A Maze of Towering Stalks
Nora Sue couldn’t remember the first time she dreamt of Iowa, but she associated the dream’s appearance around the time she began lying and telling everyone that she was adopted. Nine or ten she supposed.
Abandoned in a cornfield, she is lost in a maze of towering stalks. On and on she runs in the suffocating September heat, choking. A John Deere combine belches diesel fumes and churns through the field, after her. Its prehistoric metal jaw snatches her up and shoots her through its grain conveyor, a cob separated from the kernels.
When she was fifteen, she stole a pair of aviator sunglasses and didn’t get caught. That night the dream returned, but changed. She is older, no longer a child. She looks down on herself, like watching a movie. She is trying to push through a wall of corn stalks and everything is fast forwarding. Then a barbed wire leaf grabs her hair and stops her short. Feet dangling, she kicks the air like a hanged man.
On their first date, when Vincent asked her where she was from, she changed the subject and fantasized what it would be like to tell him that she was from Chicago. In the morning, Nora Sue knew she dreamed she was back in Iowa but when she awoke, she could barely remember a thing.
“Landscape’s flat as a pancake,” she told Vincent that afternoon over coffee. Big agrifarms stinking up the air. Just acres and acres of field corn.”