The Scarecrow Part 4 A novel

Lawrence, Kansas, 1976.

A year has passed since the scarecrow attacks in town. When Melanie Christian and her family inherit the haunted farmhouse, they come into contact with the scarecrow who usually leaves the fields at night time.

The third sequel to the Scarecrow series.

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1. Lawrence, Kansas-August 4, 1976

~~~

The ​raging night had disrupted Melanie Christian's life. She was over her dead husband's face when his funeral was in Dayton, Ohio; she was concerned that the lasting effect of Dane Christian's short, forty year old life was blowing in the southerly winds. The tempers that came from the madness inside him was eerily displayed in the cold, mocking, Mansion that was equally nightmarish. She imagined that the coldness of the spacious rooms was disconcerting; the rage was something that was inferior to her psyche; she dreamed of a better life in the rural town of Lawrence, Kansas, where she could deal with the ordinary life that seemed to cast a long, dark, shadow over her life over two decades.

~~~

Karen Christian stared at the farmland. She focused on the news that America was in the grip of ruin. She took her time dreaming of a place in which wasn't crime riddled; she had snuck out one night when she visited New York in the summer of nineteen seventy-three when she was eleven. Back then, America was in the grips of corruption. And she wanted to think that Brian Garfield's 1972 book Death Wish ​ was like real life. She was seventeen now. And as she gazed at the fields, she saw a scarecrow  watching her. It was full of hay. Its grey hat shifted in the northerly wind; its black eyes were like a doll's eyes.

"I hope that the farm is free of crime, Mom". Melanie nodded.

"It's a new life for us away from the deepening abyss". She headed towards the farmhouse.

"Mom, why did the other family leave?", she asked her.

"They were scared off by the scarecrows", Melanie answered. Karen looked at the gravelly road that led to Sheppard's Point. The weather was 73 degrees. Melanie had remembered her time as a journalist in Washington, DC, when President Jimmy Carter won the election. She had dreamed of a future that wasn't full of darkness; she was thinking about the hope that something good would happen to her. By ten o'clock am, the city was full of cars...and vans. Karen took a long breath, and saw the farm. It cast an ominous feeling in her blood; it was as if the ghosts of the past had fused withy the future to create an invaluable lesson in gothic statues that were down the gravelly path. Melanie shook her head. She arrived at the front door of the farmhouse, as they saw several hippies waving huge signs that read: ​God is punishing all who don't believe in Him​; Karen had known some of the older travellers who lived in communes that were all across America. The threat of outsiders roaming in the cities hadn't bothered her. The socio-political environment that stemmed from the Woodstock concert in August of 1969, ended the idea that America's youth wasn't corrupted at all; the beginning of the nineteen seventies had dawned on those who thought that the new decade would be free to indulge in the growing feminist movement; the fateful decade in which women were robots and served their husbands stemmed from Ira Levin's 1972 novel ​The Stepford Wives​. Melanie had wasn't one of them. She had her own thoughts and ideas about women's rights in the modern world. And now she stopped driving, and caught the sun's rays in her blue eyes, and waited for the perfect time to drag her luggage into the rooms in the house.

~~~

Roy B. Black III smoked a cigarette. He watched the time on the clock. It was 9:22 am. He heard the church bell toll in the middle of the town. The stories of the scarecrow had plagued Lawrence, Kansas, since the cold winter of 1933 when several teenagers were attacked by one of them in a field with a scythe. The idea that a creature of supernatural power would instil fear in the town became a legend. Roy, who was a electrician by trade, stomped on the cigarette, as he saw the fiery embers filter around the mud. He heard the sound of dogs barking near Fred Harris's yard near Fletcher Creek Road. He didn't think that Old Fred would mind the that the growling of the dogs would disturb his house. He gripped his .38 Smith & Wesson gun from the brown cupboard. It was close to hunting season in Lawrence, Kansas; he knew that his father Chad Black had died in the summer of 1975 from a heart attack when he was celebrating his fiftieth birthday. Roy, who was twenty-six,  had applied for a gun licence since he turned twenty-one...and was denied because he had injured some friends in a series of accidents that had plagued him for several years; some of them owned scarecrows in their fields. He was about to light another cigarette when Don Kane arrived at his house.

"Morning, Roy. Got to go hunting today?", he asked him.

"Yeah, but the scarecrows are bad this year. They creep on you in the fields with their wicked looking scythes". He answered him.  Don gripped his .brown hunting rifle in his right hand. He focused on the warm weather conditions; he trudged through the mud towards Markham Woods, which was a mile to the left of Sheppard's Point, the hang-out for youthful teenagers. Roy grabbed his own rifle, and they walked to the woods to hunt for bears.

***

By 9:38 am, Karen begun to bring in the luggage. Melanie did the same. They were too busy to notice the scarecrow in the fields. It had a black hat on its head; it had a lot of hay in its hands, feet, and arms. Its black eyes focused on the farmhouse, as if guarding it from its enemies. Karen shivered. Karen took her own luggage into her bedroom. Melanie placed her luggage on the bed.in her own room. In the room was a  tan window. A lamp was on the left of the bed. To the right was a plain looking cupboard.  She glanced at the rest of room. Karen looked in the room, too.

"It's....nice". Melanie laughed, then she  nodded.

"Let's explore the rest of the farmhouse". She noticed the group of teenagers speaking; she smiled.

"You can meet them if you like once we've cleaned up the place". Karen nodded. By 11:00 am, they finally finished the boring jobs. Karen then saw the lounge room. She put the colour television on a stand; she saw red pillows on a sofa that was soft.

"Everything is fine, Mom". Melanie nodded.

"Okay, you can go out until  lunch time". 

And she smiled, and washed her hands in the sink. Then she opened the front door...and went outside.

***

Roy saw some elks in Markham Woods. He ignored them. Suddenly he saw several scarecrows. He frowned. Then he screamed as the sharp scythe came downward. Don yelled in horror. He ran away. Then he screamed as the scythe came down once more...and they all died as the nightmare continued to spread across Lawrence, Kansas.

***

Karen saw three teenagers. She smiled at them. 

"Hello. I'm Karen. I live in the house over there".

"That's where the scarecrow is. I'm Ray. This is Jane and Chris. A lot of families have left in the last couple of years".

"The scarecrow", Karen said.

"Yeah, it has attacked a lot of people over decades". He gripped a knife in his right hand. Jane looked at the fields. "We're getting revenge on the scarecrows". Chris nodded. 

"We have to wait for darkness before the scarecrow moves. Then we'll make sure its dead". And they nodded, as Karen shivered.

***

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