The Scarecrow

April 9, 2011
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He wasn't even partially a man, so how could he ever be human? The nicks that would forever mark his woody forearms were the result of the many blades and wounds that he had shielded me from. He looked more like a tree than anything else, yet he dared to call himself a human being. What kind of confused creature was he? I'll tell you.
I met him a long time ago as I traveled the roads from there to here. It was well after sundown and I refused to listen to my better reasoning which told me to stay off the main road, but the cornfields on either sides of the dirt road were were too thick, and I needed the moonlight overhead to illuminate the road that stretched for miles in front of me. He thought I was trying to steal ears of corn as I squatted down at the side of the road to catch my breath for I had been walking for many hours and had many hours ahead. It was lucky that I was able to reach the papers with the signature of the mayor very quickly to prove my innocence or he might've killed me where I stood. Although I wasn't guilty, I'm sure I must've looked it for I was shaking in my trousers.
You'd do the same. His appearance was overwhelming. When I first saw him, the moonlight reflected off the brim of his black top hat and cast eerie shadows on his cracked face. When I saw his empty eye sockets that glowed red from the fire of his soul that burned within him, I thought they were portals and that I was looking straight down to h*ll. Even his freshly smoothed black overcoat couldn't distract my attention from his twisted smirk, carved widely from the far corners on the front of his face.

After I showed him the papers and convinced him that I wasn't a thief, he finally stopped pointing his sharp clawed hands at my throat. “You shouldn't be out this late,” he finally said in a tone that I now know was a threat. He turned back toward the cornfield but I shouted at him to wait. When he twisted his neck completely around to face me, my heart began to beat frantically again as my lower lip quivered. I desperately wanted to put as much distance between myself and this creature as I could, but my shaky exterior housed a far too curious mind. “What are you?” I managed to squeak at him.
“I'm the Scarecrow,” he said, and then seemingly disappeared into the cornfield. That would've been the last I saw of him, but about a half mile down the road, I was ambushed by five bandits. They demanded all of my possessions, but I had sworn on my life to deliver that letter no matter what. Being a man of my word, I drew my dagger and prepared for the worst.
Before the bandits could even get close to me though, the Scarecrow seemed to materialize out of the air and somehow got behind one of my assailants. He plunged a claw through the back of one of my attackers before quickly swatting his head clean off his body with his other claw before the man even had time to scream. I thought the remaining four would flee for their lives. H*ll, I almost ran away myself, but my legs were so shaky they failed me and all I could do was stare open-eyed as two of the bandits ran away as the remaining two slashed at the Scarecrow with broadswords. The Scarecrow didn't even try to evade their attacks and let their sword sink deeply into his large lumbering arms where they became stuck. Before the bandits could pull their weapons free, the scarecrow had already pierced their throats with his sharp claws, and the two bandits fell dead instantly. For a moment, I thought the Scarecrow would kill me next, but his attention was focused at the two fleeing bandits already several meters down the road. With a grunt, the Scarecrow thrust his claws deep into the loamy earth. After a few moments, I could see two large spikes erupt from the earth underneath the two bandits and impale them from their groin through their skulls. When the Scarecrow lifted his claws from the earth, the spikes sank back into the ground and the Scarecrow turned to me with the smirk still etched on his face. “Do you need me to accompany you to town? There may be more dangers ahead.” I didn't hesitate to take him up on his offer. I was too scared not to.
The letter was delivered. Many years past. Many obstacles, many enemies, and many distractions have obscured my path, but he was and still is by my side, and I am no longer afraid of him. Inside those hollow eyes beats a heart. It longs to be human. He envies me although he will never admit it, and I think that's why he stays with me, to learn what it means to be human.

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