Children of the Corn

by Tha Wrecka

For Slodwick's Stephen King title challenge.

There were all sorts of odd rituals in Smallville. Freshman strung up in cornfields on homecoming was a glaring example. Lana shouldn't have been so shocked to discover virgin sacrifice was one of those odd traditions nobody wanted to discuss. Considering her record for being the victim of all sorts of nefarious schemes she also shouldn't have been shocked that someone would think her a good candidate for said sacrifice.

Despite all this she was stunned (horrified even) to find herself bound and gagged and surrounded by chanting freaks. One of the chanting freaks produced a knife from his pocket, the metal gleaming in the moonlight and reflecting the green rocks scattered over the ground. Lana began to cry.

Luckily for her, Clark, true to his own tradition, appeared to save her. He, seemingly come from nowhere, began to untie her bonds. He trembled and began to sweat, fumbling with the ropes. Soon, though, she was free and following him away from the sacrifice as fast as she could.

He grabbed her hand and ran deep into the cornfield. He was too fast and she could barely keep up, nearly tripping over the corn. She tried to stop for a breath but his grip tightened and he kept dragging her behind him. The cornstalks whipped around them, beating against her arms and face.

Finally, Clark came to an abrupt halt. Lana nearly collided with him. He looked around, over the field, as she bent over to catch her breath.

He put his hands on her shoulders, looking straight into her eyes. The determination she saw there frightened her.

"Stay here until I get back. You should be safe," he told her.

"Clark," she pleaded.

"Stay here," he ordered, running off into the swaying corn.

"Clark!" she called out, but she could no longer hear his running.

Lana settled down in to the dirt, wrapping her arms around her knees. She wheezed, trying to catch her breath and to halt the tears that threatened to fall. They fell in spite of her efforts.

The wind around her picked up, blowing through the corn fiercely. The long stalks blew about, slapping against each other.

As she continued to cry, impotent and alone, she thought she heard the sound of footsteps. She hoped it was just her imagination, but the sound of corn crunching under feet became louder.

Lana could feel her heart beating faster in her chest. She knew, if Clark were coming, he would call her name so as not to alarm her. She waited, but the steps got louder and no call came.

Lana stood cautiously, peering around her into the sea of green. Rustling noises came from close behind her, startling against the quiet night.

She began to make her way through the corn, moving her legs as fast as they could take her. Further into the field she ran, losing all sense of where she was. Every noise spurred her on.

She tripped over an upturned clump of soil, scraping her knees. Pushing off the ground, she tried to keep her speed and escape whatever was chasing her.

A beam of light cut through the field, momentarily hurting her eyes. She continued on, her breath coming in ragged gasps, her fact tear-streaked and her hands filthy. Lana knew she must be a sight but at this moment she didn't care.

She stumbled into a small clearing, hitting the ground with a thud. When she looked up she gasped, recoiling from the sight. The scarecrow was menacing, black eyes and wonky smile. She forced herself to calm down, knowing the scarecrow was as lifeless as her parents.

Once she got her breathing under her control she stood up and turned around. Confronted by a bright light she screamed and backed into the scarecrow.

The light lowered, revealing the calm features of Lex Luthor.

Thoroughly embarrassed, Lana apologised softly.

"Why are you out here? What happened?" Lex asked.

"They were going to sacrifice me, but Clark saved me, then ran off and left me in the cornfield, and there were noises and I got scared," Lana replied, inhaling deeply.

Lex's face took on a subtle, condescending smile.

"Why don't I walk you out of the field and take you home? My car isn't far from here," Lex offered.

"Thank you, Lex. Thank you so much," Lana said.

Lex walked up, putting his arm around her waist, and began to guide her out of the field. Lana leaned her heavy head against his shoulder, breathing in Lex's warm, spicy scent.

"It's all right," he soothed, caressing her tangled hair.

He walked her slowly and calmly from the field. The yellow light of the street lamp coated their vision as they came near the road.

They soon reached the car. Lana leaned wearily against the passenger side door as Lex walked around to open the car.

"Get in," Lex said, unlocking the car.

Lana got into the car, slumping in her seat, and put on her seatbelt with a sigh. She turned to look at Lex, smiling faintly.

"Thank you," she said.

Lex pulled out.

The ride home was short and silent, but for the hum of the engine. Lex stared at the road whilst Lana looked off into the distance, retreating into her head. With a screech they pulled up at Lana's house.

"We're here," Lex said.

Lana blinked as she returned to reality. She began to exit the car, then paused as she opened the door and turned to look at Lex. He turned his gaze on her and she almost forgot to breathe.

"Lex. You have to go back for Clark. He could still be out in that field and I don't want him sacrificed," Lana implored.

"Don't worry. I'll take care of it," Lex said.

Lana closed the door and Lex drove off, the tyres squealing as he sped away.

As she watched the car go Lana shivered. She walked towards her house, trying to forget her night.

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