The Missing Bumps

February 12, 2012
On a beautiful October morning, a farmer woke from his well-deserved sleep. The sun had just risen over the acres of corn. A cool, gentle breeze swayed the corn stalks back and forth, but as the farmer stepped outside to begin his annual harvest, unease hung in the air. The normal songs of the birds sang quieter, almost as if a whisper. The farmer ignored it. What did he know? He was just a simple-minded farmer. As he climbed in his monstrous, green, John Deere combine to begin, the farmer shoved his concern away to harvest his crops.
Throughout the morning, the unease never left. The birds still sang quietly, as if trying not to be caught. The gentle breeze swayed suspiciously through the crops. However, the farmer stayed ignorant, until the combine ran over what felt like an animal. He felt the crunch of bones and the sounds he heard confirmed what he had felt. Concerned, the farmer jumped out of his combine and looked around to find no source of any bump or animal the combine could have run over. It seemed as if the combine hadn’t hit anything. Confused, the farmer climbed back in the combine and continued his work. He figured it was nothing; just his mind playing games with him as he reached his older age. The unease still hung in the air, but now, more intensely. The birdsongs no longer sang. The gentle breeze hid from the field. After several minutes of work, the combine hit something else. Or someone else, the farmer thought, but scolded himself after thinking such a preposterous thought. Who would have been walking through his field and not see or even hear his combine soon enough to avoid being run over? However, he felt the crunch of bones yet again. Worried now, the farmer climbed down from the machine to find nothing. Confused, concerned and tired from climbing in and out of the giant combine, the farmer climbed back in his oversized tractor and completed his harvest, hitting several more bumps along the way. The farmer grew to ignore it over the course of the day. His old age must be getting to him. If he had hurt someone, he would know in his conscious. The birdsongs remained silent. The gentle breeze appeared again in a more violent rage and the sun sent down unusual hot weather.
Tired, confused and suspicious, the farmer turned off his combine for the day and sat down at his dinner table and dined for the night. The absence of any source of the bumps worried him. It dumbfounded him; bewildered him. No matter how hard he thought, the simple-minded farmer could not see how a combine could run over something that wasn’t there.
Finished with his dinner, the farmer sat in front of his television and turned on the evening news. The biggest story terrified him. Over twenty people had gone missing with blood trails leading to the farmer’s crops. The farmer jumped up and ran out of the house and towards the barn that stored his combine. Walking in, the farmer heard a quiet dripping sound. Assuming that the sound came from an oil leak, the farmer bent down to check it out. Crimson red droplets of water awaited him. Droplets of blood.
The farmer stopped breathing, his heart leapt into his throat; his stomach felt queasy and his mind felt the strangest case of understanding and déjà vu. Horrified, the farmer climbed up the ladder to see what was stored in his combine where the corn should be to find what he dreaded the most. Chunks of blood and flesh awaited him along with a fowl stench of death and decay. The farmer noticed a ripped sheet of paper; a note stained with blood.
It read “I’m faster than you think.”

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