A Day in the Cornfield
by Glenn Gray
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.
“Say what?” Polowski said. He swung his hand in a shushing gesture. He was standing with Karl, Sheriff and Ida. “You got a theory ’bout the stuff, huh?”
Polowski listened, intermittently saying, “Uh-huh, uh-huh.” He stepped around in impatient small circles, one hand holding the phone close to his head, the other pushed over his ear.
This went on for a minute or so, then he ended the call.
“Was that the scientist?” Sheriff asked.
“Yup. She thinks she’s got things figgered out. Says the turd stuff is made out of some outer space ribo-somes or something. Says it sucks in DNA and spews out a living being. Says she touched it and now it looks like her.”
“Glory be!” Ida said. “Explains how it got my shirt and my gun!”
Karl said, “And how it looked like Stew that time. And then Bongo. Well at least part of Bongo. “He shook his head. “I jus’ knew it!”
“After you cut ’em up,” Sheriff said, “is how you got so many that looked like you. ’Member?”
“Yes, siree. And then when Roxy shot it,” Karl said. “It came back lookin like her. ’Member?”
Sheriff asked, “What’re we gonna do, Captain?”
“Dunno,” Polowski said. “That girl scientist is working on it. First off, we gotta figure out how we gonna get those two down from that there mountain. Before this thing turns into something else.”
Sheriff said, suddenly alarmed, “And this one might be BIG!”
Polowski was distracted, staring over at a very official group of military folk walking his way, serious-looking. He shook his head, said, “Now who in the heck is this?”
A towering man, a head above Polowski, stopped before the Captain. Full military attire.
“Sir.” He saluted. “Staff Sergeant K.K. Melbellio here, sir! U.S. Marines Special Operations! You in charge, sir?”
Polowski looked around, smirked, stood straighter, wiped his hands on his slacks. Then saluted back. “Yes, I am. Captain Stan Polowski, SWAT commander.”
“We’re taking over here, sir! Orders from the top. Gunnery Sergeant Monica Charles arriving, sir!”
Polowski laughed. “We’re okay here, Staff Sergeant Melbellio. We don’t need no damn BAM!”
“Sir!” Melbellio said. Uneasy. “That’s an offensive term, sir!”
“Well,” Polowski said. “She’s a gal, no? I say, we don’t need no broad-ass marine here. We got it handled.... SIR.”
Just behind Melbellio, a booming female voice cracked. “I ain’t no damn BAM, Captain Polowski!”
Gunnery Sergeant Monica Charles stepped forward, all five feet of her, her hardened face and demeanor projecting ten feet high. “And I can see to it you’re taken right off the force there, Captain, I hear that again!”
Polowski contracted like a wilting flower, realizing and accepting his position in the pecking order of life. He took a deep breath, threw his hand up in a hearty salute. “YES, SERGEANT!”
“That’s’ better, Captain!” Gunny said, looking around, quickly trying to assess the situation. “Now tell me what in the world is going on in this here cornfield!”
* * *
Dr. Taylor slid the mobile back on the counter, all the while keeping her eyes fixed on the little women.
She felt better, having warned the folks at the cornfield about what she thought was happening. And the possibility of that mountain of gel turning into something huge.
The little women hadn’t moved. She noticed that the eyes held a bit more of a connection than that little man did. Maybe because they looked like her? Nah. They just seemed a bit more, how could she put it...? “Human.”
She was about two feet away, watching. She wondered what to do. The best course of action. Try to make contact?
“Hi ladies,” She said. “I’m Dr. Kristine Taylor. I won’t hurt you.”
They stared at her, tilted their heads.
She smiled warmly. “Where’d you guys come from?”
The door to the lab burst open and Pierre’s head popped in. “’Ello?”
The woman in the container instantaneously liquefied into a little black blob. The woman on the counter jumped, landed on an adjacent stool, then slid down to the floor and scurried off.
Dr. Taylor yelped, “Pierre!”
Pierre saw the little woman tearing across the floor toward him and screamed.
Taylor said, “Get ’er!”
Pierre froze as the little woman darted right between his legs, heading across the hall to the bathroom.
Taylor pushed past Pierre, following the little woman, and saw her scurry into the bathroom. Taylor got to the bathroom in time to see the little woman hop up a stack of medical journals piled next to the toilet, then sail over the rim of the toilet, seat up, followed by a PLOP then a SSSSSSSIP.
Taylor fell to her knees before the toilet, arms straight, hands on the cold porcelain rim, head slunk down. “Heeellllooo?”
There was no woman. There was no blob. There was, however, a fine black powdery mist, like ash, floating on the surface of the water. The water itself had a golden yellow tone.
Pierre appeared at the door, wide-eyed and stiff.
“Watch this toilet for a moment!” Taylor shot up, darted from the bathroom.
“Huh?” Pierre watched in confusion.
“I’ll be right back.”
Pierre stood at attention, cautiously peeked into the toilet from a distance.
Taylor disappeared and was back a moment later with a gallon-sized clear container and a small cup.
She brushed past Pierre and again knelt at the toilet. She started furiously scooping water out of the toilet with the cup into the container.
“Did you pee in here?” Taylor said as she scooped and scooped, the water sloshing into the container.
Pierre looked around, shrugged. “Ah, yeah.”
“Did you flush?”
Clearly uncomfortable, Pierre said, “Ah. Well, no. Sorry. I usually do but I was upset before. Forgot.”
“I don’t care! I just want to know every substance in this toilet. I need to know.”
“Oh, okay then. Didn’t flush, no.”
Dr. Taylor finished scooping and stood up, a little out of breath, met Pierre’s eyes.
“Come on,” she said, lugging the heavy container of liquid. “We have work to do!”
To be continued...
Copyright © 2009 by Glenn Gray