Here goes. I live in Tennessee & it was a mild summer night, not horribly humid like it usually was. A good night to go downtown & meander, being in the energy of my small city. I’m always paranoid to go alone because there are strange things & scary people out in the world. I was aware of that then & even more so now.
I felt like I needed to get out & breathe some fresh air; As fresh as it can be for a city, anyway. I asked my mother to come along & after walking for a while, we happened upon some event going on in a park. There had to have been at least 40 people around. It wasn’t like a ghost town or anything. It was a lively energy, with the sound of drums, laughter, & singing all around.
After a few hours of being there, things started to feel off. I felt like someone was watching me. I wanted to ignore it but my gut wouldn’t let me; it was as if a hand was twisting my insides. I kept seeing a dark figure out of the corner of my eye just sitting by the tree line. A sinking feeling weighed my stomach as I realized it was real, & that I wasn’t hallucinating. My brain fought to reason that maybe it was someone who was homeless waiting for the right time to ask for spare change. But my gut wouldn’t let it go.
Not long after, I see a young girl. Pale skin, dark hair, bubbly. She was alone, wandering off by the trees. Where were her parents?
I watched as she curiously moved towards the dark figure waiting in the cover of the shadows. Hurrying, I found my mother & began to explain what was happening. She followed a few feet away as we watched the figure haltingly reach out his hand to the girl. She touched his finger tips as he walked forward into the light. Terror doesn’t quite cover what I felt in that moment, but it will have to do. Have you ever seen something go down that you’ve never seen in real life, & your brain just can’t process what happened? THAT is what happened. He was unnatural. His skin was a grayish violet color, the combination you usually see with a healing bruise. His clothes were dirty & ripped. Moving a bit closer, I could smell that he.. smelled like rotting flesh. Then he moaned. I stood there, mouth opening & closing like some stupid fish, rooted to the spot. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe or speak. Had his attention turned to me, I’ve no doubt I would’ve been injured if not killed. Suddenly, A man came from behind us & grabbed the girl away from this being. Afterwards, the dead fiend stumbled back into the dark. We didn’t see him after that, but we were more concerned with the girl & finding her parents. The father didn’t even seem to care that his daughter was almost taken by a perceived dead man.
The man who saved the girl later told me that thing was a zombie. He was dead serious that this was the living dead in the flesh. He mentioned that the homeless in the area sleep on the grave stones of the oldest cemetery in the city. & that as they slumber, they breathe in bacteria or fungi that zombifies their brains. My boyfriend believes me, but the rational side of him wants to believe that maybe the guy was on hardcore drugs. But he wasn’t there, & he didn’t see it. The readers can draw their own conclusions but honestly, after what I saw, I don’t doubt the mans claim one bit.