Summary: A teenager runs into trouble with some local senior citizens.
Although I had spent all of the summers of my youth here in these
woods, I had never experienced it by night. It was alive with small sounds
that caused me to madly spin my head in every direction, looking for
intruders. I could not use my flashlight until I had safely cleared the
houses that backed up against the woods. Eventually, my eyes got
accustomed to the darkness and I was able to begin making my way
down the path. I could hear the creek running softly to my right and
the summer breeze stirring the creaking tree limbs overhead. After a
hundred yards or so, I turned on the flashlight in order illuminate the
roots and rocks that littered the rough path.
I had lost many bike tires to those hazards the years. Finally, I
reached the ramp and paused before cutting diagonally to the briar
patch. Something was dragging itself up the path towards me. I splashed
the figure with light and saw a shambler slowly advancing on me, its hand
pointing at my heart. I tripped over a root and crawled backwards in
panic, only to feel my back collide with something solid.
I realized it was the legs someone standing in the path. I screamed
out and ran off toward the creek. I took comfort in their slowness, and
used the flashlight pan each side of the woods as I ran. I didn't even
reach the creek spotted another one standing there calmly at
the water's edge, smiling a toothless smile in his shades and derby as the
light revealed his position. I wildly spun the flashlight around in a full
circle. Shamblers were advancing from all sides, leaving no gaps in their
human net. Trembling, I unfolded my Swiss Army knife and waited.
Suddenly the back of my head exploded with pain from the blow of a
Dropping the flashlight, I fell to all fours and tried to concentrate
on keeping my swimming vision centered on one spot on the ground to
avoid vomiting from the pain and dizziness. Two shamblers grabbed me
by the arms and dragged me over toward the path. I couldn't be sure how
many there were.
We crossed the path, my knees getting battered on the exposed
roots, and continued into the heart of the woods. We finally reached
the briar patch where I had initially spied old man Kensey several days
before. Two shamblers were combing the bushes. Mr. Furman was there
watching them and calmly smoking his pipe...