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A Day in the Cornfield

by Glenn Gray

part VII

One day, Karl and Stew discover strange “turd”-like things appearing in their cornfield. The things have a strange power of mimicry, and their intentions are far from clear. Karl and Stew elicit the help of Sheriff Maynard and his daughter Roxy. Consternation ensues, and the once quiet farm becomes the epicenter of national attention.

Karl didn’t answer. He gawked at the sky, head bent back.

“Karl?” Stew said. “S’okay now?”

“Yup,” Karl said, staring, not moving. “Get yer butt on out here.”

Stew scrambled on all fours a few feet then rose, cracked open the screen door. He peeked cautiously then got next to Karl and looked up. “The heck it go?”

“Flew up an’ gone.”

“Yeah, but where?”

“The moon,” Karl said, a little frustrated. “Heck do I know? This whole day’s just crazy.”

“You seen that eyeball?” Stew said, spreading his fingers. “The size a’ that thing?”


A female voice from down by the cruiser, which was now parked. There was a uniformed woman on one knee next to Sheriff Maynard, helping him to his feet, but looking up at the house.

Karl said, “She call you Stew?”

“Sounded like it, huh?”

“Who’s it?”

“Guessin’ the backup.”

“Yeah, know it’s the backup,” Karl said. “But how’d she know yer name?”

Stew Squinted, took a moment, tilted his head. “That Roxy?”

“Roxy Maynard?” Karl said, raking his scalp. “The dang Sheriff’s little girl?”

“Thought she was in I-raq.”

“Dang.” Karl smiled. “Maybe she’s back. Let’s go.”

Karl and Stew scurried down the wood steps from the house, half-jogged to the police woman and the Sheriff.

“What in the heck is happening here, Stew?” The woman said holding the Sheriff’s arm but locking eyes on Stew like a homing missile.

“Roxy?” Stew said.

“That’s Staff Sergeant Roxanne Maynard to you,” Roxy said in a playful way, holding Stew’s gaze, smiling away.

“Holy heck,” Stew said getting close. “You doin’ here, Rox? Thought youse was in over in the seas.”

“Was. Now I’m home again.”

“Man,” Stew said. “I mean, girl... wow.”

Roxy kept smiling.

Stew continued. “You shoulda seen the giant bird turd.”


“We’ll tell ya all about it,” Karl jumped in, stepping into the narrow space between Roxy and Stew, his voice serious. “Your dad okay? Sheriff, you okay?”

Sheriff Maynard grunted, hands on his knees, getting his breath.

“The heck happened to his car?” Roxy said, waving a hand at the smoldering wreckage.

“That’s what I’m telling ya.” Stew said. “We was...”

Karl stepped forward, putting it on now, trying to impress Roxy: “The turd thing went an’ turned into a giant man-dog thing with wings and picked up Dad’s car and threw it and then he started after us and then he heard yer siren and then he, I mean it or whatever, flew up and disappeared up there.” He pointed overhead.

Roxy shook her head fast, like she was dodging a fly, looked at Karl, then Stew, then Karl, and Stew again.

“When you get back?” Stew said, clearly in his own world, grinning.

“Two weeks ago,” Roxy said, scrunching her eyebrows, backtracking in the conversation. “Ah... Dad let me start with him here on the force. Good ol’ Dad, ya know.”

“You was in the National Guard, huh?” Stew said, still smiling, staring at Roxy in a dream-like state.

“That’s right,” Roxy obliged. “Was called to F-ghanistan. Then did a stint in I-raq. Now I’m back. Kinda rhymes huh?”

“Gosh,” Stew said, smitten. “Ain’t seen you in years, Rox.”

“Heard ’bout yer folks,” Roxy said, kicking some dirt. “Sorry ’bout that.”


Yeah we’all here. We livin’ a-gether now,” Karl said. “My mamma passed too, ya know.”

“I heard,” Roxy said. “Sorry, Karl.”

“We runnin’ the farm now,” Stew said, puffing out his chest.

“That’s nice.”

There was an awkward silence.

Roxy got back to business. “So what in the hay is happenin’? Pa’s on the ground, car’s smashed in a ball a’ flames and you guys look like you seen a ghost.”

“Well it started wit’ the turds like I was tellin ya,” Karl said. “It’s a long story.”

Stew said, “We called yer Dad.”

“Yeah,” Karl said. “He saw the little ones marchin’ an’ then they turned into a big blob an’ that whole blob turned into a giant man-thing with wings. It flew away it did. Just ’fore you ’rived.”


“Yeah,” Stew said. “Like we told the Sheriff here, yer Dad.”

“Right, Sheriff?” Karl said.

“Guess that’s right,” The Sheriff said, massaging his head with both hands. “Seen a giant man-bird, is right. What a sight it was too.”

“An’ then it flew away,” Karl said.

“We got to get the whole story here, boys,” Roxy said.

“Well,” Karl said, “It’s gone now. Flown. Bye-bye.”

“Maybe we shows ya where the turds came from?” Karl said. “Wanna show the Sheriff anyway, no?”

“Ya think?” Stew said.

“Uh-huh,” Karl said.

Stew looked at Roxy, back in a trance. “How long you been back?”

“Told ya, Stew.” Roxy said, a hint of play in her voice.


“Right,” Karl said, serious face. “She told ya, Stew.”

“We’ll go then,” Roxy said.

Stew said, “Wassit like in that desert there? Hot, I bet.”

“Tell you later maybe.”

“Hokay,” Karl said. “Let’s show ya the cornfield.”

Bongo ran up, barking.

“How cute.” Roxy reached out to pet Bongo.

“That’s Bongo, she is.”

“Get over here girl,” Karl said. “We gonna go to the fields.”

Bongo stopped, whimpered, then ran away.

Karl shrugged. “Let’s go then.”

“Think we might be needin’ more backup?” the Sheriff asked.

“Don’t think so,” Roxy said. “Not yet anyways.”

“We’ll show you the turd spot.”

“Okay,” Roxy said. “Let’s see dem turds.”

They started to walk.

Karl and Stew looked over their shoulders into the sky.

Copyright © 2009 by Glenn Gray

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