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Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Scarecrow

He crept to the window in the darkness of his room and peered out reluctantly.
It stood there like it had during the day, and the day before that. He searched desperately with his eyes in the moonlight for something to confirm his fears, but he was too afraid that it would see him.

Dressed in his late fathers clothes it was a haunting sight out in the field and the crows felt it too, they kept their distance for the fear of his father had been greater than their need to eat. He thought it odd that they did not fear him the same way, even when he chased them waving his pitch-fork, they just moved away and he heard the laughter ring from their beaks as if they were mocking him being half the man his father ever was.

The scarecrow was something else, it watched him work in the day and he sensed the disappointment in its look every time he stopped to rest. He felt the burden of its judgement on him and the weight of that pending failure churned a loathing within his soul that burned with a furious passion, and he feared for where this may eventually lead him.

He looked at his sleeping wife and knew that she worried, that this concern was affecting her mental state and it was all the fault of that monster out there and the hold it had on him. As the anger grew, he faced the window again with confidence, ready to put aside his deepest fears and challenge the beast whom he had lacked the courage to face his whole life.

He crept out of the room and into the outside porch where he slipped on his boots and moved like a thief to the barn. He grabbed the pitch fork and clutching it tightly he made his way back outside and faced the field.

It knew he was coming. It always knew because it had found a way into his mind, had played games with his emotions, toyed with his ability to relate to people and forced him into breaking down. The hate was rising within him like a cobra ready to strike, he felt the venom build and his thoughts became clouded with the evils he suffered in childhood.

The scarecrow watched him approach.
Locusts chirped like the roaring crowd of a gladiatorial arena.
He held the weapon before him and moved through the corn, then stopped to look up at the moon and then back towards the house.
He knew that it ended here, that he would either fail or destroy the waiting demon.

It stood before him a towering silhouette against the glaring moon, its dominant presence hammering blows at his ego, and torturing his emotions with frightening feelings that tore at old wounds. He took a deep breath and stepped forward, it took all the courage he had to look the beast in the face and say that he was not afraid, but he was.

The scarecrow was defiant, it looked down at him and its laughter shrieked in his ears until he thought he would become deaf from the agony.
He muscled his strength and charged with his weapon, and just for a moment he thought he saw fear in its black eyes, fear because the creature could not physically fight back, for all its power, and might and cruelty, in the end it was just a sack of hay dressed as a dead man.

The knives of the pitchfork penetrated deep into the monsters heart, and the farmer felt a powerful force be released from its depths. Light flooded all around, and the cries of loved ones now filled his deafened ears.
He pulled out the fork and began to unleash years of pent up anger by embarking on a frenzy of savage attacks in a bid to destroy everything in that scarecrow that embodied the villain that was his father.
Tears rolled down his eyes, and in his screaming aggression, he became in just that instant the very portrayal of the monster he set out to destroy.

When it was done, he fell to his knees sobbing and yelling in anguish as his wife stood behind him holding a lamp, calling out to him. He looked at her face and then down at the face of the beheaded monster and he knew that it was done.
She came and put her arms around him, and slowly they walked back to the house.

The scarecrow lay as it was, its one remaining eye as black as the night that shielded its disembodied carcass from the glare of the house, still laughing for when the crows returned, they would now fear a new monster, and they would see the evil in his eye, and they will know of the child in the woman's womb.