Revenge of the Scarecrow A novel

The cornfield in Lawrence, Kansas, is haunted by a scarecrow. When Bobby Richards and his family arrive there in the summer of 1977, they see a scary looking scarecrow who moves around at night time with its scythe in its right hand.

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1. Lawrence, Kansas, June 11, 1977

~~~

The fresh Kansas air was the best thing for Bobby Richards. He wanted to be away from the city life, which was a stressful factor since he was an young lawyer in Phoenix, Arizona from nineteen seventy to nineteen seventy-six, before he moved his family to another town. "Dad, can I go to school in Kansas?", Brenda asked him. "Yes, there's a lot of girls who are popular you know", Bobby answered her. She nodded. Suddenly she saw the cornfields. A scarecrow was standing in the middle, like a statue. "Daddy, I'm scared", Rich said. He gazed at the scarecrow, and shivered with unnatural terror. "It's just a scarecrow, Rich; it's just something that takes care of those pesky black ravens", Donna said. She looked at the glass window. Up ahead was the ominous looking farm house. Bales of hay were lying on the shifting hard ground; more bales were near the open barn. The family looked around. By three o'clock PM, the clear-blue sky illuminated near the arched walls of the ancient Catholic Church. Brenda focused on the group of worshipers attending the Mass. She wasn't Catholic. Her family were atheists. "Daddy, are we going there?", Rich said. "No. There's nothing wrong with going to Church. It's not part of our life", Bobby told his daughter. She stared at the house...and pondered what it would be like to stay in the house forever.

~~~

Bobby opened the front door of the 1971 blue van. He had remembered the political landscape had changed since President Richard Nixon had been in charge of The White House until August of nineteen seventy-four. The evil spectre of life had drained everyone's sanity; the fallout of evil had tainted America for the rest of the nineteen seventies...and beyond. Bobby knew that President Lyndon Johnson would save the country, as he hoped the US troops left Vietnam in the deep jungles of Asia. "Okay, kids! Let's get out now. Maybe we can have pizza tonight". Rich smiled. He was determined to make his mark in a place that was foreign to him. Brenda looked at the other rural farmhouses that were hundreds of years' old. She had long, black hair, hazel eyes, and petite. It was a cold °56. She gripped her red sweater with small, right, hand. She opened the passenger-side door, and stretched her legs. Rich wore a blue sweater, red flares, black socks, and black shoes on his feet. Brenda also wore a red flares. They looked around the house. "Bobby, let's get the keys", Donna said. Bobby smiled. He saw the black Welcome ​mat that was in the front of the door. He grabbed it, then he opened the door. The coolness of the breeze wafted across his face. "It is chilly", he said. He was about to go inside when a woman smiled at him. "Oh, sorry! I'm Maddie Harper, the previous owner. I've come to retrieve my clothes. I had some personal things to deal with last week. I hope that I'm not interrupting you". Bobby smiled. "Oh, no. I'm Bobby. And this is Donna, my wife. And my children: Brenda, who is thirteen. And her brother, Rich, who is twelve". Maddie smiled. "I'm a farmer in Wisconsin. This house is my vacation house during the year when Dave, my late husband, stayed here back in the cold winter of 1967 through to the summer of 1970. He had a heart attack while writing his non-fiction memoirs here in the old study room using his typewriter. It was called: ​A writer's memoirs of Lawrence, Kansas​. It was a hardcover bestseller during Christmas of 1969. It paid the bills. We were millionaires overnight; we didn't know about his heart attack until he was hunched over the brown table dead. He was sixty-one. We were married for forty years", she said. She wiped away tears which were going down her face. "It's alright. I'll get a tissue", Bobby said. He flicked on the grim light; he walked towards the dim hallway. "Where's the kitchen?", Bobby asked her. "Here", Maddie said. She walked to the east door where the spacious kitchen was. She watched Donna gaze at her husband. She saw some old tissues that were on the table. "I'm sorry for what happened", Donna said. She didn't need a woman coming here and spoiling everything. She smiled at her. Several pieces of clothes were on the lounge room next door. Red flares, a black dress, brown socks, and brown shoes. A black purse that was shining was on a nineteen-fifties designed table. "Oh, I forgot that​", Maddie said. She picked it up. And she nodded. "You need several bags", Donna said. Maddie nodded. "Thank you. I hate to be a bother; I was just in a rush because of the scarecrow problems". Rich stared at her. "Scarecrows are used to ward off ravens". Maddie said. "Yes, evil ones that scare you. They roam at night". Brenda walked out of the back door. She saw ten scarecrows watching her. "Mom, will they move?", she asked her. "No, honey. They won't actually move", Donna answered her teenage daughter. She didn't actually need to say anymore; she actually didn't need to say more. Rich stared at the scarecrows. "I heard some other families fled the farmhouse because in horror", he stated. He wanted his knowledge of the scarecrows to be out in the open. "Rich, nothing bad will occur at the farmhouse", Brenda said. He shook his head. Maddie grabbed her clothes. "I'll leave you all alone now. I'm sixty years old. In five more years, I'll retire at sixty-five in nineteen eighty-two. Now, I have to go". Bobby saw the telephone was in the hallway. He ordered three large pizzas, two garlic breads, and two large cokes. And gave the address. He gripped his credit card out of his wallet. Once everything was done, he smiled. "You can have dinner with us. Then you can leave at night time". Maddie smiled. "Thank you, Maddie. Donna, can you take Rich and Brenda to their bedrooms? They're near the attic?", Bobby asked her. "Sure, I think our bed is upstairs", Donna answered him. He nodded, then he waited for Maddie to walk around the house, as if she knew everything about it.

~~~

Rich opened the bedroom door.

"I'll be in here, Brenda. You can go to the next bedroom". She nodded. "Fine by me", she stated. Rich saw the intensity on her face; her body shifted, as she walked towards the children's bed in the middle of the greyish bedroom. Rich saw the black closet to his far right; a bookshelf was to his far left. He smiled at himself. Then, as he placed his luggage on the middle of the bed, Brenda did the same as her brother had.

