Stories in Short #18 (The rustling of the corn)


Grandma is ill again. She dips in and out. Today she’s told me to take Ginny out of the house, because the air is stale, and the house smells like dust.  I ask Ginny where she wants to go and she says, not far, because Grandma is ill, so we decide on the corn-field behind the fence at the bottom of the garden.

I push Ginny up and over the fence. She wobbles on the top, one leg on the garden side, one leg dangling in the corn. She laughs and wobbles. Then she swings over and drops into the field. I pull myself up, which is new for me, for us: we always used a chair, or a ladder, but now I’m big enough to push her up and pull myself up. The fence didn’t feel like such a barrier anymore: a mountain at the bottom of the garden, one we had to scale to escape the mundane porridge and black-and-white cartoons on Grandma’s old television. This realization took away some of the excitement, and when I climb over I get fence-stains, green lichen, on my white t-shirt. Getting older is to think about the stains on your clothes.

Down the fence, face to the wood. When I turn around at the base, Ginny was nowhere to be seen. There are a few trampled stalks so I push through the corn in that direction, careful not to slice my hands on the rigid leaves. The corn is just about ready for harvest; thick yellow ears, delicate kernels. On and on they go, just about head height, and I can see other ears between the stalks flickering as the wind moves the field. We’d never reached the end of the cornfield when we were younger. Grandma had always told us that on the other side of the field there was a farmer’s house, and he’d get us with his shotgun if we wandered too far.

After a moment, the path of trampled corn stalks comes to an end.

It was silent. Just the rustling of the corn.

I thought of the farmer with his shotgun, and of Ginny, pausing like I have, listening to the silence and the rustling of the corn. I thought of Grandma in her chair, head bowed, snoring.

“Ginny!” I call. “Ginny!”

But there is no answer.

Just the rustling of the corn.


Via the Daily Prompt: Yellow

Read my other prompts here:

When I was Ten – a little brother confronts his big brother about why he’s crying on the stairs.

Exquisite (Mr Tokida’s Lament) – a schoolteacher receives some terrible news in the middle of his class, come with me whilst we follow his unraveling.

Tea and Peaches – a lovely little “like” story.

12 thoughts on “Stories in Short #18 (The rustling of the corn)

  1. Another intriguing plot. I hated Children of the Corn when I saw it, it scared the daylights out of me. And Signs. Cornfields freak me out, so you’ve got me. Anything that is that emotionally charged, even in fear, is intriguing. I have a bad feeling for Ginny…

    Liked by 2 people

    • They’ve always kind of creeped me out, too. I remember playing in them on Halloween when I was kid and getting super freaked out about how easy it was to lose someone in there. Signs was such a creepy film, as well. I guess they all inspired this plot!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve finished a 70,000 word book, it’s about a middling executive at a financial company escaping a flooded London in a narrow-boat, but as is typical with my writing, I feel like it’s totally not up to scratch anymore. It needs reworking. I’ve improved my writing just over the last few months. If there’s any reason to write everyday, it’s this…Thanks again! I’ll see when I can get the next part out 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • That was sort of what I was hoping to play on. I think a lot of people have been in that situation. Hopefully with the next part of the story I can take it in a slightly different direction, aha…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This was fantastic. Love love love!

    I’m not sure why, but the bit about them being careful not to slice their hands on the rigid leaves? I really liked that. I’ve never been in a cornfield, and i don’t know anything about the rigidity of the leaves, so this is kind of an alien concept to me. Cut your hands? On leaves???? Anyway. That detail helped to put me there in the story and make the environment more real for me.

    Also: “Getting older is to think about the stains on your clothes.” Damn right it is. Damn right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have you ever cut your hand on a leaf? It hurts! The first time I was playing in a garden and there was a grass-like plant, with long, curving leaves. My ball fell in there and when I tried to grab it out I sliced my hand up. Shocked me, too haha.

      Corn plants leaves are sharp too, trust me. I remember running through one and getting lots of cuts on my arms and face.

      Thanks for your comment Pooky, glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Stories in Short #19 (Good old dog) | Seal Matches

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