We Plough the Fields and Scatter
Rolling out of bed, Jim’s bones creaked. His bones creaked and his body ached. Farming all his life had taken its toll, and he knew it was beginning to fail him. Hell, it already had failed him. It scared him thinking how many more years he might be able to eke out a living from his farm.
Jim had no family, not any more. He and his wife were alone. She had given birth six times and only two of the children had survived their births. The remote farm was treacherous to get to, and Meredith had a dispensation for going into premature labour. Jim was a simple man, but set in his ways. His way was to lack sympathy. He lacked it for everyone, even those he loved, if love was what you could call it.
Also a violent man, he often wondered, though not actually cared, if he had caused some of the still births. Meredith stoked his ire, and often found herself on the wrong end of his fists. Those fists were gnarled now, and clawed with arthritis, caused by so many years hard labour. The two children that had survived their births had grown into sturdy young men, but that had not prevented them too being the subjects of his temper from very young ages. Cowed and obedient, the small family had run the farm well, on occasion taking cheap labour from passing drifters and the like.
Not one to romanticise, Jim did miss his two now deceased sons, but not because of any emotional attachments. No, Jim missed the labour they offered. Alfred, the eldest son, had perished on the farm itself. Out working on the hay baler alone, Alf had gone around the rear of the tractor, hoping to sort out a jam, and had somehow fallen into the working parts of the machinery. When Jim finally missed his eldest son, and made his way out to the field, with the intention of laying into him for tardiness, he was in for a visceral shock.
As he approached the stricken baler, he squinted in an attempt to make out what was wrong with the machine. It was a strange colour, and had peculiar protrusions that shouldn’t be there. Increasing his pace slightly, when he realised what it was his stomach lurched. Arms and legs at impossible angles, Alf was stuck head first in the baler. His limbs sat at impossible angles, impossible because his eldest son had been torn in two. Entrails were still steaming where they lay glistening in the September sunlight.
Even as hard-nosed as he was, Jim lost the meagre lunch that remained in his belly, and it spattered upon the land. Bile burned as it poured from the pit of his stomach, up his oesophagus and sprayed forth between his weather worn lips. He noted with annoyance that the baler was going to need fixing, and huffing his displeasure, he turned tail to fetch his wife and younger son to clean up the mess that was left of his firstborn. And that was how he had lost his son.
The loss of his second son needed little explaining, certainly not to Jim anyway, because Jim killed him. Killed him the same as he had likely killed his unborn offspring, and done it with just as little care. There had been talk in the small village pub for near on a year. Jim didn’t go to the pub often, preferring to consume copious amounts of homebrew that couldn’t be categorized, it was simply rocket fuel. He frequented the inn on his visits to the village to collect his farmers weekly, and on occasion, an almanac.
The talk Jim heard was about something he had feared for a while, but had as usual buried his head in the sand. But this time the talk was right. His youngest son, Eric, had always been a sickly and weak, almost effeminate child. Never truly happy getting his hands dirty and his muscles buffed on the farm. The lad lacked the stature of his beefy brother, and lacked the sturdiness of his father. No, he was his mother’s child, and in need of heavy-handed guidance. But no matter how he tried, how many bruises and shattered bones he wrought upon his child, the boy never manned up.
Jim had risen early on the day in question. Instead of heading straight down to the sheep fields, he had veered off towards the cattle barn. It was soon tupping season and he wanted to be sure the dye he used for the ram, to tell whether it had serviced all the ewes, was still useable. As he headed into the barn, a strange sound greeted him. Not the usual lowing of the cattle, but another animalistic sound. Grunts came from one of the stalls, and concerned one of his cattle was in difficulty, Jim fastened his pace to the stall. What he saw sickened the hard-nosed farmer.
Lost deeply in what could only be described as the throes of passion were his son Eric and a young blonde man Jim vaguely recognised from the village. Feeling both his anger and his gorge rise, Jim stormed into the stall and ripped the pair apart. The village lad scrambled for his clothes, and Eric froze in terror, seeing his father stood there with apocalyptic rage across his features. As the boy scrambled clear, Jim picked up the nearest item which was a pitchfork, and thrust it into his back. Blood spurted everywhere, spattering straw and people alike. Eric, shaking now with fear, faced his enraged father, looking in horror at his dying lover on the manure clad ground. He knew this would hurt, and braced himself for the fist which flew towards him. He had felt those fists many a time, but this time they beat rapidly and hard, his jaw and nose exploded. A snap as his ribs broke; as he collapsed to the ground he felt his back snap. Loss of sensation prevented him from feeling his father stomp on his ankles and feet, but he heard the grinding of his bones. The last thing Eric did feel, was when his father twisted his head so far and fast, his neck broke. Cursing, Jim set about once more burying his offspring in his field, his disgusting lover too.
