Sea of Grass This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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You will be dismissed from school, like normal. The bell will ring, and hundreds of teenagers will fill the previously desolate halls. Gradually, you put your things into your bag and shuffle out the door getting caught in the flow of traffic heading for the exit. You reach it, and see the friends, and couple hugging and kissing goodbye. You walk on, and no one calls out your name. Walking slowly in the direction of your home, you see him; an old man with features so normal that they were easily forgotten. Wearing an olive trench coat over khaki pants with a fedora perched on top of his silver hair, his ordinary body lingers under a tree. He doesn’t move, and you move towards him despite his seeming lack of interest in you. Slowly, you take steps towards him. He looks at you, pleased. As if you know him, he will take your arm and escort you. You don’t fight him. He leads you through your town, and you see things that you always see. Kids playing in a front yard, a group of the popular students at your school sitting in a restaurant, an old couple holding hands on a bench in the park, and you travel on. You walk past the supermarket, and past the city hall, and eventually out to a place you have never seen before. You are in the middle of a sea of tall grass. You realize that you are probably hours away from home, and hours away from civilization. Hours away from what you recognize. You both stop. He hands you a large, old shovel. It’s heavy in your hands and you pause for a few moments feeling the weight of the tool. You begin to dig. A hole perfectly 3 feet deep, 3 feet wide and 5 and 1/2 feet long. He picks you up with ease, and sets you gently into the hole. He begins to douse you in gasoline. You are lying in the hole, and you want to fight back, or scream but you can’t manage to do either. All that you can do is stare up at his expressionless face as he dumps the gas over your motionless body. Your breathing begins to slow, as you realize what is about to happen, and the fact that there is nothing you can do to stop it. The can is now empty and lying next to you. He stops and stares as if to admire his work, and for the first time in all this time that you have spent with this stranger, an emotion spreads across his face. A large, eerie grin travels almost from ear to ear, as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a book of matches. He strikes the match, pauses again staring down at you and cocking his head like a dog, and flicks the match with ease. And through the flames that now burn around you, you see him turn around, and slowly walk away, never looking back.





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