Her last day was the 28th of October, 1995. It was on that 28th of October when my friend, Mary Kingston, left this world. No one knows exactly what happened, or where she went, but she’s gone.
It all started at my house, 17 Can Street, Buckley, Michigan, when we had our annual Halloween party, which I hated. I was 15 and Mary was 13. All of my older sister’s friends came, and the house was packed. So, Mary and I, sick of all the partying, decided to take a walk through the fields down the road.
Once I finally found my mom, I said, “Mom, Mary and I are going to head to the cornfield. We’ll be back in time for dinner.”
“Okay, sweetie. You two have fun,” she replied while she finished up cleaning the endless amount of dishes.
Leading the way, Mary told me the stories she had read about all of the scarecrows in that field.
“Christopher Williams,” she said, calling out my name like it was a royal announcement. “Have you ever heard the stories of the scarecrows? I’m guessing not because I’m going to tell you right now,” she laughed and continued. “Legend says that every single scarecrow in the cornfield is possessed by someone’s spirit. Most likely, people from this town. This neighborhood. It started with one man who died from a scarecrow falling on him. It knocked him out and he drowned in a puddle. Sad. I know,” Mary said like it was nothing. “But anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. So then his spirit took over that scarecrow and began to steal the spirits of anyone who passed him, turning them into scarecrows just like him. Now, according to the myths, there are hundreds of scarecrows, waiting hungrily for their next lone soul to take for themselves.”
I always loved how when she talked, she was either balancing on the edge of the sidewalk, jumping on the dead, colorless leaves on the ground just to hear that satisfying crunch that everyone loves, or using a giant branch that fell from a giant tree as a giant walking stick. Everything she did made me smile.
We finally arrived at the cornfield, and it was pretty as ever. The sweet smell of corn, the grass, and everything in between.
I looked at Mary, “Don’t you just love fall?”
“Absolutely! I love the colors, the decorations…the scarecrows,” replied Mary, pretending to be mysterious, but it just made me laugh.
So, for a few hours, we just sat and talked about anything we could think of. School, our families and friends, Mary’s crazy puppy, Jack. These types of talk with Mary are my favorite. It was getting darker, but because we ran out of things to talk about, we decided that a cornfield is a good of a spot as any to play a good, old-fashioned game of hide and seek. We thought it would be a great way to end the night.
I never would have guessed that for Mary, it would end the night forever.
For one of the endless rounds, I was the seeker.
“Ready or not, here I come!” I called out to Mary, who supposedly was hiding somewhere in the cornstalks. “Maryyyy…where are you…?”
I passed a couple scarecrows, and they sure scared the life out of me. Mary’s myth was stuck in my head, and the more scarecrows I saw, the more realistic they looked. It was as if they actually were possessed, but I knew they weren’t because that’s impossible. Right? At least, that’s what I thought.
After ten minutes of looking for Mary, I was getting more and more concerned. Where was she?
“Mary! Where are you! Please come out, I’m done playing!” I yelled out to the empty cornfield. After fifteen more minutes, I knew for sure that something was wrong. That’s when heard it. Mary’s muffled scream coming from the left of me.
I instantly whipped around and sprinted to where the sound came from. This couldn’t be happening. No way. I was bulleting through the stalks when I caught a glimpse of purple.
“Mary’s coat!” I exclaimed, out of breath.
But it wasn’t exactly on Mary. Through my tears, I could see her coat hanging lifelessly on a cornstalk, above her gloves and scarf thrown on the ground. I could only think of the scarecrows.Then I knew. I knew Mary was gone.
“M-Mary…?” I ask, holding her coat in my hands as I pick up everything else that was hers. “No. No! NO!” I stood up, turned around, and off I went.
I ran down the street, clutching Mary’s belongings as close to my heart as I could. I wanted to feel like she was still there, I needed her to still be there but she wasn’t, and she never would again. The floodgate in my mind burst open, letting everything in. Terror, grief, anger. Angry at her for leaving. Angry at me for letting her go. Angry at whatever, whoever, took her. Everything mixed in with my blood and coursed through my veins, getting faster and faster by the second.
Taking deep breaths, I reached in my pocket for my phone and dialed 911.
“Hello, 911, what is your emergency?” the lady on the other side of the line said.
“My friend, Mar-” I tried saying her name, but I just couldn’t do it. “My friend and I were at the cornfields, and I don’t know, but she’s gone. She’s dead.” Once I said it, it hit me. I would never see Mary again.
I stopped running to tell the lady everything that happened and the police were coming.
I finally got to my house and tore open the door just like Mary tore open my heart, and ripped through the house just like Mary ripped through my life.
The music stopped and everyone looked at me as I tried to find my parents.
“Mom! Dad!” I screamed from the bottom of the stairs as the lump in my throat grew bigger and bigger, until it seemed it was choking me. They rushed down the stairs, and I spilled everything. Everything that happened that night. For the second time that night.
The police couldn’t find a single piece of evidence, and there were no fingerprints or hair on her coat and gloves. They couldn’t come to any conclusions other than her being kidnapped or running away.
Today is the 31 of October, 2002. Halloween night. Ever since Mary has been gone, I haven’t been the same. I can’t stop thinking about what might have happened. My parents are out shopping, and I get a sudden urge to go back to the fields. I have to. For Mary.
Even though it’s getting dark, I leave a note saying that I went to out to the cornfields for a little bit, in case they come back and I’m not there. I rush down the street and enter the cornfield. Memories of Mary come flooding back. I decided to side with Mary’s stories and I think that the scarecrows took her. So right now, I’m going to stare down these scarecrows and try to find some sort of hint. Anything that will give me any clue as to what happened, and I’m not stopping until I do.
I head towards another scarecrow, but something stops me. A laugh. Mary’s laugh, but not her normal, happy-go-lucky laugh. It sounds angry. Insane.
Something grabs me from behind and pins me to the ground. I look up to see a scarecrow staring right through my eyes, into my soul. But, I recognize that face from somewhere. No. It can’t be. Is it Mary? But I can’t say anything or even breathe.
Unable to move, I give up, close my eyes, and let the scarecrow take my soul away from me. As everything grows darker and darker, all I can think of is how happy I am to be able to see Mary again.
I loved Mary with all my heart. She was like my little sister. I wanted to protect her from everything.
But I couldn’t.
And that’s what will haunt me the most.