The parents sighed with relief and sat up, turning over their new child, eyes alight. They gripped the piece of corn jutting from its head and violently snapped it off, tossing the growth aside like it was garbage. Immediately, the newborn opened its eyes and smiled, climbing to its feet and hugging its parents.
My eyes traveled across the fields and I saw thousands of similar scenes, each one bringing another tree crashing into my skull. What…the…fuck. As the newborns awoke, they began to line up and march out of the fields, heading for the base of the cliff I was on. The parents groggily got to their feet, waving goodbye, exhausted satisfaction glowing around each one of them.
“Where are they going?” I whispered, eyes wide.
Bip pointed at his feet, “We live below the hill until its our time to take our parents place. Look, here comes the replacements now.”
And sure enough, the new children passed through a mass of slightly older corn people, the two crowds mingling and then passing by one another. The parents who had just birthed were now turning away from us, and slowly walking towards the horizon.
Towards the colossal metal giant, Molzroth.
“What are they doing?” I asked, breathless.
Bip sighed, “They’ve done their part. Now that they have been Uprooted, they walk the last part of their journey. Molzroth will consume them and use their bodies as fuel to continue turning the great sun, keeping the cycle of life in motion.”
I suddenly gripped my chest as I felt something like lightning shoot through it. I gasped and went down on one knee, groaning. Bip just looked at me like he knew what was happening.
Gritting my teeth, still clutching my chest, I looked up at the new flock who had passed the recently birthed. They were burrowing themselves into the fields, replacing their elders, and burying their bodies up to their knees.
“And now they will grow strong,” Bip said, almost in awe, “To await their own Harvest. It’s pretty neat, huh?”
Something rocked through my chest again and I squeezed my eyes shut, gripping my heart as pain flared through it. Through tear filled eyes, I saw the old husks form a long formation and march heavily towards Molzroth, their final resting place.
A third jolt ripped through me and I fell onto my back, wheezing. What the hell was going on?!
“I think your world is trying to call you back,” Bip said sadly, “I’m going to miss you Jack. You’re kind of dumb, but I like you.”
I lay panting, waiting for the agony in my chest to subside. Bip shuffled over and knelt down next to me. He gently stroked my shoulder, almost affectionately.
“Bye Jack,” he said softly, and then extended his finger one last time, a big goofy grin on his chubby face, “Boop!”
As his pudgy finger pressed into my cheek, I spasmed, hard, and screamed, my body arching in agony as the world spun and realigned, color and sound and smell swirling together only to be lost in groaning, empty darkness.