The plow churned the soil sending puffs of brown dust trailing behind Ted’s red tractor. The morning Iowa sun was already hot, driving beads of sweat from the headband of his straw hat. Ted examined the plow blade cutting through the dry ground, drawing deep straight lines that would hopefully be the beginning of a corn crop for him and his wife. Ted watched as the blade pushed rocks, dirt, and old roots to each side of the row when suddenly his tractor stopped. The sudden jerk made Ted slam his ribs into the steering wheel; rubbing his ribs, Ted looked at what the blade had caught on.
The dark green color of a large partially dirt covered stone caught his eye. Ted descended from the tractor and began to push clumps of dirt and clay away from the large stone. It seemed to be a perfect circle. It was the type of stone that Ted would collect and place around his house as decorative ornaments. The rock was going to be perfect for a walkway he had been trying to complete leading from his driveway to his front door. The stone looked to be extremely heavy; lifting with his hands was not an option, Ted thought.
He climbed back on his tractor, started it, and used the hydraulics to bring the blade down at an angle with the stone. If he couldn’t pick it up by hand then maybe he could pinch it with the blade and carry it that way back to the house. Ted worked the blade under the rock and put the tractor in gear. The red beast shook violently as Ted fought to lift the circular stone from the field. Rocking back and forth, Ted tried again and again but the stone didn’t seem to want to break free.
Ted jumped back down from his tractor and stood over the stone. What was it going to take for this stone to be moved? Maybe he could get his buddy Frank’s tow truck; his old winch on that rig could move this rock. Maybe.
“Is there a password to move you?” Ted said with a smile.
“Open says me!” Ted began to laugh out loud.
The stone moved. It slowly moved. Ted had seen it, the sight causing him to stumble back and fall on his backside. It continued to move in a slow motion, rotating as if on a hinge. Gases escaped from under the stone and that is when Ted realized what the stone was. Not just a rock lying in an Iowa field but a lid; a cover, something much like a sewer lid keeping the world above from witnessing the disgusting underbelly of the world. Ted stood, wanting to run, but could not pry his eyes from the situation in front of him. A single, large pale hand emerged from the depths of the hole, and took a tight grip in the dark Iowa soil.
“I am death.” A voice hissed from the hole. “And, I bring Hell with me….”
Who would have thought that the forth seal of the apocalypse could be found in an Iowa cornfield?