Straw Man

  It was a gorgeous fall morning. The leaves were a vibrant gold and orange. The slight crispness in the air and the warmth of the sunshine was soothing to the face. The smell of burning leaves and pumpkin spice filled the morning air. Bill and Tori were lounging on their porch, sipping on coffee and planning their agenda for their day trip to the big town.

  After finishing up, they loaded up the burgundy Honda minivan and headed out on their way. It was such a beautiful day, that they decided to take the back roads. Tori gazed out the window as the wind blew through her long brown hair. Bill fiddled with the knobs on the radio. Unfortunately, the only station he could pull in was some sort of weird sermon with a preacher shouting fire and brimstone. He quickly turned it off and played his Cat Stevens CD instead.  

   All of a sudden they began hearing a loud rattle coming from the rear. Sure enough the back right tire had gone flat. Bill slowed the minivan and pulled over to the side of the road next to a massive cornfield. They both hopped out to inspect the problem. Bill went for the jack while Tori searched for a signal on her phone. “Do you want me to call a tow service?” said Tori.

  “No, I’ve got this”, said Bill as he lugged the jack and spare over to the side where the flat was.

  “I can’t get a signal”, said Tori as Bill began to loosen the lugnuts. They all came off relatively easy, except for the last one which seemed to be rusted on. Bill decided to rear back and give it a little extra something. While doing so, he gouged his knuckle on the jagged old wheel well. The blood started to flow as Bill reached into his pocket and found a couple of coffee napkins that he used to cover it and soak up the blood. Concerned for her husband, Tori quickly cleaned up the wound and bandaged him with the first aid kit

  “I don’t know what I would do without you”, said Bill as he leaned in to kiss his savior.

  “Ouch! Your whiskers are like straw, be gentle and maybe you’ll get lucky”, said Tori as she winked, slowly unbuttoned her blouse, and headed for the back of the van while seductively gesturing for bill to come with her.

  “No problem, just let me finish up”, said Bill as he quickly continued the tire change and rushed back to the van like a teenager on prom night.

  Fast forward about twenty minutes later. “I’ll be right back”, said Bill as he stepped outside the van to relieve himself.

  As Bill fumbled with his pants on the side of the road, he noticed that the soiled coffee napkins that he used to clean his wound had blown into the field next to the road. Being the environmentally conscious person that he was, he decided to gather them.  While finishing up, Bill noticed a slight clearing around 30 feet or so from the road. He decided to take a look. There he saw a massive straw man attached to a pole buried in the ground. Oddly, the straw man was dressed in the same plaid flannel and khaki pant combo that Bill was currently wearing.

  A chill formed along his spine.The temperature seemed to drop as dark clouds began looming overhead. He could see his breath float through the air. Bill’s eyes grew huge as the face on the straw man changed and morphed to look like his own. He quickly closed and rubbed his eyes. He thought he was seeing things.

  “How could this be!”, he said to himself as he took another look. That time the straw man appeared normal. As Bill turned to walk back to the van, the straw man spoke to him. “Please help me… please help mmmeee!”, said the straw man as it’s face changed to resemble Bill once again.

  “I must be seeing and hearing things”, shouted Bill as he darted back to the van.

  “I must have watched too many horror movies as a kid”, he said under his breath as he opened the door of the van, hopped in, and fumbled for his keys.

  “Is everything OK”, said Tori as she played with her cell phone in an attempt to get a signal.

  “There was some sort of scarecrow or straw man back there that really freaked me out”, said Bill as he attempted to draw Tori’s attention away from the phone.

   “Cool! Can we get a picture of it? It would make a great Halloween profile pic for my facebook page”, said Tori as she kept her attention on her phone.

   “OK, let’s go. I’ll show you so you can see for yourself”, said Bill as he took Tori over to the clearing where he had seen the straw man.

   When they arrived, the straw man was gone. The pole that the straw man had been attached to was still standing, but no strawman.

  “Maybe this isn’t the right spot”,said Tori as she snapped a shot of the pole and tried to upload it to her facebook profile.

   “No, this is the spot and that is the pole where the straw man was!”, exclaimed Bill.

   “You’re creepin’ me out, let’s get out of here!”, said Tori as they ran back to the van. In a panic, Bill started it up and they began to drive away.

   A few miles down the road, Tori was finally able to get a signal on her phone. As she glanced at her home page, she noticed there was a notification of a Facebook profile picture update. Tori seemed puzzled as she didn’t remember changing it. As she clicked on the link, Tori began to shiver, her eyes widened, and her jaw dropped. The temperature plummeted and exposed each breath they took. Her profile picture had been changed to a photo of her husband’s head on the body of a straw man, just as he had described earlier. “Oh my God!” she screamed as she looked up to show Bill. Except it wasn’t Bill driving, it was the straw man. Tori screamed as the van drove off of the road and disappeared into the cornfield, never to be seen again.

 

                                                         -The End-

  

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