~~~

Brenda gasped as she opened her bedroom. It was freezing. Near the bed was a heater. She turned it on to high. "That's better", she said. She walked to the toilet area. She was glad that she saw a shower, and a bath. Two silvery rails were on the pastel walls. She was about to unzip the luggage, when she noticed a scarecrow was watching her from the corn fields. She screamed, and closed her mouth with her hands. Rich ran into the room. "What's the matter?", he asked her. "There's a scarecrow nearby watching me", she answered him. "Don't worry, Brenda. I'll rescue you". He jumped out of the window. And, as he landed on the hard concrete, he sprained his left foot. "Ouch!", Rich said. "What happened?", Donna asked. "Rich injured his left ankle trying to rescue me from the scarecrow, Mom", Brenda answered her. "I'll get some ice. That ankle's going to swollen up badly. I don't know any doctors in Kansas". Rich sighed. He limped to the pipes. He climbed it to the window...slowly. Then, as he got into the bedroom of his sister, he saw one of the scarecrows had moved by itself...and was holding a sharp looking scythe in its right hand.

~~~

"What happened?", Donna asked Rich.

"I saw a scarecrow, Mom. And I fell. I feel so stupid". He looked at Brenda, and she hugged him. "It's alright, Rich. Besides, the scarecrows can't harm us". He shook his head. Then he watched Bobby saw a car coming up to the front porch. A man got out. He shivered with fear. Then, calming himself, he grabbed the pizzas, and garlic bread, and drinks, and smiled falsely at him. "I don't know you. I'm Peter Ford". "I'm Bobby. I just moved into the farmhouse today with my family". "That's great, man. Not many families live here because of the scarecrows". Brenda piped in. "Why are they in the cornfields?", she asked him. "They ward off the ravens. And scare off people too. Several other families died over the past year or two. Sheriff Cole Time, our first black Sheriff, won't stand for weird behaviour", he answered. "I'm sure there won't be any trouble here", Bobby said. "Okay, since you've paid, I got a lot more deliveries. Good night!". "Good night!", Donna said. And Peter got into his car, and headed towards other families in Lawrence, Kansas.

~~~

Brenda ate her dinner. She was consumed by the notion that evil was everywhere. "Mom, can I look around the house?", she asked her. Donna smiled. "Yes, but remember you must be in bed by eight-thirty PM". Brenda nodded. "Fine, tell Rich too". "I will". After she helped clean up the dishes that were washed, she noticed a shadowy scarecrow outside her bedroom window. It was tapping, tapping, tapping on it with its scythe; its hideous face was covered in a mask; its hands, and feet, were in old straw. "MOM! MOM!", she yelled. Donna hurried into her daughter's bedroom. "What's the matter, Brenda? Did you see someone outside?", she asked her. "Yes, a scary scarecrow. It was tapping with its scythe on the window", Brenda answered her. Donna peered out of the window. A scarecrow was lying down on the hard ground. Its scythe was near its feet. "Look. It can't harm you, Brenda. Trust me!". And she looked at Rich. "Nothing will happen to us, sis", he said. And Brenda walked to the bathroom, closed the door, and flicked the light on. When she brushed her teeth, she got dressed in a red nightgown. And she started to yawn...and went to sleep.

~~~

 

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