Relaxed Reads: Blue Harvest, Part One


Blue Harvest, Part One

Cody Moss

The sun set on the small town of Hartville, Ohio; a romantic spectacle for some, a normal sight for others. Cotton candy clouds populated the sky, and a remarkable glare made it almost impossible to drive west. Farmers watched the sunset from their fields and tractors, insurance agents glanced out their windows briefly before flipping the blinds, and Giant Eagle cashiers would have no idea the sun set until they walked out to their cars in the darkness hours later. 

Two pairs of soaked non-slip shoes squeaked out the back door of the town’s Burger King. The first, belonged to a man whose nametag said, “Hi, my name is Ryan.” Ryan wore dorky glasses, tight women’s pants, a stained black shirt and a black Burger King hat. He also flaunted a sarcastic smirk that said, “Welcome to Burger King; get the hell out.”

Following him was a young woman. Her nametag said “Hi, my name is Melissa.” She looked like a bean: short, thin and fragile, yet rugged also. Melissa had a careless and cool swagger. Her style added a different flavor to their Whopper of a friendship. She had on a white bandana that peaked beneath her hat and concealed her short red hair. She wore men’s baggy pants and a frown that said, “Meh.”

Ryan and Melissa squinted at the sunset from the Burger King parking lot; they watched the sun go down from behind their cigarette smoke and chatted about the universe. There was nothing romantic about it. 

Ryan took off his sweaty Burger King hat and pushed his long, black hair out of his face.

Melissa leaned carelessly against the building. 

“Think there’s aliens?” Ryan asked his friend.

“Definitely,” Melissa said confidently. “Don’t you?”

Ryan paused and then finally said, “Nah.”

“Why not?” Melissa sounded surprised and looked concerned. 

“Well,” Ryan said taking a long drag. “If there were intelligent life forms out there, they would have zapped us right out of the universe. That, or invaded our planet and taken all of our water and resources and psychedelic drugs.”

“Oh yeah?” Melissa said sarcastically. “Well what about unintelligent life forms? You know, like stupid aliens?”

“Stupid aliens?” he retorted. “If there were stupid aliens, then they would have tried to communicate with us peacefully.”  

“Unless they don’t know we exist.” Melissa blew a triumphant puff of smoke.

“I would love to get abducted by aliens, if they were real,” Ryan said eagerly.

Melissa laughed so hard she choked on her smoke.

“What?” he exclaimed. “Wouldn’t you?”

“No,” she said, catching her breath.

“Why not?”

“They would probe you and experiment on you, read your thoughts, and probably display you naked in some alien zoo for other aliens to look at you,” she said, only half-jokingly. 

Ryan laughed. “Whatever man. I think they would probably just sit me down and talk to me telepathically about why Earthlings are so stupid.”

Melissa stared at him intently for a moment.

“We should hang out this weekend, dude. Watch Star Wars or something,” Ryan said. He loved Star Wars, and he also loved Star Trek — a rare thing in the geek community. He even had a tattoo on his upper arm of Darth Vader holding up his hand in the Vulcan sign for “live long and prosper.” His parents about had a heart attack when they saw it. Melissa thought it was pretty bad-ass. Their geekiness was the quintessential meat to their friendship.

Melissa rolled her eyes.

“You’re always watching Star Wars,” she said. “We have to do something else.”

“Oh my God. I know what we should do,” Ryan said.

Melissa stared at him. Her eyes said, “This had better be good.”

“OK, so I saw this special on the History channel about how these crop circles just kept turning up in fields overnight and no one could figure out why or where they came from and people were freaking out because they thought they were going to be abducted by aliens—”

“You mean the movie ‘Signs?’ Melissa cut him off. 

“No this was a real thing.” Ryan got more excited the more he talked. He spoke louder and faster. “So eventually the police got involved and they found out that it was just a group of teens with these wooden boards pushing the crops down.” 

“And you want to do this?” Melissa asked, raising her eyebrows.

“Hell yeah. Why not? It will be awesome. There’s like a zillion corn fields around here for us to choose from. What do you think? Are you down?” When it came to what to do on a weekend, Ryan usually thought in terms of what ridiculous stories he would have to tell his children and one day grandchildren, never worrying about what could go wrong. Melissa usually thought in terms of, “I’ll try anything once.” They had had so many run-ins with the Hartville police that they were on a first name basis with most of the force. 

“You’re insane, you know that?” She said blowing a puff of smoke. “I would hate to do that to someone’s crops, especially old man Miller. He’s a nice guy.”

“Well what about old man Yoder?” Ryan asked.

“I’ve never met him,” Melissa said. 

“Me neither, but I’ve heard he’s a prick. Come on Mel, the old fart probably deserves it.” Ryan pleaded.

“What the hell,” she said, giving in. “But only one time.” 

“Sweetness,” he said, excitedly. 

Their cigarettes were shrinking and smell of the dumpster was coming back; they would soon have to return to working for the King. They decided they would carry out their devious plan next Saturday after work. Ryan would bring the wooden boards; Melissa would draw a design for their crop circle, and together they hoped to contact the heavens, or at the very least just spook the neighbors. 

To be continued…

Contact Cody at [email protected]