The village of Souldrop bustled with whispers about what had happened to young Sam, the young man had vanished. Rumour had it he had been seeing young Eric from the farm, and a lot of the village suspected foul play, but then, a lot of very strange things happened in Souldrop. Nobody dared voice their suspicions too much, lest any of the unusual factions in the odd village catch wind of it, but many an odd happening occurred in Souldrop.
That is not to say that the boys were not missed. In the nearby city of Southampton, in a club which the pair had frequented, suspicions were raised. The men of the club began to talk frequently of where the young pair had vanished to. One brave lad decided he was going to search for them, so he made his way to the remote and ragged farm. Knocking on the door of the farmhouse the clubber was met by a downtrodden looking Meredith.
‘I’m looking for Eric, I’m his friend Alex, from the city? We haven’t seen him for a long time, has he left town?”
The old farmer’s wife’s eyes misted up. “In the field. Both of em…All of em…In the field,” she whispered, but then her eyes widened as she saw her husband approaching.
“Who are you? Whaddaya want?” he growled at Alex. He thought to himself this was without doubt another of the gay men from the city.
“I’m looking for Eric, and Sam actually. We haven’t seen them for weeks. Sam at least was very regular at the club, and we last heard he was heading up here to see Eric?”
“Well I’m fucked if I know where the little slacker is, buggered off almost three week gone, ain’t welcome back here at all.”
“But where has he gone?”
“Look, you little prick, I don’t know, I don’t care, and I want you and any others of your ilk off my land, freaks of nature the lotta ya”
“Well I’ll go, but I’ll be back, you best have some explanation ready.”
“I’m gonna explain my shotgun to your scrawny ass in a minute, faggot!”
So with that Alex took to his heels, but he wasn’t satisfied, and neither were the boys at the club. They missed their friends, and with their strong suspicions, together they planned their revenge.
As the season rolled on, Jim found the time for sowing to be upon him once more. Seed was becoming more and more expensive each year, and the farm was bringing in very little. Knowing he needed to sow a fodder field, he decided to use the vile tasting but cheap turnips that did so well for sheep and cattle alike, plus he had been offered some cheap seed by a fellow in the pub down in Souldrop. The seed looked rather unusual, almost purple in colour, but he simply frowned and yoked up his worn out old cart horse and set to sowing the field.
His oxen had ploughed it into satisfying and almost straight furrows a couple of days before. He had been careful not to allow the blades of his rusted old plough to delve too deep, lest he dig up any of his children, long gone or more recently dispatched. He and the old horse toiled for the best part of a day, and then he headed back to the farm house, aching bones and tired brain making him cranky. He thought to himself Meredith had better have a decent meal on that table tonight, otherwise his fists would be letting her know of his displeasure.
Having eaten a relatively satisfactory meal, but still having given his wife a beating simply because he felt like it, Jim settled in front of the TV for the evening. Not long into Emmerdale, the cattle and fowl began to make a racket. Yelling at Meredith to go and see what the problem was, Jim didn’t get an immediate response and went looking for his errant wife. Finding her bleeding in a heap on the floor, he huffed and sighed to himself, pulled his manure covered boots on and set off in the direction of the noise.
Now Jim certainly had seen a few things in his time, but the sight that greeted him as he approached the fodder field he had just sown beat them all. Lit by some small bonfires were several scantily clad, obviously homosexual men. As they saw him, some turned and he could see clearly for the first time what they were doing. They were masturbating, all furiously tugging their hard cocks in unison. As they saw him approaching they began to chant.
“Tell us where they are, tell us what you did, tell us where they are, tell us what you did!”
As the chant reached fever pitch, the pace of the mass masturbation increased, and some started to groan their pleasure as a multitude of climaxes were reached at once. Everywhere that Jim looked men were orgasming and spurting their seed all over his fodder field. There was so much semen flying around, Jim doubted that there would be much of this field unaffected by the dirty little bastards. This field had seen its share of secrets, but for once in his miserable life, amid the jeers of these young men, Jim found his rage so white hot, he was unable to think. And doing something he had never done before, he walked away.
Two months later.
The seasons rolled around once more, and the arable farming and husbandry worlds became due to meet again. The ewes were all serviced and due very shortly. The scrawny dairy herd that Jim had once been proud of would offer one more calving this year, but the slaughter house would be their next stop. The crops had begun to pop their heads through the dry, lime heavy soil. The harvest would not be a heavy one if early indications were correct, however one field was thick with its crop. The turnip field in which the shocking and unholy show of onanism had been performed was lush and green. Taking his timid but loyal old sheep dog, Jim moved the flock of pregnant ewes up to the field to eat the iron rich turnip tops before he thought about turning his hand to digging up the roots on which he would also feed his dairy herd.
