Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rain on the Scarecrow

Clark and son (possible implied Clois marriage)
Futurefic angst
Rating: G

Scarecrow on a wooden cross, blackbird in the barn

Four hundred empty acres that used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did, my grandpa cleared this land
When I was five I walked the fence while grandpa held my hand

Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow
This land fed a nation, this land made me proud
And son I'm just sorry there's no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow, blood on the plow
-John Mellencamp, "Rain on the Scarecrow"

"It's so empty."

Clark Kent looked down at his son's dark head. The boy was five years old, and he'd grown up amidst the bustle and commotion of Metropolis. His green eyes were wide as they gazed over the seemingly endless fields that had once constituted the Kent Farm.

"I grew up here," he answered. "I guess it might seem empty to you, but I always loved it."

"Really?" The green eyes turned up to his. "Then why don't we live here?"

Clark sighed. "Your grandma gave me the farm for a wedding present, but... well, I decided that it was time for me to leave this all behind. So... I sold it."

"So it's not ours any more."

"No. It's not ours any more."

He looked over the land, the land his father's father had cleared, the land his father and mother had worked so hard to make profitable, and regret clenched in his chest. He remembered long hours spent feeding the cattle, watering and weeding and picking vegetables, selling produce at the local farmers' market. He remembered seeing his father get up at five every morning to get the work done, remembered watching his parents struggling to make ends meet, remembered hearing his mother weep hysterically at the thought of losing the farm.

Once upon a time, this farm had been everything to his family. Once upon a time, this farm had been his home.

This land had been his father's pride and joy, his family's legacy. And he'd sold it as casually as if it were merely property.

But now, too late, he realized it had been so much more.

His son tugged on his hand, recalling him from his dark thoughts. "If it's not ours, then why are we here?"

Clark looked down at the green eyes, so like his own, and then out over the empty acres. In the distance, a tattered scarecrow that had once guarded a cornfield stood alone in an overgrown, weedy field.

"The man I sold it to couldn't make it profitable, either," he answered at last. "So we've come to say goodbye."

Perhaps reacting to the sorrow in his father's voice, the boy fell silent and stood quietly, still holding Clark's hand. Clark stared out across the land where he'd grown up for long moments. At last his son tugged on him again.

"Daddy, it's starting to rain."

With a start, Clark realized the boy was right. A light drizzle was beginning to fall from the leaden clouds. He smiled apologetically down at his son.

"Okay, kiddo. Let's go."

With his son holding his hand, he turned his back on what had once been the Kent Farm for the last time. The rain drenched them both as they walked back to the car, parked on the rutted dirt road that bisected the farm.

As they drove out onto the main road, heading back to Metropolis, they passed a large sign posted at the front of the property:

Kent Acres, another LexCorp project. New homes starting at $300,000.

LexCorp: Making America a better place to live!

-The End-


Anonymous said...

Oh my, that was heartrending but oh so beautiful. I was (still am really) sad at the thought of Clark selling the farm, even if I do recognize his need to move on.

And its a perfect touch that Lex snapped it up and is developing it - a deliberate slap at Superman.

Anonymous said...

The body of the fic was angsty in itself, Clark realizing what he had too late. But the end threw me and I know I should have seen it coming but it was a startling surprise. Makes sense though. Lex buying up Smallville, especially the Kent Farm.

Great to see something from you, Elly. All the best for next week.

Anonymous said...

Wow that was beautifully written. I also suspect that Lex might buy up the farm. That would be so sad.

You captured a lovely image with your words. This is very well written.

DeeDee said...

I had a sneaky feeling Lex would be involved. Brings back memories of the Magnificent Bastard and the way he was able to indirectly use Clark to get his initial foothold in the community.

Feel like weeping for the Kent Farm and for what Lex wants to turn it into.

Beautifully written, Elly. Good to see you writing again, and hope you are well!


Writer and Cat said...

My fanfic of your fanfic is Cnois got married, she made him sell it, and they're already divorced because he finally got a brain...just like the Scarecrow!

MonicaOP said...

Oh Elly!!! Why do you have to make me suffer??? So sad!!! :(

IolantheAlias said...

It's really sad. I agree with the previous poster who suggested that Nois influenced Clark into forgetting his Kent heritage and selling the farm. After all, she's shallow and she doesn't understand.

Wonderful evocation of regret and lost opportunities.

Anonymous said...

How apropos. It seems very, very Lex to use the land not to factory farm or to expand the fertilizer plant but to create homes where Clark had abandoned his, and I only hope Clark appreciates the irony as much as I do.

Mari Anne said...

Wow, Elly, what a beautifully sad way to express the regret he'll one day suffer for selling the best of his heritage.

April said...

Thanks for this. When I found out the farm was being sold on the show, it felt like a piece of the show I loved was going away forever. You've captured that loss.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Elly!! You've done it again! I love the story and could see it happening. Too bad Clark didn't see this when he visited the future in Homecoming.

I'm thrilled to see another story from you and hope all is well and that you're back to writing more regularly.


Anonymous said...

Lovely story. Very fitting. I felt for Clark but at the same time I am still kind of actively hating Clark so I enjoyed his regret. Really, it is what he does best, only realizing what he had after he's tossed it away.