Ch. 10 of new story

Corky and Violet's picture

Ch. 10 of new story

Ten
KICK ME LIKE A STRAY

It wasn't the darkest of nights. Things were much clearer to Gram. He felt at peace, lying in his bed. He didn't think of Corey, or Jennings, or what he had tried to do. He had lied in that bed for the past week. Depressed, all he would do was sleep, but now, he couldn't. He felt the sharp stare of something outside his window. An old owl. Eyes big and yellow looking into Gram's room from a tree outside. For a moment Gram thought it to be a statue until he heard it hoot. The bird needed his attention enough to call out to him.
There was no way he could sleep now.

Corey could feel a wire tension inside of him. He had no idea this could be so much of a rush. Gram, Mueller, Ian, and he crouched down just in the opening of a tramline. They were surrounded by seven foot corn stalks and dressed in black. Corey was finally in.
Mueller and Ian were looking eagerly towards Gram as if they were waiting for something.
"We got five hours," Gram said, "Did Boo take care of Sally Anne's cows?"
"Yeah, he corralled them into their fence with me. I locked them in." Corey said. At least Gram wasn't trying to kill the dog anymore.
"How does your foot feel?" Gram asked Mueller disregarding Corey totally.
"Never better."
"Okay, not seen, not heard. This is your canvas." Gram said. "Treat it as such and…" Gram paused and looked to Corey. "Don't mess up."
They entered the corn like a tunnel. They didn't have to crouch seeing as the corn was much taller than them. On the walk in, Ian passed Corey a green glow stick for his wrist. It seemed that was all he was missing. Though Gram did dig into him a bit with his final comment, Corey didn't let it bother him. He'd do as he was told and they'd create something great.
When it came to the first circle Corey stood as still as he could holding his end of the rope tightly. Mueller was on the other end of it fifteen feet away. Corey kept his feet planted firmly in the ground. He couldn't see Mueller at all save for a thin path Mueller made walking through the corn. Corey kept the rope taught as Mueller began encircled him a full 360 degrees. It seemed like forever doing so until Corey felt Mueller stop. He couldn't tell if Mueller had gone around him fully, but Mueller whistled three times to say he had. Corey began to pull on the rope, but he could tell Mueller hadn't let go. Corey felt the rope shake in his hands. It was Mueller telling him that they weren't done yet. The wind picked up and the corn rattled together. Corey felt Mueller as he kept going around him making the outer edge of the circle.
It was ingenious how they figured out how to do this. One man in the center and another on the outer edge of the circle going around the middle man to make a perfect 360 circle.
Corey heard Mueller whistle, this time it sounded much different than the false whistle before. It was distinctive. Mueller let go of the rope and Corey pulled it in. He quickly organized it and put it in his pack. He was already beginning to hear Mueller and Ian start to stomp down the corn stalks. Eventually he could see them both. Corey marked off the center with a neon flag and helped them flatten down the rest of the corn for that circle.
"Hey." Ian whispered to Corey as they got close flattening the crops together. "The first whistle was the rope, not Mueller."
"The rope?" Corey didn't know if he heard Ian quite right.
"Yeah, when the wind really picks up and hits the rope, if it's pulled on enough from the ends it whistles on the wind." Ian said.
"Oh," Corey said, "Thanks."
Corey was eventually left to flatten the rest of the first circle as the others got to work on the rest. Corey didn't know how to feel about the fact he wasn't given much to do, but on the bright side that meant less things to mess up on.
Hours went by and by the end there wasn't a part of Corey's body that didn't hurt. It was awkward flattening thick stalks of corn with nothing but a board and rope. He held the rope in his hands and pushed down on the board with his foot. He should have brought gloves. He hoped that Ian would give him more tips once they were done.
Corey finally flattened the remaining crop and looked around to see in the five am. light that whilst he was flattening just one circle, the others had managed to complete the entire thing just in time for dawn.
Gram stepped over to Corey's circle and brought him to the center. He had Corey kneel down with him and showed him how to weave the stalks around each other to make a perfect swirl around the center.
"Like…" Gram pushed the top of one stalk under the root of another, "That."
"How did you figure all this out?" Corey said.
"Well," Gram looked over his shoulder at Mueller and Ian who were doing the same to a couple of other circles in their design, "It helps when you've got a good team." Gram stood back up with Corey following. "And… You were right. About the circles, being our revenge."
Corey didn't really know what to say. During the silence after Gram spoke all he could do was give a slight nod.
"…Where's the dog now?" Gram said looking around. "Haven't seen 'em all night."
"I put him in the back of your truck. Hope you don't mind."
Gram shook his head.
"Do you think you can watch him for just a day or two?" Corey said, he felt terrible for asking. "My sister's tired of covering for me."
"Sure."
By this time Mueller and Ian had gathered up all the neon flags, boards and other remnants of their being there and they began to head out.
The wind still blew steadily through the field as it had during the night. There was something different in the air though. A fresh feeling that Corey couldn't shake. He felt good. He felt like things were tangible. As if he had achieved something. It just felt good.
Just before Corey left the circle, something caught his eye in the very early morning light. The wind picked it up and swept it by his feet. It was a candy bar wrapper. He picked it up and checked it. He had seen Mueller eating one on the ride into the fields. Corey put it in his pocket and just followed the others on their way out of their canvas.