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Friday, January 11, 2013

The Zombie Burn Victim

You mean I haven't told you the Zombie Burn Victim story, yet?
You're gonna love this...

It gets dark early in these parts, and in Wisconsin this time of year, it sometimes gets very cold.
On one of these very dark, very cold evenings, I left my place of employment and walked through the parking lot on my way to my vehicle.  It was after most everyone else had left, and my car was the only one in the middle of nowhere.  Sitting there all by itself.

Several businesses use this parking lot.  In fact, one company parks their trucks in the corner, and that is where I looked first when I heard the noise.  Not so much a noise as an unusual sound.  Out of the shadows of the trucks I saw a human figure emerge.  Well, it was upright, it seemed to have a head, and it shuffled along on two legs.

This human-like being was bundled up in shapeless bulky clothing, hood over its head, its face was wrapped in a scarf-like cloth, and its hands were... its hands were...
What was it doing with its hands?
Its hands were oddly formless, and he/she held them out in front of its featureless face in an almost-praying gesture.  As if the person had never seen hands before and could not stop looking at them in fascination.

I'm taking this in as I walk toward my island of a car.
All the while, this creature continues to shuffle away from the cover of the trucks. 
Directly toward me.
Shuffling.

My first impression is that something is not right here.  (Hello?)
People walk.
People in their right mind... walk.

Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

People swing their arms when they walk.
They don't hold their hands up in front of their faces.

Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

What is this?
With the wrapped face and formless hands, the shuffling, the bizarre hand thing... my mind searched frantically for an explanation and came up with... burn victim!
It would explain all the facial and hand wrapping.  It might explain the painful attempt at walking. And if your hands are burned, you certainly hold them in a manor that would prevent you from accidentally touching them against something.

Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

Its pace was steady.
Its tragectory never waivered. 
It was coming directly toward me.  Still.

I compared its pace to mine, and if nothing changed, it seemed we both would arrive at my car at the same time.  If I hurried a bit, I could beat it easily.
I hurried a bit.

Shuf-fle. Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

I needed to decide soon if I was in danger.
What if it sudden sprinted?

Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

Good god!  What IS this?  I'm not living in a Stephen King novel!
It didn't change its pace.  It didn't change its direction.

It didn't make a sound.

Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

Never taking my eyes away from this bizarre... thing... I unlocked my car, threw my bags into it, threw myself in the driver's seat, and locked the door.

Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.  Shuf-fle.

It continued to come. 
It shuffled up to my rear bumper.
It shuffled up toward the driver's side door.
It shuffled past me.
And that's when I saw...

The glow of a smartphone.
Cupped in her hands.
Held up in front of her face.

Cold night.  Bundled up.  Simply traveling through a parking lot. 
Texting.

I don't think she even knew I was there.
If I had rolled down my window and said, "Hey!", she'd have probably died of a heart attack.

(don't think I wasn't tempted)

3 comments:

Thumper said...

Don'tcha just love the irony of smartphones in the hands of stupid people? Or maybe it's just me...

Definitely a zombie there...

Cellar Door said...

I always think that, the zombie apocalypse will not be really people actually dying and coming back to life, but just people acting like zombies, looking at smart phone and ipads, and not even knowing they are zombies! Great story.

Christie Critters said...

Love it. If we lived in a cold place I would be living with three zombie burn victims.