They Walk Always
by Gabe Wollenburg
I’ve gone ahead and rapidly published a short shorty story called “They Walk Always.” Although I think the text stands alone, I illustrated the pages.
As always the whole story is available under a creative-commons attribution share alike license (CC-BY-SA). Feel free to post, repost, share, and print it on t-shirts, as long as you make your derivative works available under the same license. Let me know if you do. I particularly like the Printer Friendly version.
The undead are all around us. And that is a fact.
What they are, however, is something of a shifting thing.
The one thing, for certain, is that they are always going. They’re not sure why. They’re not sure where. To ask those questions requires thought beyond their immediate needs. They walk from the next thing to the next, noticing only that they remain unsatisfied.
The undead are the ambling, shambling masses walking through shopping malls and down our city streets. They are mumbling gangs of eyes-down racers, attentive only to their next step. They are unaware that they walk, and that they search. They are assured, only by a conviction held deeply within, that they are and that they need.
Stand before them naked and unafraid when they come, and they will not see you. Duck and cower and they will take note. Death is what they desire. You call them to you.
You can be ready. Can you pay the price?
What can you see on the horizon, friend?
Can you see the dawn coming? Can you see golden rays of light clamoring to slip across the tops of the hills along the eastern range?
No. You cannot. You see only your need. You see only your rage. You see only your hunger.
It is a long, empty road you walk.
It need not be that way, friend.
It need not be that way.
It does not stop them. Even when they no longer keep getting up again they are not done. Their hunger, their want, their need does not end with the final crippling of their bodies. These accursed undead wander forever, feeling nothing more than a dark echo of all-consuming desire.
You can help them, you can.
However, its not with violence. You cannot shoot your way into healing.
So what then? What are we left to do, Daddy?
If hate feeds them and mercy prolongs their suffering, what can we do?
We can live.
And we can love those things inside them that are not corrupted.
And we can hope.
We can hope that tomorrow they will come to see the folly of their struggle.
And one day, they shall. With that they will fade away to rest at last.
Hold fast, child, and we might yet see that day.