One Corny Story

As Dave walked down the empty street, he noticed that, even though there wasn’t a soul in sight, he still felt as if someone was watching him. Dave was a young man, 22, in his final year of college. He was of medium build, and had jet black hair, very different from the airy blonde hair he had inherited from his mother. His dark blue eyes gazed out from above dark circles, not an uncommon feature for someone who had been awake for 22 hours straight with less than two scant meals in the past day. Dave was aware of the fact that he, as well as many other students at his school, had exams in under five hours, but despite the fact, he knew it would be practically impossible for him to go to sleep.

Trying not to think of the horribly unsatisfying feeling he would have when he received his midterm evaluations for his exams, he continued walking along the worn sidewalk at his steady pace, staring down at the cement and thinking to himself about all the things that the city council might be doing with the money that they had diverted away from public works this year. The thought quickly left his mind as his attention was drawn to a rustling noise that came abruptly from behind him.

It’s 3 a.m. he thought to himself. Who in the hell would be out skulking around at this hour of the morning? Dave was a bit tired, and it took him a moment to realize that it was a possibility, since he was out at 3 a.m. also.

“Anybody there? Somebody stalking me? Are you going to try to steal my wallet, ’cause if you are, don’t bother. I spent my last three dollars on a Mountain Dew and some Doritos.” Dave continued walking, and he had the notion that he shouldn’t have had that Mountain Dew. He didn’t think of it at the time, but his dinner snack was probably not the wisest choice, as Mountain Dew had a tendency to give him prolonged insomnia. If only I hadn’t had that Mountain Dew, I could be at home, asleep in my bed, but no, I had to be impulsive, didn’t I? Dave decided that his poor beverage choice was in the past, and if he was to be out meandering among the streets at night, he should at least take in the scenery.

The street was deserted and a creepy silence surrounded everything. The overhead streetlamps did little to ward off the darkness, and what little light was illuminating the sidewalks was provided only by the neon signs of the shops on either side of the street. Steam rose from the sewer vents alongside the curbs. A smell akin to that of a landfill leaked from every alley. Again came a rustling sound, almost like a whisper.

Dave was startled by this, and glanced over his shoulder. Seeing nothing but a cloud of steam at the mouth to an alley, Dave dismissed the sound, but quickened his pace. He was beginning to think that maybe someone was following him, that he wasn’t just hearing things.

Dave continued up the street, then crossed to embark down another, yet seemingly identical, street. He was in front of a butcher’s shop, when he heard a scratchy voice whisper something from behind him. It was just quiet and distorted enough as to almost be unintelligible, but Dave could make out the words “I will eat your stomach with corn.” I will eat your stomach with corn? thought Dave. Who in their right mind would say ‘I will eat your stomach with corn?’ I must be hearing things; I bet it was the Mountain Dew.

Dave looked into the meat shop window for a moment, but the sight of butchered animals was too much for him to take in at 3 in the morning, so he moved on down the street.

“I will eat your stomach with corn,” came the voice, louder this time, so Dave was quite sure that he had heard it. He walked as fast as he possibly could without running down the sidewalk.

“I WILL EAT YOUR STOMACH WITH CORN.” Dave took off running full tilt down the sidewalk, arms flailing wildly, feet slapping the ground in a loud rhythmic pattern.

“Leave me alone!” shouted Dave. “Leave me the hell alone!” Dave used up the last of his breath shouting and running and was forced to stop. Hunched over, panting fit to make a dog jealous, looking frantically around for his corn-fetished follower, Dave saw nothing but a large, opaque cloud of steam coming from the sewer drain grate. Footsteps could be heard growing louder as they approached from behind the white curtain of water vapor. Dave sat gasping for breath as he waited for his pursuer to reveal himself.

“I WILL EAT YOUR STOMACH WITH CORN!” Dave heard the final cry, but was surprised to find that this time it was his own voice. He sat up suddenly, and, as his eyes adjusted to the light, looked to his surroundings. He was in an all white room, in a bed with white sheets, and in the middle of his single white door was a window. He noticed that his door had no handle. Dave felt hot, but he was very cold at the same time, and he felt as though his clothes were soaked in sweat. He looked to the nightstand by his bed and saw a glass of water. He made an effort to reach out to take the water, to have a drink, but found that he could not move his arms. When he looked to see what it was that was restricting him, Dave was very surprised to see the sleeves of his white jacket pulled taut across the front of his body and secured to his sides.

“I will eat your stomach with corn?” Dave questioned out loud. Dave was very confused, as he had no idea what had happened to him or his follower on that dark street so late into the night, and no idea how he had come to be at this establishment. Shortly becoming frustrated, Dave screamed, “I will eat your stomach with corn!”

Two men entered the room, both wearing white uniforms. One was burly, the other was a short scrawny man with glasses and a syringe in one hand.

“I will eat your stomach with corn?” Dave asked the smaller of the two. The small man nodded to the large man. The brute of a man quickly grabbed both of Dave’s shoulders and pinned him to his bed. The smaller man approached Dave and emptied the contents of the syringe into Dave’s left arm.

Dave’s cries of “I will eat your stomach with corn” were heard throughout the wing for a few minutes, as they became slower, quieter, and slurred.

“I wuh she sto summa we ko.” Dave’s cries were not heard for another eight hours or so.