The sky above Daryl was a clear, crystalline blue. A gentle wind rippled through the field, and the leaves of the corn around him whispered a quiet, sibilant lullaby. The sun was warm on Daryl’s face, and were it not for the ache in his wrists from where the threads of corn silk bound him to the cruciform wrack of cornstalks, it would be a lovely afternoon.
“You were foolish to challenge us,” a voice said from behind Daryl.
“Maybe,” Daryl conceded. “But I’ve been doing this thirty years. It’s all I know.”
“No one disputes our supremacy.”
Daryl tried to shrug, but he was bound too tightly.
“You are prepared for your fate?”
Daryl closed his eyes and inhaled the rich, loamy scent of freshly tilled earth. “There are worse ends for a man,” he said.
“True. You are not entirely without wisdom. Perhaps once your blood has wet our fields, we will eat your heart and make that wisdom our own.”
“Do whatever you like, nutjob.”
“We will,” the voice said.
Daryl felt a thump against his back and looked down to see the bloody tines of a pitchfork protruding from his chest.
“For we are the master.”