Friday, October 7, 2016

Frightening Friday: Children of the Corn Maze

WANTED: One corn maze.

























Beautiful, charming people. It is I, your most favorite terrifying and yet alluring storyteller, back again to tell you more tales of darkness, villainy, vampirism, murder, and that smell that happens when you leave a pumpkin on your porch well into the spring and summer months. With my right hand I doff my cap and wish you a happy October, and with my left I scratch my chin as I try to remember ever buying the cap currently being doffed by my right hand. I'm not, after all, much of a cap person. But it feels...right, somehow. Like we're old friends, separated by time. Even though it smells strange and musty and is cold to the touch and I sometimes think I see it move in the corner of my eye when it's not sitting on my head controlling my very thoughts. It couldn't possibly be inhabited by the spirit of a long-dead serial strangler. Certainly not.

But enough about my problems. How are you? I'm working hard to be a more empathetic person. Which, if you don't know what that means, is the ability to stop and listen to others and nod politely as they talk about the horribly tragic things that have happened to them over the course of their dreary lives that all end in death eventually.

But enough about you already. We're here so that I can tell you a story of utmost horror that I wrote because, really, we're here for me right now and I'd appreciate it if you'd get on board with that. Today's tale is called...


Children of the Corn Maze

On a crisp October morning, two parents who still weren't sure if having kids was the right decision for them loaded their children up into their midsize SUV and drove out into the country for a special family day of cider drinking, apple picking, pumpkin carving, and probable child abandonment.

Now that last bit probably gave you pause because you aren't a complete monster. "Child abandonment?!" you say aloud to yourself and then head down to the comments section to tell me why child abandonment is no joke and I should be ashamed for making light of such child-related tragedy and how the sister of your best friend once abandoned her child at a shopping center but then went back to get him because it turns out she just forgot she brought him along to the store. But the whole story got blown out of proportion and she was later arrested because of some well-meaning, but entirely overbearing, internet commenters who reported her to the authorities. And then little Zakkareeh went to live with a new mommy and daddy who were far more responsible about hiding their drinking. But back to the story at hand, and I'll ask you to please keep your thoughts
 to yourself until the story is over.

The parents I mentioned before, who like I said were entirely unsure if bringing two children into the world, feeding and clothing them for eighteen years, helping them with their student loan applications, celebrating their weddings or gay weddings (which are really just weddings and should probably just be referred to as such), and finally calling them one weekend to tell them that they've decided to sell the children's childhood home and goodbye forever, jerks, was really a good idea. And so they were driving out into the country to visit the apple orchard and corn maze and possibly just leave their children there and take whatever money they had left and buy a house in Honduras. The children, of course, had no idea that being abandoned was a possible scenario for them. Children, as you probably already know, are entirely non-empathetic and didn't notice their parents' distress.

Now you probably read that last sentence and are currently rushing again to the comments section to tell me how your little Ahlexzandhar, wise beyond his years and rich in empathy, designs homes for the poor in his spare time and toddles out every morning wearing his little hardhat and corn-based biodegradable diaper of his own creation to put a roof on one of his new structures. And while I congratulate you on that, I must ask you again to chill and remember that this moment isn't about you. It's about me and my glorious storytelling and two beautiful children who may soon be forced to stand in the middle of a country road, watching their parents drive away from them.

And so back once again to the plight of two children whose parents made up their minds and did, in fact, abandon them at a very quaint little country corn maze while you were going on and on about something. The children stood in the middle of the road watching the taillights of a midsize SUV fade into the distance and wondering whatever it was that they did wrong to deserve such misery. But sometimes these things take years and years and lots of therapy to understand.

"Get those children out of the road!" you internally scream and scroll once more to the comments to explain my folly. "Are you crazy! They could be run over by any number of things! Tractors! Combines! ATVs! And several vehicles that rank much higher in terms of crash safety but are still driven by licensed but highly irresponsible teens and adults!"

After several more minutes of self reflection, the children did indeed leave the roadway and were totally fine physically but still abandoned by their parents. So rest easy, crazy pants.

In a real life scenario, a responsible and caring adult might catch sight of these children and the big, tragic tears rolling down their faces and offer to help. That adult might call the authorities, and the children would be swept away to less dire but still tragic life circumstances. But this isn't real life. It's a story written by someone who is extremely unhinged, loves tragedy, and definitely eats raw cookie dough, not because she enjoys it, but because it bothers her mother so, so, so very much. And so the children wandered into the corn maze, unsure of what else could possibly be done except to try to enjoy the outing on some level.

They wandered and wandered and wandered, for it was quite an elaborate corn maze, and they had no map.

"Make a compass out of a magnet and some spit!" you rush to the comments section to type. "Or, Toby, climb up on Betsy's shoulders and see if you can spy civilization. Lie flat atop the quicksand. Drink your own urine! You must survive for each other! OH MY GOD, YOU'RE SO BRAVE." And I must again remind you that this story is fiction and the two brave children cannot hear you, nor are they in any real danger.

Hours passed and still the pair continued to traverse the very complicated corn maze, having almost no fun at all, despite the sign out front that stated that "A good time is guaranteed for everyone!" Eventually, as twilight came and the sky began to grow dark, the two sweet children sat down and huddled together for warmth. But before you can even get the idea to type in the comments that you're praying for them and absolutely condemn their parents' actions, I will tell you that everything ended up turning out okay.

Because corn mazes are full of small children whose parents drove out to the country for a day of fun and left them. That's why corn mazes were invented, after all. And so even as you rush to the comments to tell me to check my facts on that because you're sure I'm wrong, just know that the children met up with other children and soon formed a civilization all of their own. And even though they didn't have parents, they were happy and committed many, many atrocities upon wayward travelers.

THE END.

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