Charlotte's fingers brushed my hand as we walked through the corn field. My body stiffened at the touch, and I pulled my arm away from her. I didn't need to see if she looked hurt; I know she did. But I couldn't think about that now.

“Okay, I lied,” Charlotte said suddenly, her voice shaking. “That's the most terrifying thing I've ever seen.”

The field wasn't as long as I assumed, and when I emerged from the rows of corn, I saw what had spooked her.

It was a scarecrow, its flannel and overalls torn. It was stuck to a plank of wood, gazing out toward the road, eyes seeming frighteningly human under that rust-colored burlap.

“Shit, man,” Perry said as he came up behind me. “I thought that was a real person for a second.”

“They're meant to keep crows away,” I answered. And maybe people too.

“Let's just get into the farmhouse,” Charlotte said. She moved faster than either me or Perry, and was on the steps by the door. “It's locked,” she said, turning back to look at us.

“That's strange,” Hansen remarked.

“That's what's strange?” I asked, as we walked toward Charlotte. “Not that this farmhouse just happened to be here when we needed a place to stay?”

“Well...” Perry considered. “Now that you mention it, that was kind of weird. Coincidence?” he offered.

I shook my head. “I don't think so.” I looked over at the scarecrow and shivered. When I was next to Charlotte, I tried the door. It opened easily. I glanced at her. “It's not locked.”

Then I stepped inside.

I need you to understand something. I know it sounds like I'm making this up, but I'm not. I swear...there was something in that house. I didn't do this. Yes, their blood was on my hands, and when you found me, I was holding the tool that was used to kill them.

You drew your own conclusions, but I need you to know the truth.

You need to know everything that happened, and I'm going to tell you.

And I need you to do something for me in return: I need you to believe me.

The End

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