One of the first Flash’s I ever wrote, got published in my college’s Flash Fiction journal! Thanks for reading (:
Every year, about this time when the crops don’t need guarding, the ballroom is emptied and the spider webs are swept clean. The scarecrows from nearby farms get together with their scarecrow families and help each other off of their wooden posts. It hurts a lot to pull each other from the stakes, and screams of pain echo out into the night, but they know it will be worth it.
The ladies help each other with their dresses and fix up their stitches. The crows had picked at them through the summer, not frightened by their visage. They would do the best they could, but sometimes their faces ended up lopsided or dented.
The men steal the farmer’s nice clothes at night. They slip into the farmer’s bedroom, sneaking towards his drawers and the closet in search for a nice suit or bowtie. Sometimes, the scarecrows find nothing, and they get angry, so they strangle the farmer and his wife in their sleep. After that, they leave the bodies (because no one would suspect a scarecrow) and they check the next farm for nice clothes.
Once they are dressed, the scarecrows walk with each other, hand in hand to the ballroom. It’s an old abandoned building off the side of the road, and no one uses it on this night, because they know the scarecrows might be having a party in there, and humans are not invited.
The lights and lanterns are hung up inside the room, but they have to be cautious when handling fire. There is a big circular dance floor, and the scarecrows spin and twirl with each other to the sound of silence. There is no music at this kind of thing, scarecrows cant play instruments and they don’t have a radio, but they don’t mind. They are happy in each other’s arms, just spinning and moving and jumping around freely, for only one night.
When the rooster crows, they know its over. The scarecrows stumble back to their posts, kiss goodbye and hug their children. The light of the morning shines on them, and they stick the stakes through their holes, bleeding sometimes near the bottom. They wince in pain, but they know it’s their job, so they endure.
They endure because they know in a year from now, if they haven’t been torn apart or burned alive, they will be able to dance freely again.