I hope this works...
I don't know how I got here and I don't know if you'll be able to read this.
My name is Nick Bondura and I woke up this morning somewhere other than where I went to sleep.
There was no morning alarm. I didn't turn awake and sink my hand further underneath my pillow. I couldn't slowly dodge the sunlight slipping through my bedroom blinds.
Instead, there was the droning buzz of some distant bird, I sunk my hand into dark earth, and I found myself directly in the path of morning sunbeams swimming through waving cornstalks.
Shuck. I was covered in corn husks and other agricultural debris. Recently cut? I couldn't tell. I know as much about crops as I did about why I found myself here.
Not dwelling on this question long, I shot up almost immediately after waking, now parallel with the corn and perpendicular to a horizon I couldn't see. It was only corn1. Corn for days. Weeks, if I could stretch the phrase further.
Something's gone wrong.
Something has gone horribly wrong...
I couldn't even hypothesize a situation in which I would have ended up here. This looked nothing like the bedroom, the house, or even the city I fell asleep in.
Despite being only half-awake, I fully-panicked. Being lost and alone in the dense ocean of a cornfield was a classic fear, much less when it's a cornfield you don't remember consenting to be in.
I reached for my phone--mostly as a defense mechanism but also with the thought of Googling the scientific name for a cornfield phobia--and found nothing in either pocket.
This is a disaster...
I needed to move. Start finding my way out of this...abduction?
I sped from a walk to a jog to a sprint, going in an uninformed direction--sunward--hoping to find a waterway, roadway, or some other way out of here.
It was right around when I attempted, in vain, to climb cornstalks that I first saw it--the consistent buzzing noise in this maize wasn't an animal, it was a machine.
A flat, metal device hung in the air, 15-feet above the cornstalks. There we no propellers2, but it was equipped with other odds-and-ends that could have been cameras or sensors. Other than some sort of surveillance--if the flying robot could see at all--I couldn't immediately reckon any specific mission or purpose3.
I remembered these, drones, but I remembered them not as large and not as...polished. This flew with ease and at an unnervingly consistent clip, and its base chassis was smooth, white (or perhaps with a brushed metal finish), and without any visible mechanical innards.
Okay, other way then...
Did it spot me? I don't think so.
I had no interest in finding out the drone's purpose. I turned north, away from it, and continued running, strafing through columns of crops. The morning sun cast everything in a layer of gold, only amplifying the endless and bewildering nature of the foreign field.
Moments later, I caught the alignment of the cornstalks at just the right angle to see a grey ridgeline. A road.
I didn't know if anyone would see me, or if it would get me anywhere in realistic time, but it was still a hint of a way out.
I had been walking along the paved road, which was jarringly pristine with an excess of clean, reflective markings4, for what seemed like an hour or more before I first saw a growing glint in the distance. A flash of metal, followed by dirt and dust and preceded by the dull roar of an engine.
As it drew closer, I recognized that it was definitely a vehicle, and it was definitely going uncomfortably fast.
With the disorientation of my slumber-travel now kicking in full, I froze.
I guess this is it...
This is my life. I woke up in a cornfield and got hit by an unbothered car on an endless rural road. That's what they'll write about me--
The long, drawn-out squeal of tires snapped me out of my comatose state and my body responded with a roadside barrel roll so inelegant it likely looked like I had been side-swiped anyway.
The car, a modern and sharply-cut model that I vaguely recognized, but with the visible wear-and-tear of years, came to a stop right next to where I landed.
After another, lighter squeal of a lowering driver-side window, a voice:
"I have no earthly idea why you'd be out here, but I'm guessin' you need a ride?"