Sherry leaned over me, “Say, ‘Shit!’ or I’ll tell mom you swore.” She was only fifteen, but scared the forbidden word right out of me.
“I can’t,” I whined all of four feet tall and nine years the younger.
“Say it,” she threatened again and laughed with Kate, her best friend.
I can’t imagine why Mom thought it was a good idea to send me along or why Sherry agreed, but we were walking a good mile and a half up Pontiac Hill past the elementary school and Eagles grocery store, across E. Milwaukee St. to Kate’s front door. We had almost made it to the cornfield before the threats began.
“Say, ‘Shit!” she said again and I buckled.
A whisper, “Shit,” hands clenched to my mouth trying not to let the word escape.
Kate laughed. “You’re mean,” she said then laughed some more. We were in front of the flat red brick apartment building I’d see every time I went with Ma to the credit union. The front yard was always scattered with plastic riding toys and discarded whiffle balls.
Across the street the cornfield threatened, even in the day. Sherry could see I was wary of this, we’d been here before. “Watch out for the Children of the Corn,” she chided on to a new tack.