, was smelly and dented but the only thing large enough to haul us. Samson was driving with Becky in the passenger seat. Behind them were Rodney and Rosa with me in the back.
"Do you have any idea how historic this house is?" Becky sang from the front and I prepared for the speech "it's so old that no one really even knows who built it. It's been a corn farm since before our great grandparents' grandparents' grandparents' times. Who knows who could have stayed there? George Washington? Or John Hancock?"
"Or Marilyn Monroe?" Rosa chimed in but Becky didn't slow down.
"The cornfield has never had a bad year and no storms have ever ravaged the house like the neighbors have been. It's strange really nothing has ever been able to shift this house. Condemning papers have gone missing, storms have seemingly skipped over it, and even a great county fire seemed to burn around it. Here" she handed a folder to Rosa "take a look at these pictures". Rosa opened the folder and shuffled through the black and white pictures.
"Wow, look at this!" Rosa shoved a picture in my hands. Glancing down I had to do a double take. It was a bird's eye view of a group of houses. Near the road was the house where I assumed we were staying. I assumed this because it was the only house still standing. Even in black and white I could tell that the land and houses around it were completely singed. The fire had ravaged the area but had avoided the house. A clear line around the fence of the cornfield could be seen where it looked like the fire had completely avoided it. Looking down at it sent chills through my spine. I'd never seen a fire avoid a certain part of land before.
"Look there it is!" Becky crowed as we pulled into a white gravel road. I peered out the window only to be met with corn. Large green stalks of corn towered over the van. I couldn't help feel like a mouse in a maze as we drove down the drive.
"Wow, this is crazy" Samson gawked as he maneuvered the car down the road "someone better wake Rodney up".
"Come-on, Rodney" I mumbled gently shaking the sleeping kid awake.
"Where are we" he slurred
"Here" I muttered "we're here". You could feel the tension in the van as everyone gazed out the windows. I couldn't shake the feeling of being watched. The car spit gravel until it came to a halt in front of a giant house.
"Oh my God" Rosa whispered as she took in the monster before us. It was a huge country monster. The house was covered in white paneling with green shutters and coal black roofing. It seemed to just loom over the car as it parked in front of the home. As we shuffled out of the doors I caught sight of a withered old man rocking in a rustic rocking chair. He glared in our direction and chewed thoughtfully on a tired toothpick. I shivered under his heated gaze and quickly looked away. Our shoes scratched the pavement as we neared the house and started up the porch steps which protested under us. His eyes never left us.
"Sir?" Becky said meekly. His only response was a look in her direction giving us a god view of the liquor stained yellow of his eyes. "We're here for the week, um, I believe it's under Becky Hyde".
"Go inside or get out" he muttered in a deep voice that portrayed the years of tobacco and liquor.
"Uh, okay" Becky mumbled and threw a glance at us before cautiously entering the house.
"What a crazy old geezer" Samson muttered as he closed the door behind us "you think he's on something?"
"Yeah, arthritis pills and fish oil" Rodney laughed "He's just some crazy old man with a nail in his butt". We dumped our bags beside the door and took in the grand foyer. The room was covered in yellow paint and bright yellow daisies in intricate blue vases. It looked bright and sunny but held an air of shady feeling. Like the feeling you get when you watch a slasher flick for the first time. The ominous scared feeling.
"Hello?" Rosa called out and it echoed around the space.
"Welcome!" boomed a voice from upstairs causing us all to jump. Down the stairs came a smiley woman "Welcome to Wellhart Manor". The woman had thick curly brown hair that was slightly graying and a warm mother's face. She was dressed in a white sundress with a baby blue bow tied around her middle. Her warmness seemed a candle in this houses darkest night.
"Hi, I'm Becky and this is Rosa, Samson, Rodney, and Holly... I mean Jackson" she motioned to each of us as she said the name "We're here for the week".
"Oh yes, I remember, the high-schoolers. Your rooms are ready and when you're ready" she gave a little giggle "I'll give you a tour of the house". She smiled and nearly blinded me with perfectly white and aligned teeth.
"Sounds great" Becky cheered "lead the way". The woman smiled and spun on her heels before leading us up the stairs.
"Sorry, we didn't catch your name" Rodney sounded from the back.
"Auna" she said without stopping.
"Is there anyone else here?" Rosa muttered as she tripped on the carpet.
"Just me and my husband, Peter, and my father, Joe, you probably met him out on the porch" she entered a hallway and opened two doors across from each other "Boys in the right, girls in the left, enjoy your stay". With a final smile she left.
"Cool" Becky said as she and Rosa walked into the luxurious room and closed their door. I glanced at Samson and Rodney before huffing and entered the room. We glanced at the two beds and realized our first dilemma. I rushed forward to claim a bed. It ended with me in one bed, Samson in the other, and silent, shy Rodney on a cot in the floor. Suddenly a bell sounded from the hallway.
"Dinner!" Auna shouted up and we hustled to the dining room. Finally we settled down at a large oak table covered in a colorful table cloth and colorful dishes full of steaming dishes. Auna sat near the head of the table, at the head of the table was a scruffy headed man I assumed was Peter and Joe on the other side. Rosa and Becky were across from us.
