by Joseph Mack
"So then, what's the measure of a man?" I was once asked. And I replied, "It's his heart."
You know, it's been said, the more insane a story sounds, the more insane the man who believes it to be true is. And the more insane he is, the more destined he is for a padded cell that only the grim reaper and his brother can free him from. And if that be the case, then I be that kind of man exceedingly so because this be that kind of a tale that you're about to hear. A narration of the most particular of types that needs to be told no matter what people may think or where I might end up afterward.
And so, here's my account of the dire event that yours truly was forced to participate in when the hunters came crawling out of the shadows and flooded the streets of downtown Denver Colorado and its surrounding area with a darkness that made even the most depraved of men look benevolent and full of mercy. And you've heard about these slayers right? These ruthless trackers who are naturally relentless when it comes to pursuing a meal?
Why, sure you have, and that's a fact, but I bet there's still a ton of things that you don't know about these brutal beings like, for example, they reside in the ether. And also, these wretched, motherless souls, that has the eyes of a shark, are willing to eat the bones of a zombie but prefer to snack on the flesh of a man which is the rotten thing that I feared these deadly meanies were going to do to me on that, lets just say, unique evening when the sun decided to take a long nap and the moon, seeing this, took advantage of his decision and came out to play, that was, before he, the one who was falling apart by the minute, showed up anyhow.
And you do remember that dreadful night don't you? The one that came to us three years ago. A horrible evening, of which, I'll never forget, that had a sky that looked every bit like the Aurora Borealis except this sky, and I mean the whole darn thing, was a deep purple in color that had a tinge of scarlet red mixed in with it. The very same odd looking atmospheric condition, it was, that caused the decomposed bodies, that eventually transformed into zombies, to stir within their graves. And I heard this awakening take place too. And their moans, of which there were many, loudly echoed down the dimly lit alleyway that I've called my home for over ten years now. In fact, the sounds, that these evil stalkers were making, was so loud that I knew, in an instant, that they were awful close which is the reason that I stopped eating a somewhat tainted hamburger that I, earlier in the day, had dug out of a pile of trash that's located on Eighth and Bixy. And the second that I ceased taking another bite I saw the first one, then another, and another, and they just kept-on-ah-coming.
And they, like the continuous hoard that they were, was violently twitching a little here and there as they unsteadily moved my way in what I viewed, as I sat on that cold, hard pavement, as being a reasonably casual manor of locomotion that seemed to me as though they didn't have a care in the world but then this hunter showed up and that's when these people, who were nothing of the sort, wasn't walking like that no more. In fact, these half-wits were running, if that's what you can call it, as fast as they could which caused me to get to my feet and run too but, as luck would have it, I couldn't scrape along as fast as they were scraping so these idiots overtook me before I could get out of that dang-gum alley.
And when they did bum rush me I hit the ground so hard that I nearly busted up my hip bone in the process but this is hardly something to be worried about when you're surrounded by a swarm of killers that can rip you apart in a matter of seconds which, as it turned out, they obviously didn't do and the reason, I believe, they didn't do this most undesirable thing is because these vile scavengers didn't want to get caught by that hunter while trying to have some dinner which reminds me of something else that's really important to bring up.
And that something else, my friend, is this, and that is, on this night, while I was being trampled, I came to realize, rather quickly I might add, that these zombies can feel fear just like you and I can which came as a complete surprise to me for I, and thousands of others I surmise, have always believed that these flesh eating creatures were nothing more than a walking pile of sewage who lost their humanity along with all of their emotions when they became the monsters that they are but this, as you can tell, was a wrong assumption on my part and I do acknowledge that. Dead wrong, to be exact, as was the case when I thought that my life was about to end.
A reality that I would've had to face if it wasn't for this unusual occurrence. And what, might you ask, was this strange event anyhow? And my answer to you, the seeker of knowledge, is one that I don't think that you're going to believe but is very true nonetheless, which is, as that hunter approached me there came, out of nowhere, a male creeper who, for whatever reason, thought it would be a good idea to stand right over me as if I was a meal worth defending and this, my friend, I assure you that I wasn't for as I am now I was back then meaning that I, from skull to foot, was as thin as a ray of sunlight and as old as the solar system itself. And this, to my utter amazement, he did for a few seconds then bent down next to me and pointed to my leg which was gravely injured. The same leg that I was now staring at which was paining me something awful.
And at first, I have to admit, that I didn't know what he wanted, but then, after giving it some thought, my hands began to tremble and the perspiration began to flow when I knew what it was. And that, to my horror, was a taste. A sampling that I figured would be a rather large one at that if not the whole leg itself which was something that I was willing to give to him at the time because it seemed, at least to me, that in the end, when all was said and done, it would be far better to obtain life from death than to not have it at all and that's why I, despite everything that I was feeling, uneasily gestured to my wounded appendage and told him to have a go at it.
And that's when he began to feast, and feast, and feast some more. And while he went about doing this I was screaming with everything in me. I even begged him to stop but this he didn't do until the hunter came within a few feet of us then, this man of the grave, who I feel is a part of me now, stood up and gave out a roar that a thousand lions couldn't match. He then charged the hunter and that's when an epic battle of pray vs predator, with the roles being somewhat reversed I should point out, erupted right before my unbelieving eyes.
And as this hunter, with long claws, slashed and jabbed, the zombie, with an unquenchable hunger, bit and chewed and swallowed without a moments pause. And this grotesque dance, that they were engaged in, moved up and down that alley with such speed that I thought for sure that one of them was going to stumble and pull the other to the ground but that sure didn't happen and neither did their passion to destroy the other dissipate which is why they just kept slamming one another into the wall that was closest to them at the time as each tried to get control of the other. And I also must say, and I mean it too, that I was truly astonished how this zombie was able to endure the punishment that he was receiving. So much so, in fact, that I began to think about how he could. And the more that I did, the more I realized that my flesh and blood, that no doubt he enjoyed consuming, was surging through his body. That they, working together, were healing him somehow. That they were making him stronger and stronger by the second. A juggernaut, is what he was becoming, and that, right there, is what I needed him to be because he was fighting for us and I wanted him to win at all cost and that's precisely what he did.
And because this is so, here I am, still alive, as you can clearly ascertain, and it's all thanks to this creature who, with a great amount of courage and willpower, had enough heart left in his chest to save an old man that's been cast aside by a society that wants nothing more to do with him. A bravery, I hope, that when the time comes, will compel me to act as he did and this ends my tale but it also leaves me with a question, that being, if you had been that walking dead man then how would you have handled things huh? In other words, would you have rescued me or left me in that dark alley to die alone I wonder. I truly do. And so, what say you? Which would it have been? Would I have died or lived in your story? Or would you have chosen to do something else altogether different? Something, so outrages, that not a single person could have predicted what it would be? A question, my friend, that needs an answer as they all do I suppose. An answer or two, that personally, I can't wait to hear.