A girl I knew in elementary school told me a story once. Two small girls were running away; they had mutually decided they were going to find a new home in a big field somewhere and build a hut and live together there forever. They snuck out of their houses at night just after bedtime, and it was October so it was already a deep pitch-black. Cold, damp grass was frosted white, glinting icy in the moonlight. They followed a strange dirt road until they found their chosen home.
PRIVATE PROPERTY: NO TRESSPASSING was written plainly on signs posted along the barbed wire fence, gleaming pearly white in the high beams of the odd passing car. The two girls, with their Disney character backpacks on, overalls tattered, sopping, crawled through dark blades of grass until they found an opening in the fence, a fold of disheveled wire, and peeled it back, climbing through. Their knees caked in wet black earth and their breaths were visible; yet, the continued crawling and eventually found the perfect spot to live.
The taller girl, red-headed and freckled, began gathering wood the very next day after a cold, shivery sleep. The smaller girl, a brunette, put the wood together and made a rickety house.
One day, the two girls were looking around for more fruit to eat for breakfast so the smaller girl left home to go gather more. The yeast-y smell of the raw fields was delightful and pungent in the sharp, clean autumn air; she picked fruit and root vegetables and began carrying them hammocked in the skirt of her dress back to her house. She struggled, grunting and huffing with the heavy lumpy object she was juggling.
Meanwhile, the red-haired girl rubbbed sticks together and they grew warm in her chapped palms. She was blowing on the slim coil of smoke that rose up into the hut. Suddenly, she heard a deafening BANG! and crow cawing and feathers rose up from the middle of the field.
The red-haired girl ran barefoot, her feet cutting and prickling on the thick stalks of wheat, to find the source of the noise. She ran and ran and looked and looked, and as she approached a garden and an orchard, she saw a solid, un-moving puppet shape laying under a tree. She approached with caution and recoiled in horror, realizing it was the smaller girl, lying dead, blood leaking from the side of her head from a neat little hole in her temple.
The red-haired girl cried and vomited for hours before making her way back, packing up her belongings and going home to her parents. Her friend was reported missing and she never told anyone the truth.
Whenever I saw a field from then on, I thought of that little dead girl and I wanted to tell someone the story in case it was true…. I have since convinced myself that it was just a sick little story told to me by my sick little friend.