Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Tucked away in the countryside of northwest Pennsylvania lies a cemetery. There the chill autumn breeze caresses rows of headstones, their faces worn smooth by the elements. The names that had been carved there are unimportant; it's the fetid husks resting beneath that matter.

Leaves from a gnarled oak tree fall and scatter across the ground. The soil below this blanket of dead foliage shifts subtly, the movement nearly undetectable. It isn't until the earth begins to part, and the stench of putrid flesh issues forth, that I realize what's happening.

By then, of course, it's too late.

One by one they rise from their earthen prisons, a collective undead consciousness eager to consume me. To make me one of their own.

It would be easy to run. The dead move slowly enough, and there's nothing preventing me from bursting through the wrought-iron gate at the edge of the cemetery. This is precisely what I do, pinballing my way between slanting monuments, avoiding the dessicated hands sprouting toward my ankles. Trying to ignore the guttural moans of base, instinctual hunger emanating behind me. Trying not to retch from the smell.

My shoes skid on the gravel road leading from the cemetery as I race toward some semblance of safety. Running, however, will only delay the inevitable. You can't escape the dead. Once they've decided to claim you, there's nothing you can do except pray that it'll be painless.

So I'll run until I can't go any further. I'll attempt to hide as best I can. And hope to God the dead are capable of some degree of mercy.

They're coming to get me.

And this Halloween, they'll be coming to get you.

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