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The following is my response to Jane Dougherty Writes – Microfiction challenge # 7: Wheatfield.

I’m not sure this is what qualifies as Microfiction, but here goes.

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“Just do as I tell you, Slater, his father said. “If you see or hear them coming, go to ground. If you cannot, then do your best to appear as non-threatening as possible.”

Sly looked over at his son where he looked out from the edge of the Wheatfield.  He could see the skepticism in his vertical pupil, the adolescent doubt in the way his tongue flicked out to taste the truth of his father’s words. It was always a dangerous time and this would be his first harvest. Slater found some of his father’s stories difficult to fathom.

“They will kill you just for what you are, no questions asked. They fear and despise us, always have and always will. Your grandfather says it has something to do with their mythology.”

Sly slithered slowly away from his father weaving in and out of the stalks that stood as their last line of concealment. Machines that block out the sun and cut the wheat down to the ground? How is such a thing even possible, he wondered as he imagined their prey fleeing the field in droves.

“If we have to go into the woods to hunt I am in more danger from my own kind who would prey on me. Aren’t we safer under ground until the machines pass?” 

Sly heard the catch in his son’s sibilance even if it was of a moment. He was as scared as he had been himself before his first harvest. His whole world was about to be shaken and destroyed.

“They will fire the field after they collect the stalks, the smoke alone will suffocate any who try to wait out the conflagration. It is best that we simply leave the field to them. They will not bother us if we stay in our own woods, his father assured him. 
~
M. Zane McClellan
~
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