Children of the Corn

The children huddled in kernels, the yellowing husks of their former lives like an incubator for the new harvest. After the gut flora was destroyed, the pre and pro biotic army was no match for genetic engineers, glowing in their Jolly Green Giant getups. Parents waitlisted offspring for the  Monsanto Montessori School, where co-ops in overalls charmed well-meaning commuters into leaving their tots to plump and chubby into neon ears. They were as rowed and beaded as a sorted abacus while the yield grew ghoulish on the playground. Tricycles were made from recycled algorithms. Every winter the children banged canned corn and sang “Jimmy Cracked Corn” on stage. The parents pushed one another, jockeying for video footage of the Frosted Flake Festival. Spring came, and with it synthetic silks that glistened in technicolor under the noonday sun. They prepared the kids with earthquake drills. Common Corn worksheets rattled on the desks while the simulations shook each A-maize-ing gold star from the Good Grain board. The children swelled and squealed, the primary colored room buttered over, quieting their hopeful mouths into an oily slumber. Outside, even the zen feathered stalkers couldn’t stop the Jiffy Pop. Scarecrows were stitched and hitched at every fence. Beneath their trembling buttons, money stuffed every denim and flannel opening. The parents shucked salty children into baskets, grinning at their biotech bionic babies, never questioning the infestation on the interstate, the bumper to bumper beetled traffic of wireworms and seed corn maggots migrating along the unsoiled highways.

Story by Jennifer Battisti

Photo by Flickr/jster91