The Crossroads’ Enchantment

The Crossroads’ Enchantment

A Story by TKBickel

The Crossroads’ Enchantment

 

I find myself spellbound at the center of the dusty crossroads.

A passerby might wonder if I'm here to tempt the fate of my soul...but no.

Who really believes in those silly legends anyways?

It's the surrounding beauty that has me firmly rooted in place.

 

To the right, my eyes skim forever over the swelling hills terrain. Mature, deep golden-honey wheat grace the land with their lazy heads so fatigued, they lay against each other for support.

To the left, juvenile corn chest high stretch eagerly to the sky, determined to grow faster. It won't be too much longer before ears of corn will fill out their forms and the courting of the combines will come a calling.

Over my shoulder behind me, color burst to life under the intense sunrays. Big swashes of low growing school bus orange wildflowers carpet the way for tall stair-step lavender petal flowers and taller snow-white umbrella shaped buds. They intertwine and dance around the splotches of blood red wildflowers fighting for land purchase with the tuff prominent prairie grass.

Over my other shoulder in the distance, stands a straight out of a storybook big candy apple red barn with white trim. Cows and horses roam leisurely around it while busily gossiping and grazing.

A sharp squawk catches my attention. Shading my eyes I look up to the plump cotton ball clouds hanging in the bluebird blue sky. It’s a hawk swooping up and down, right and left, pushing the aerodynamics of its wings. With one final swoop, the majestic creature disappeared into a line of trees playing nature’s natural fencing between the wildflower pasture and the cow's playground.

Close to the trees is a motionless windmill stuck in the humid air. The same thick sultry air smothers me, leaving a thin sheen layer of perspiration over my skin but the oppression won’t last long. Relief is coming as the windmill groans in protest over the tease of a faint breeze. Its cool kiss on my skin is followed by a stronger push of wind.

The pleasing gust might be invisible but easy to follow. The sleepy ocean of grain came to life as it created a wave surfing across. Soon another wave followed, and then another, mimicking the sound of ocean spray.

The mounting windy waves also mashed the marshmallow clouds together as windmill screamed a pitch higher. Dots of rain shafts began to roam the countryside.

I watched as one approached. The curtain of rain marched across the plains, showering the horses, cows and parched wildflowers.

Swiftly, the refreshing curtain arrived to greet me the center of the crossroads. Closing my eyes I raise my face up to the cool cleansing, enjoying each drop of relief but just as fast as it came, it was gone.

 

Smiling to the pleasant experience, I squeegee the water from my face and slick back my hair but the pleasant feeling didn’t last long. Uneasiness settled in like I was being watched. Quickly, I search for the source.

It’s a striking man in a straw hat, leaned leisurely back against the corner wooden fence post with arms folded across his chest. A swaggering grin hid under a polite brim-tip hello of his straw hat. “Howdy, ma’am,” rolled out in a deep warm tone.

“Hello,” I answered in hesitation. “I’m sorry I didn’t see you there earlier.”

With a chuckle, he removed his hat. “Oh, I haven’t been here too long…Are you waiting for someone?”

From the back of my mind, my mother’s voice reminded me it’s not safe to talk to strangers and the way this man was setting me on edge, I totally agreed with her. “Oh no, I just stopped for a moment to enjoy…Mother Nature.”

The stranger laughed as he withdrew from the weathered fence post. “Well, she is putting on a nice show today. Maybe, she is doing it especially for you. You must be a special person.”

The nervous butterflies trapped in my tummy net followed the nervous laughter and fluttered out. “Me?” My voice cracked. “I don’t think so. I’m very plain Jane.” I noted every dry stitch of the stranger’s plain white t-shirt and blue jeans. Now how did he avoid the rain?

“I seriously doubt you are. You have an eye for beauty that normal people would pass up and never take notice.” With his hat held in hand, his arm waved out to the surrounding area. “I’m going to wager you might be a photographer or maybe…a painter.” The intuited stranger waded through the knee-high wet weeds towards me, close enough I could see the color of his eyes. Strangely, I couldn’t pin-point the color though. At first I thought blue, then green but then they seemed darker, contently changing. “I bet as a little girl you dreamed of being a Picasso, Van Gogh or Rembrandt. Would you like to be famous like them?”

The needle of my built in creepy meter just jumped off the chart. How did he pin down my love for the canvas so fast? The nervous giggle infection took hold again. “It’s only a hobby.” My mother’s voice had changed to me chanting it’s time to go over and over. “It was nice chatting with you. I really need to be going. I have some friends that will be looking for me soon.”

The swaggering grin turned dazzling as pearly white teeth made an appearance, almost hypnotizing me. “To bad you have to leave so soon. I have enjoyed our chat.”

I mustard up a polite smile. “You have a good day,” and I pivot around to the opposite direction without waiting for a reply but one did follow.

“It was nice meeting you…plain Jane. I hope we meet again…soon.”

Don’t ask me why but the urge to look back was unbeatable after a faint chuckle tickled my ear. With a quick peek over my shoulder, I found…nothing.

He was gone.

© 2013 TKBickel


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Author's Note

TKBickel
This was written to read in a writers group. I was going for the beauty you would see on the countryside but could help myself in throwing in a supernatural element.

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Reviews

Outstanding work, not only well written but genuinely scary.

Posted 6 Years Ago


TKBickel

6 Years Ago

Why thank you Mrs E, I'm slowly getting better with the short story idea.
Mrs Edith Hat

6 Years Ago

Total nonsense. This story is ready for publication as it stands. One would suggest that you conta.. read more

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Added on July 22, 2013
Last Updated on July 22, 2013
Tags: Suspense, mystery, countryside, crossroads, prairie, legends

Author

TKBickel
TKBickel

KC, MO



About
I am a bookworm that happens to love writing. Now I finally have the time to write a story that's been clawing its way out of my brain. God help me before my brain explodes. -The Forever Hunting Se.. more..

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