Barns from Nowhere

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teethbrush 8/22/2019 (Thu) 10:35:01 #82940341


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This is a weird one, has anyone had any strange experiences with barns?

I was driving through Iowa and saw something burning by the side of the road. It was a barn. I could make out the truss framing and a few splotches of red paint cling onto to charring boards. It was mostly gone already. I was going to stop and see why this barn was on fire, someone could have swerved into it after all.

Then I saw someone in robes watching it burn. Just staring at it. I decided real quick not to stop.

I'm at a rest stop now trying to find a gas station. There's another barn next to the place (pic related). Thoughts?

Carnibal 8/22/2019 (Thu) 11:01:33 #82944359


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I think I can top that.

I used to live on a farm, a quaint little place in Iowa when I was a youngling (pic related). I was only with my father then, mom died a little before and dad thought that farm life would be a good change of pace. Good 300 acres of annually cycled corn and soybeans, kinda small. A couple sheep too. Pretty boring when you're off work, you'd have to make the most of what's there. Memorize all the divots, the boulders, where the blackberry bushes were. It becomes a kingdom of sorts.

Then the barn showed up. I remember waking up notably later that normal to my father on the phone. He was yelling at who I assumed was our neighbor, dad was pissed at some construction project on our land they'd done. I didn't pay much attention to this at the time, they always butted heads like bulls back then.

So I went outside to dick around as usual. And as someone who had memorized every last inch of all those fields and beans and rocks and trees, I was not expecting to see a barn. It was planted neatly into the soybean field as if it was a crop itself. Didn't look neat, though — for something that had appeared so recently it was fairly worn down. Paint peeling off withered wood, black shingles clinging onto a porous roof. I couldn't see inside. Light just didn't enter. At all. I never really went in the thing. For how curious I was that was pretty unusual.

My dad wanted that neighbor to take it down and refused to do it himself. My father was a very stubborn man, wanted things done the way he wanted with no room for error. He didn't want me near it either — it was "too rickety" and "built by a man with a block of wood for a thinker". I kept my distance most the time, I still noticed a few things about the barn.

You know how it was all neatly rowed with the crops before? Well, the day after it popped up that barn was slightly off. I knew I wasn't crazy then so I used my noggin to conduct some advanced science. I put a stick in the mud at one of the corners of the barn, and waited to see if it would get farther away. Needless to say after a couple days I really knew I wasn't crazy.

It was turning towards the sheep pen.

One of our sheep disappeared soon after but part of the fence had been knocked outward — made it look like it had escaped. Dad didn't believe that one bit and thought the scapegoat neighbor was to blame again. I kept telling him to check in the barn but he refused. He didn't want to go in either, just no convincing him.

The sheep kept going and my dad would blame the neighbor over and over. It was a vicious cycle with a very clear way to stop it. Each time I would plead for him to just go into the barn and he would refuse. He had a look in his eyes that I had never seen before. It was strange, subtle but noticeable. After half of the flock had gone, he finally cracked. Dad went and grabbed a rifle and a lantern in the dead of night — I didn't know what he was expecting to shoot in there. He went up to the barn, body shaking enough to nearly cause him to pull the trigger. I could tell what that look was now.

He went in and the dark of the barn consumed him whole. Lantern light faded fast into void. I heard muttering, clattering, the occasional swear; suspense stretched time thin. After what felt like forever he ran out in a sweat, blood caked on the bottoms of his shoes and tipped his fingers. I could tell it wasn't his. He threw the lantern into the barn, a fire dripped onto the paint but dried quick. Now, my dad's a rational man, he would have known that whatever fire he lit on that barn would spread to the soybeans, he wasn't stupid. But that didn't stop him from getting the blowtorch from the garage.

It didn't start aflame at first — when it did though it went fast. It was already in shambles; a good fire is all it takes to turn the derelict to ruin. Around then I was told to go to the house and stay in my room as the fire was getting too wild.

Then it started screaming. It wasn't animal — just too articulate for that. However something about it didn't seem quite human either. I could tell it was the barn — I just know it was. It devolved into choking a while, and trailed to a charred rasp. I don't know if I feel asleep that night but I know those rasps faded by the morning. All that was left of the barn was four rotted sheep skeletons and heaps of charred flesh.

But all that flesh couldn't have come from four sheep.

We covered the remains up with dirt and that was the end of it really. But here's the thing: there's so many abandoned barns in the Midwest from a financial farm crisis in the 1980s. So many people lost their jobs, their homes, but more importantly here, their barns. I wonder how many of them are real sometimes. Sometimes I wonder if some of the ones I see on the side of the road were there before.

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If you heard those screams, you'd want to burn them too.

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