All the Way Around the World was originally published on this blog a few months back; however, Chuck Wendig over at terribleminds.com has issued this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge: An Uncharted Apocalypse. Follow the link to read the variety of submitted tales of the Apocalypse. Happy reading!
Delsante Corporation told me I could take it or leave it. Can you believe that?
My family owned this farm for ninety-two years before I had to go and sell a majority stake to a local distributor. Well, Delsante is way up his ass so you know they’re now up mine.
But I tell you what: if I make it out of this alive, I am sure going to enjoy watching those corporate bastards take a red-hot one in the ass. Same for the USDA.
We had no choice. They told us to plant the G646-DSGMO-666 or we could forget about distribution of any of our corn. Well, if we can’t sell anything, we may as well just give the farm to Delsante and be done with it. They’ll hire some Mexicans to come up here and plant that shit for them and they’ll never even remember my name.
So we planted it, watered it, and did fuck-all that their scientists told us to do. Have to admit, I’ve never in my life seen corn get so big so fast. After a month, I could disappear into those fields. And I’m six-three.
The USDA inspector came out one day along with a fella from Delsante. They were so impressed with how things were coming along. They took some cuttings away in a small plastic bag. Never said a word to me what they were for.
Well, along about eighty days into the growing cycle we started seeing a rust-colored pus oozing out of that corn. I told everyone to stay the fuck out of the fields and not touch anything. We walked the perimeter. That stuff just dripped down the ears. I got on the horn to the local distributor rep and I guess he called Delsante, because they came out to the farm with a huge RV that had a lab right inside of it.
They set up spotlights on the cornfield and kept them going all night long. They said it was just a precaution. Precaution for what? I remember thinking at the time.
There were lots of guys in lab coats and SWAT uniforms. Nobody told us any details about the pus, but I could tell they hadn’t expected it, and they were running around like their heads were on fire and their asses were catchin’.
Each morning, they put on space suits and walked out into that cornfield. Each afternoon they’d emerge with that rusty pus smeared across their suits, carrying laptops and samples.
One day, I was over in the barn replacing a fuel filter on one of the combines when I hear somebody start screaming. I thought one of the lab guys had stepped in horseshit again. I walked out and saw a huge red dust cloud swirling around above the field. All the lab guys and the SWATs were gasping and choking, falling to the ground. They twitched for a second, and then were still.
I know what dead looks like. I was a corpsman in Vietnam. And these people were dead. I know it. But then that red dust started making its way toward me.
Not thinking, I just ran back inside the barn and made for the combine. Closed myself inside the cab. The wind blew that red dust right into the barn and it covered everything. I can’t see anything through the cab windows.
I don’t have any food or water in here. And I have no way of knowing what happened to my family and my staff.
So, I’m hoping Delsante Corporation sends someone out soon to find out what happened to their scientists and soldiers. I saw them die; at least I think I did. But now I hear things shuffling around the barn and grunting. And one time, something tried to open the cab door, while I held it shut with all my strength, too terrified to breathe. I don’t even want to think about what that thing was.
Far as I can tell, anyone coming near this farm will meet the same fate as those things stumbling around my barn. The chemistry folks at Delsante sure did a bang up job. The only thing I know about chemistry is H-2-0 is water and K-9-P comes out the ass end of a dog. But, I’m a farmer and I know pollen when I see it. That red pus dries and blows off. I think Delsante Corporation has a little problem with their fucked up corn.
G646-DSGMO-666 was engineered to survive. I think of all that pollen on the wind.
You can’t stop the wind. It goes all the way round the world.
July 20th, 2011 at 2:10 pm
Ugh, scary. I have nightmares about being trapped with monsters banging down my door, so this seems so real and terrifying to me. Very tight narrative as well.
Definitely one of the best I’ve seen around Chuck’s for this challenge. 🙂
July 20th, 2011 at 5:37 pm
Hey Blot – thanks for reading and thanks for the comments.
July 20th, 2011 at 2:38 pm
The answer my friend is blowin’ through the corn. Twirl your tassels, Pole Dancers of the Apocalypse. The cosmic butt plug is a corn cob. Cool
July 20th, 2011 at 5:35 pm
aj- now how did you know I was such a big Bob Dylan (and pole dance) fan?
Now, about that cosmic buttplug…..
July 20th, 2011 at 3:43 pm
Awesome story. Excellent voice. I was there right there in the barn with him. Of course, now I’m staggering and gasping an….
July 20th, 2011 at 5:34 pm
Thanks Annie. Nice to hear from you again!
July 20th, 2011 at 10:49 pm
This was good. Great voice and concept. Enjoyable read.
July 21st, 2011 at 3:38 am
Thanks Lesann –
July 21st, 2011 at 2:34 pm
As someone who has recently entered the realm of short story writing, I can certainly learn a lot from someone like you. Keep them coming. We’re depending on you, mate.
T. E. Samad
July 21st, 2011 at 2:37 pm
I really enjoyed reading this. The farmer’s voice is pitch perfect. “heads on fire and asses catchin” is going to be something I annoy my wife with for a couple weeks.
So thank you from me…and goddammit from my wife.
July 21st, 2011 at 5:21 pm
@Samad1989 – Glad you liked the story. Please come back and read some more.
@BA Boucher – thanks for your comments BA. Glad I could help annoy your wife!
July 26th, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Yes, I could see this happening. Thanks for the nightmare! lol
July 27th, 2011 at 7:19 am
Thanks for reading, CM.
July 27th, 2011 at 9:36 am
Well, that settles it. Baked beans to go with the barbecue tonight.
A great read, especially for someone who grew up in a small farm town. Very cool concept.
August 5th, 2011 at 3:18 pm
Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy!!!! As I read this, I am gazing out into the corn fields by my house… and wondering. I’d drive the combine out of the barn and hope the wind blew some of the pollen off the windows. Maybe he’d learn some more! Good job.
August 5th, 2011 at 3:56 pm
Thanks for reading and for your comments. Keep a keen eye on those cornfields, Lindsay…Delsante Corporation has done terrible things to your vegetables and neighbors….
March 13th, 2012 at 8:35 pm
Cool story mr.bois
March 16th, 2012 at 8:26 pm
Thanks for reading, Zeb. Keep writing!!