©2018 James H. Vipond
CHAPTER 11On a very humid Sunday evening, an elderly farmer, Karl Nußbaum (yes, he insists that his surname be spelled with an eszett—call it German pride), catches Gerald and Deanne nearly naked in his cornfield.
Karl is carrying a shotgun because he expected to find some crows stealing his corn, but upon seeing human footprints in the mud, he becomes even more aggressive. His wife and adult granddaughter watch from inside the farmhouse.
Gerald and Deanne are wearing waist wallets, which contain their smartphones and battery chargers, some cash and their wedding rings. The corn is at least waist high to Gerald. Because the Whitakers’ invisibility began to wear off just as they entered the cornfield, Gerald took the shirt off a scarecrow and tied it around his waist, while Deanne tore off some corn husks to make a bikini top and skirt.
Karl: “Hey! What are you two doing on my land?”
Gerald: “We don’t mean any harm, Mr. Nußbaum. Our car battery failed just under the railroad bridge, and my wife and I need a place to charge it and our smartphones.”
Karl: “So why are you naked?”
Deanne: “Our clothes were stained with sweat, so we left them in our car.”
Gerald: “I’m wearing the shirt from your scarecrow. I hope you don’t mind.”
Karl, lowering his shotgun: “Keep it. There’s a charity bin half a mile down the road. You should find some old clothes there.”
Gerald: “Thank you, sir.”
Karl calls to his wife as he returns to the farmhouse.
Karl: “Theresa! These city slickers need to charge their car battery! Can you fetch the extension cord?”
Gerald, turning to Deanne: “Our car is too far away from any source of electricity, even with an extension cord.”
Deanne: “Mr. Nußbaum, wait! We still need to charge our smartphones, so we can call a towing service!”Karl: “Well, come on in, both of you! It’s been a spell since we had guests, anyway. I’ll even let you use my phone.”
To be continued …