The ewes seemed to be happy chewing on the tough green turnip tops, so Jim ensured the hedges were secured and went off back across the tracks down to the farm to change the broken belt on his decrepit old tractor. Several hours passed, and as is often the way with practical problem solving on a farm, the quick fix he had hoped for turned into a few hours of cursing, injuring himself and generally stirring up his increasingly quick temper.
Since the night he had found all the vile young men in his field performing the mass abomination of debauchery, his wife had been having an even harder time than usual. He had on a couple of occasions wondered if he had gone too far on Meredith, leaving her in pools of blood, her body more bruise than white skin. He was furious with the time taken to fix his old Massey Ferguson, and wanted someone to take it out on. He had already kicked the dog until it yelped and dragged itself to the corner of the tractor shed, and had he cared one jot about its welfare, he may just have noticed the old dog cocking its head to one side, and seen the fear in its eyes, but he didn’t care, not ever.
The ewes out in the fodder field had been happily eating the turnip tops when he left them, and had he cared about them too, he might have been concerned by the frantic noises they began to make as they attempted to continue their feast. But he didn’t care about them either. He cared about nothing but himself.
The ewes had loved the new, bitter tasting crop they had been set to pasture to consume, and they began to do so with gusto, but not for long. The purple green topped roots of the plants began to rise up from the dry ground. Bulbous heads squeezed out of the earth, followed by stick thin arms, rounded bodies and stumpy little legs. Sheep usually showed no genuine fear, just being flighty, stupid creatures they would blindly follow one another, but these small humanoid plant creatures emerging from the earth caused the sheep to scatter. They scattered and they ran, screaming their fear, but of course nobody heard, and nobody cared.
The creatures being born of the earth looked very much like human foetuses, but their heads bore the purple, green and off white colour of turnips. The bodies carried a similar hue, but also a vaguely human pinkness existed within the spindly and deformed limbs. Each not much bigger in height than a domestic cat, they had the voracious appetite of the newly born. The desire to gorge was strong. To consume their first meal, the life giving energy that would sustain their birthing trauma, and power their steps into the world.
The creatures did not however crave the milk of a mother, they craved the warm, pulsing innards of hot blooded creatures. As more and more of the homunculi burst forth from the soil, they fell upon the scattered ewes, using the razor sharp appendages they had at the end of their spindly arms to split open the growing bellies of the pregnant ewes. As the almost fully formed bodies of the unborn lambs fell from their wombs, the plant babies gleefully rent huge tears in the lambs, rapidly consuming the visceral organs of both dam and unborn offspring. The teeth contained within the turnip heads were many, and they were razor sharp. Blood, bile, shit, urine dripped from the creatures. As they consumed they all began to wear matching, inane grins. They wanted more, much more.
Once the tiny plant/man hybrids finished eviscerating every one of the sheep, some of them catching the odd shrew or hedgehog and quickly dispatching those too, they collectively turned their thoughts to more. More steaming entrails, more iron rich blood, more kidneys, more livers, just more.
Finding themselves outside the cattle shed, the horrifying creatures knew what they desired was inside. The hens in the henhouse made the mistake of clucking curiously at the new sounds, and some of them gathered around that too. The fastenings upon the doors of the cattle shed and henhouse alike were no match for the ravenous beings. The faction that besieged the henhouse chattered their delight as they gorged upon the hens, finding the undigested corn in their gizzards was a bonus, but the half developed eggs they found inside of the unfortunate birds sent the small devilish men into rapture. Sucking the manure from around the semi-formed shells, they sank their sharp teeth into the eggs with gusto.
The cattle in the shed fared much the same as the sheep in the field. Bellies were torn open, steaming piles of entrails were fell all around. The creatures were now bathed in blood and shit, and with each mouthful they consumed, the more they desired. They craved something else too, something they had not found yet. None of the creatures they had decimated had contained the substance they desired being as they were all of the female persuasion. What they really wanted was the calorie laden, life giving nectar that only the male could produce.
So strong was the desire for semen that they forged on with their search, even after each and every cow and hen was dead. They must find males, the craving was immense. Sniffing the air they sensed living presences close by. Not many though, maybe this was the male they so desired.
First they found the scrawny cock, once a proud servicer of all the hens on the yard. The creatures delightedly fell upon the bird, clawing and suckling at him in an attempt to find the precious elixir. Next they found the ram, his swinging testicles with which he had valiantly impregnated the entire field of ewes were ripped from him before any killing blow was struck. Last of the unfortunate farm animals to fall was the bull. The sheer size of the balls hanging under the huge creature caused utter delight among the homunculi, the first to reach them swiped with its mantis-like hands. Blood spattered as warm drools of white fluid dripped out, the creatures shoved and trampled one another in their intense desire to taste the salty substance. The bull bellowed and managed to trample a few of its tiny tormentors, but they were too many, and the old boy, rent testicles being rapidly eaten, fell away and breathed his last.
