Every month With Painted Words puts up an image and invites writers to submit pieces inspired by it. As a fun exercise for myself, I will be playing along monthly. January’s inspiration image was a photograph by Rod Walker.
|Photograph by Rod Walker|
Carl ran toward the setting sun as fast as he could, the stalks of corn scratching and slapping his face. He didn’t care. He had to try and outrace the sun, he thought. Then laughed. Only a kid thinks he can reach the horizon before the sun disappears behind it. He kept running, hoping anyway.
Carl was a sweaty, scrawny, budding alcoholic. The last thing he remembered before getting blacked-out-drunk was Billy betting him a new quad that he wouldn’t hang out in the cornfield till dark. Carl proclaimed he wasn’t afraid of any fairy tales (but he was) and took the bet. They started shotgunning beers to seal the deal. That must have been around two in the afternoon. The next thing Carl remembered was waking up in a pool of his own vomit, hungover and surrounded by endless fucking corn. So he got up and ran toward the setting sun as fast as he could.
The sun set. It got dark. Carl stopped running. He listened. The only sound was his beating heart. He took a few deep breaths. His heart slowed. He relaxed. It was just a fairy tale.
They sprung from the cornstalks and dug their teeth deep into Carl’s neck and thighs. His heart rate shot back up. His adrenaline flowed. Soon Carl didn’t feel anything. When they were done, they disappeared back into the cornfield. Carl’s emptied corpse was left alone in the moonlight.
If you’d like to read more, another submission of mine was published in their December 2010 issue.