Chapter 29. Write a Novel Challenge.
… An argyle scarf? The distinct smell of her childhood erupted from the package; her mother’s perfume, the mouth-watering aroma of her home cooked meals and the musty yet beloved scent of the farmhouse when it would rain a little too much. For a moment, Neina could not match the scarf to anything, or anyone, in particular. Just before it hit her, endless black crept in from the edges of her vision and, once more, stole her from this reality.
More often than not, Janus found himself incredibly bored. How could he not be? Life as a scarecrow isn’t exactly teeming with adventure. Of course, he had spent just a little under eternity in this role. Though many thought his role to be menial, his position just beyond the farmhouse allowed him to view the entire property with ease. From the pond that rippled in the breeze, to the gorgeous barn that stood empty and desolate for years, he saw it all. So, in his mind, he looked upon the flimsy little humans the way a god would from upon his throne.
Well, only if the throne was a mere stick tethered to the ‘mighty’ figure.
He’d seen his fair share of life grow and eventually wither away. Children running through the fields would age in front of his beady eyes, small and naive one moment, tall and afraid the next. They all left eventually, no one ever came back. In all his years he never really cared for them; why should he? They were all beneath him.
That is, until a peculiar breed of humans entered the picture. At first glance they seemed completely normal, yet his trained eye quickly recognised the tell-tale signs of imperfection within them: the wails at random times of the day, the strain in the mother’s smile and the tremor in the children’s legs whenever their mother’s shrieks grew too loud. One of them in particular, the young girl, would often wander out to him and sit in his protective shadow. Her hair would be matted with products and her smooth dark skin would glisten under the hot summer sun. She’d rarely speak, just sharing the view of an imprisoned god. It soon became a habit, every evening for at least an hour she would wander up the hill and bask in the comforting presence of the sweet scarecrow with the argyle scarf.
Near the end, before either of them knew it was the end, she struck up a conversation,
“Do you ever wish you could see into the future?” Janus simply billowed in the breeze. She looked up at him and smiled sadly, “I really love my family but sometimes I get a little bored being with the same people. I wish there was a way to know if it gets any better, don’t you?” She giggled at his silence. When the orange rays of sunset began painting the sky, she got up and left. This time was a little different, because she took the time to turn back and wave goodbye.
Funny, Janus would chuckle whenever he thought back to that fateful day, it’s almost as if she knew.
When her mother fell into the pond, something shifted in the air; it tasted different, more malicious. The little girl stopped visiting for a while.
One special night, the night of a vicious thunderstorm, Janus felt a presence under him… but it wasn’t the little girl. No human girl could evoke such fear and panic with her mere presence.
“Hello Janus,” the voice slithered up his straw spine. Envy stood before him; tall, imposing, beautiful and deadly. “It’s about time you and I have a little chat about that family you guard so lovingly.”
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