In the farmhouse, Jim and Meredith were both laid down for the night. Jim in his bed, his wife once more in a heap upon the floor where she had fallen when his beating had finally finished. He had considered dragging her up to bed when he found himself slightly horny, but hadn’t bothered as he had soon lost his hard-on when he flashed back to that night in the field. All those men, all jerking off, he still couldn’t quite believe he had witnessed it. That damn field, his children, all of them, were there. Damn field.
A noise stopped his thoughts, sounding much like the bull. And it sounded in pain, not that he cared if it was, but even with his herd on their last birthing year the bull still would be of some use. Bull semen was valuable if it came from good stock. Might be one of his last commodities. He supposed he had best get up and see what the issue was, but just then the old wooden bedroom door burst open. Jumping up with the intention of slapping his wife down for daring to be so bold as to slam open a door, Jim was bewildered to see no outline of his wife stood in the doorway. Fumbling his fingers upon the bedside light, Jim gasped as the room, now bathed in light, showed what was coming through his door.
Small creatures, covered with blood and excrement poured through his doorway and fell upon him. He let out a high pitched squeal as he felt the most awful pain in his scrotum. The creatures swarmed over him, his testicles fell from their sack, plopping onto his legs and he screamed even louder as several of the creatures bit into his de-bagged bollocks. They swarmed over his entire body but Jim was transfixed by what they were doing to his testes. He didn’t notice as they split open his belly, burying their strange heads into his vital organs. As two of them inserted their mantis blade hands into his ears and began to scoop out his brain, he didn’t care.
They were eating his balls like apples and he felt every bite of the sharp little teeth. He stared at his tormentors, he could swear that he had seen them before but surely he couldn’t have, could he? He wasn’t even awake, was he? But the pain told him he was, and he realised why he thought he had seen them before, they looked just like the unborn children he had kicked from his wife’s womb. And in his last, selfish thought as he died, Jim the farmer once more blamed anyone but himself. In one final throe of agony, the mandrake imps tore his entire body apart, and gorged upon his living tissue.
The creatures sensed one more living being existed here. Its life force was weak, but a few of the tiny terrors investigated. They found an already bloodied human, cowering upon the stone floor of the kitchen. At first disappointed to sense it being female, some primal instinct swayed the creatures. Curious, they looked at the woman, and through bruised eyelids she looked back at them. The creatures found some confusing force preventing them from falling upon and killing the woman. Seeking not to murder, but some other urge, some of the creatures snuffled around and found the woman’s breasts. Taking the nipples gently into their sharp toothed mouths, the creatures began to suckle on the woman. At first to no avail, but soon a creamy, sweet, warm substance flowed into their ever hungry maws.
Meredith looked down, at first horrified, then a warmth spread around her. The tiny creatures suckling her breasts were beautiful. Her beautiful babies. All of them stolen from her, now returned. She stroked the blood and viscera soaked beings, and they chuffed their pleasure at the contact. Yes, her children, her babies, this time she would protect them, this time they would live.
Many of the creatures stayed, surviving on Meredith’s milk and killing hedge row animals. Some however moved on, into the woods surrounding the town of Souldrop. There they set up home, among the other beings that lived in the magical woods, but that is another story…
Find the story in the book:
About the author
Kitty Kane aka Becky Brown hails from the south of England where she lives surrounded by squirrels. She is also one half of writing duo Matthew Wolf Kane, and has been published both in collaborations and standalone stories. Kitty is the author of stories that have appeared in Full Moon Slaughter and Down The Rabbit Hole: Tales Of insanity from J Ellington Ashton Press, and has several more stories in forthcoming releases from JEA.
She also was part of the first Vs charity anthology battle challenge from Shadow Work Publications, in which she won her battle, and made some lifelong friends. She has also has her work in a Christmas anthology from BURDIZZO BOOKS which was called Twelve Days in which Kitty cheerfully roasted babies in front of the open fire.
Kitty is currently editing her first solo anthology, The ABC of Murder coming soon from Anthology House. She has lots of exciting projects lined up this year including her own novella, a MWK collaboration novella, many short stories and lots of general madness. Kitty says of her writing style that it errs on the side of bizarro, but she enjoys writing classic horror also. A lifelong fan of all things horror, you will find her generally up to no good. Her eyes are brown, her hair is subject to change…one steadfast thing with her though, she can never be accused of being sane.