A Cat in the Scarecrow's Cradle

I move into the first row of corn and stop, looking back into the barn, squinting against the sun. Sweet air from the farm pools around my face in a stagnant bath each time the breeze dies. A papery leaf flitters in my line of sight—offering a flipbook flicker to the navy blue coolness in which the cats dwell.

Neon eyes cling low to the barn’s floor, soaking in every bit of the scarce light—like concise coins illuminated in the darkness. The mother cat watches me fade in amongst the stalks.

An eerie calm creeps into the path, the path I create by sifting through and bending the flexible corn.

The world I know begins to evaporate invisibly like water, faster and faster with each step. Must be my imagination I convince myself.

I emerge into a clearing. Corn stalks lay flattened in a large diameter beneath a plywood scarecrow. I feel as if I’m wading through a past life hung in the loom of its presence—far removed from reality now.

View this story's 3 comments.