"Welcome, guest" Peter's husky voice announced "please, dig in". We didn't wait. Spending five hours on the road with nothing but crumpled potato chip bags and greasy burgers could make a guy ravenous at the site of steaming mashed potatoes, crispy fried chicken, and salty green beans. I shoveled spoonful's on the plate and went crazy over it. I think I ate more food on that night than I've ever eaten. Soon I settled back into the worn wicker chair, to full to move.
"Well, now that we're stuffed" Peter cut in "I think it's time that we lay down some rules. First, girls and boys will stay in opposite rooms especially past 8:00. Second, we expect you to respect our property like your own and not defile or demote it in anyway. And finally, do not go outside past 10:48". As he finished, we all threw a curious glance at each other.
After an hour of meaningless chitchat we all waddled away to our rooms and fell deep into a happy food coma. I spent most of the night dreaming of Becky on a beach in a yellow polka dot bikini when Samson interrupted my dream.
"Come-on man, let's go" he whispered as he shook me roughly.
"Wha? What? What's goin on?" I moaned as I forced my eyes open.
"Get up, Hollywood; we're going have some fun". I groaned but pulled myself out of bed and donned my Red Socks jersey and black basketball shoes. Samson and Rodney were waiting for me outside the door. We tiptoed across the hall and knocked on the girl's room. Becky and Rosa joined as we turned and sneaked down the stairs.
"I thought we weren't supposed to go out after ten something" I whispered.
"10:48" Becky corrected. We opened the door and slipped outside trying to make as little noise as possible. The porch squeaked as we walked across and headed into the cornfield.
"Where are we going" I groaned as the stalks slapped my face.
"To the scarecrow" Rodney said simply. The corn broke away and made a circle around an old flour sack scarecrow. Its eyes were two great black buttons and its mouth was stitched across in a weary grin and smeared with red paint. It wore torn patchwork clothes and had old boots stitched to its feet. We filed in and made a circle around it before plopping down in the mud.
"Let the party begin" Samson said as he pulled a case of beer from the surrounding corn. An hour later and one less case of beer, we were all happily drunk. Samson laughed as he played target practice with the scarecrow using beer bottles for ammo. The bottle's shattered and embedded in it.
"This is great" Rosa laughed as we she popped another beer. I couldn't help but laugh harder. Suddenly the air was broken by a terrible screech that sobered me in a second. It sounded like a mix between a human scream and a hellhound's howl. I stared into the field where the sound had come from before it sounded again, right beside me.
"Run!" Becky screamed hauling me too my feet as we all took off through the field.
"Head to the house!" Samson yelled as the corn stalks scratched and clawed at our clothes. The shriek sounded again and I suddenly realized we never make it to the house before whatever that was caught up with us.
"Forget the house get to the van!" I called changing directions and dragging Becky along with me. We raced toward the stained van but I had to glance back, I had to see it. What I saw was the corn stalks waving and swaying in a synchronized wave before standing pencil straight and quaking. It was mesmerizing like watching witch dancers. Becky knocked me back into reality as she wrenched the van door open and pushed me inside.
I fell painfully against the armrest before twisting myself around and pulling Becky in beside me. Rosa and Rodney surged inside before Samson clambered into the front seat and fired it up. We surged backwards and out onto the drive.
"Come-on, Samson, get us out here" I yelled as we sped the drive way.
"Jackson, you don't think, ugh!" she cut short as the van suddenly jerked sending us all forward. I slammed against the Samson's seat before jolting back. I could hear the tires spinning in the gravel but we weren't moving.
"We must be caught on something" Samson gasped as he pulled himself back off the windshield. The car gave a jerk before suddenly began dragging backwards.
"Samson what's goin' on?" I yelled glancing around in fear.
"I don't know" Samson cried slamming his foot against the brake but the car kept going. I could hear the tires dragging in the gravel. Then I heard Rosa scream. I looked back in time to see the corn. It was waved forward and wrapped around the back of the car. The spade like tops dug into the glass and metal and dragged us back.
"Oh, my God!" Becky cried as the car suddenly flipped. We were spiraled around as the car tumbled and toppled through the corn. Glass sprayed into the car and the sickening sound of metal being crushed surrounded me mixed with the screams of the others. Sharp pains prodded me as we continued and I could only imagine the glass digging into my body. You can't describe the feeling of cold terror that filled the car as we were tossed through the stalks. Suddenly the car flipped up right and began to reluctantly drag toward an opening in the stalks. I stared into it before letting out a blood curdling scream.
The scarecrow smiled back at me with teeth made of rusty nails and broken glass.
"Oh what a beautiful house!" Mary Johansson cried as they pulled into Wellhart manor.
"Yes a lovely estate" Lewis, her husband responded.
"Look, mommy, look!" her carrot-top daughter Beatrice laughed "a scarecrow!"
"Yes, dear, how cute!" she exclaimed. As they pulled into up to the house and quickly unloaded, Lewis approached the old man rocking on the porch.
"Good-day sir, interesting old scarecrow" he commented turning toward it. The flour sack scarecrow hung happily in its slightly shredded Red Sox jersey and smeared black basketball shoe.
"Yep" old Joe said with a quick smile "Now, get inside or get out".
Hope you liked the Story.
If you didn't I understand.
I'm always looking for inspiration so if you have an idea for a story you would like to read, please leave a review and give me and idea!
Thank you to everyone who supports me!