It was early October, and we had just opened our pumpkin patch to the public. The farm went all out when it came to Halloween. Besides the decent-sized pumpkin patch, we ran a haunted hayride through the woods behind our house, and we turned Tommy’s cornfield into a corn maze. One day, a woman and her young son came running out of the maze and began yelling at one of our workers. My dad saw this and asked the woman what was wrong.
“You should tell your patrons when you make an attraction scary,” the woman said.
This was weird because the cornfield wasn’t a horror attraction. My dad informed the woman of that, but she wouldn’t have it.
“Yeah right, just tell your scarecrow actor that he shouldn’t touch the guests,” she said.
My stomach dropped when she said this. Not only was I still terrified of Tommy, but I had no explanation for what this woman was saying. It wasn’t windy at all that day, and Tommy was always tied to the crucifix extremely tight. My dad looked worried, but he told me he had to go check to see if Tommy’s ties had come undone. He told me to go help the front workers at the register. About an hour later, when the farm was getting really busy, my dad finally came out of the cornfield. He looked pretty shaken, like he was in a hurry. When he was completely out of the field, I noticed he had something big in his arms. It was Tommy. I went up to ask him what was going on, but he shooed me off, grumbling something about having to put Tommy away. As he passed me, I noticed the back of my dad’s sweatshirt was cut up.
Dad put Tommy into the storage shed next to the cow barn. He never brought him out again. I would always ask dad to bring Tommy back out, as my fear had turned into morbid curiosity, but he would always say no. This annoyed me for some reason, so last July, at my graduation party, I was determined to bring Tommy out. Two friends and I walked to the storage shed — everyone else was too busy partying all over the farm (about 220 people came to the party and it was awesome). My dad always locked the storage shed with two padlocks. I didn’t have any sort of key, so tipsy me decided using bolt cutters would be a good idea. We got through the first one, but we stopped when we heard a loud thump from inside the shed. It sounded like someone jumping in the air and landing right on their ass, hard. All three of us jumped and we all ended up screaming when we heard someone yell, “HEY!” behind us. In shock, we turned to see my dad standing there with a pitchfork. I thought he was trying to scare us, but he just yelled at us to get back with everyone else. He walked by us and wedged the pitchfork between the door and the ground as a makeshift lock.
Last August, I went away to college. It’s only 45 minutes from my house, but I wanted to experience dorm life. In college, I discovered my love for photography. Unfortunately I didn’t discover that until mid-December, and I wasn’t going to be doing any photo shoots in the freezing winter. When late-March hit, the snow was finally melting away. I took advantage of this on March 28th, when I went back home to do a solo shoot. Before you ask, I didn’t want to take pictures of Tommy. Besides, I couldn’t have done so even if I wanted to, as in January, a blizzard destroyed the storage shed, and Tommy went missing during the storm.