Epilogue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3
Chapter 2

Eli continued to hire drifters as farmhands...oftentimes rough characters who came and went, but little noticed by the locals. Each departure marked by a new scarecrow in the fields. Eli had also changed, not for the better. His paranoia extended to outright rage if anyone even came near his property, so no one did--not that they ever had much reason to before. The Atrum farm was an accepted "no man's land"...no man's but Eli's; the isolation that had always marked his life now became a palpable force that could make the hair on the back of your neck stand up if you got too close to the Atrum Farm. It wasn't a place you'd speak of, and was purposefully ignored by all.

As work in the area became more plentiful and industrialized, fewer drifters came through. That was when the children began to go missing from the nearby town. The increasing outrcry from the townsfolk over these disappearances eventually lead the authorities to the one place no one ever went willingly...the Atrum Farm. The discoveries made there haunt us to this day...

A number of deputies were seriously injured by the insanely aggressive livestock and in confrontation with a select few 'farmhands' trusted by Eli to do his dark work. Once they were overcome, the locals and law enforcement officials began finding human remains in the feed troughs. What they found in the butchering shed defies description. When the 'scarecrows' were examined, they were found to be corpses dressed in rags......men...and one woman...in various stages of decay; their dripping blood and rotting flesh providing a gruesome fertilizer.

Most of the missing children were found alive, but that was little comfort when it became clear that they were completely under Eli's power. Brainwashed, deranged, and zealously loyal to their new "father", they did his evil bidding without question.

At the edge of the cornfield, they finally found Old Eli, armed only with a bloody grass knife. Then and there, he did something no one had ever seen him do before: He laughed. A long, hard, crazy laugh that had been building, twisting, and warping inside him for all his years. In a terrifying rant directed at all present, Old Elias Atrum shouted that he had work to do...that his work would never end...that this farm would always be his, that we would be present at every harvest. With that, he took off into the cornfields. The posse that followed couldn't find him, though some were found later with their throats slashed, their blood soaking into the ground.

The manhunt for Elias Atrum lasted for weeks, but no trace of him was found. It was assumed that he'd fled the area, and that was fine with everybody...

Until the following fall.

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