The Day the Dead Came to Burlington

A terrifying experience at the Burlington Zombie Walk

To those who read this tale, take heed.

I will never forget this day.  It was a pleasant, autumn afternoon on Church Street in Burlington, Vt.  I was leaving the used book store, coffee in hand, when I saw them.  At first I thought they were bums, congregating beneath the awning of a restaurant, but there was something different about the way they moved.  Curious, I got closer. 

And then I saw the blood. 

Children in the Category One Hurricane Stimulator

A zombie photo shoot on Church Street

One of them, a girl I think, leaned back and spit a dark red plume sky-high.  The others rejoiced and it all came together—the tattered clothes, the loping movements, and the missing flesh.  They were zombies, and they were headed my way.

At first I couldn’t believe my eyes.  Is this really happening?  I stood there, transfixed, as the horde, moaning and stumbling, made its way toward me.  They came in all shapes and sizes; there were kids, teens, and adults, all undead, and all very hungry. 

It appeared this zombie infestation had truly affected all walks of life.  One, some sort of mad scientist, was donning a white lab coat and protective goggles.  There was a strip of flesh missing from the top of his skull that told me he had been attacked before.  I scanned them, backing away, and noticed a hiker, a punk rocker, a cripple, drag queens, a newscaster, and one creature so disfigured by fire his facial features had been erased. 

Turning abruptly, I began making my way through the crowd, warning others about the impending doom.  Behind me I could hear panic, and I turned in time to see Zombie Jesus take down an unsuspecting pedestrian.  I don’t know if it was because of my own terror, or because of the crowd, but I could not seem to escape the foul creatures.  These loathsome human caricatures have such little respect for life that they even attacked each other.  It seemed a game to them, to tear each other’s flesh and spit blood in each other’s faces.  I have seen the dark underbelly of humanity before, but it has never been quite like this.

I knew I had to get myself out of this situation, and running straight down Church St. didn’t seem to be working, so I took a side street hoping to throw them off my scent.  I paused to catch my breath, and when I looked up I saw the mad scientist, head rolling to the side, reaching for me.  Terror held me in its grasp, and I couldn’t move.  It was then that I accepted my fate, and relinquished my life to becoming one of them.  As his gloved hands prepared to grasp me, I saw a flash and he hit the ground.  Four men in fatigues sprang from the alley and were on him, beating him with everything they had.  I made my escape, but before I turned the next corner I looked back, only to see that the zombies now had the upper hand.   The men were on the ground screaming, and with their demise I lost all sense of hope.

I must get out of this.  I raced for City Hall Park.  My only strategy at this point was to find someplace safe to collect my thoughts.  The creatures had taken over the town, that was for sure.  People, sitting in restaurants, laughing, enjoying their meals.  Did they know it was to be their last?  Soon the glass would be blood-streaked, and the laughter would turn to cries of anguish.  They were coming.  I could hear them. 

The Windmill Project

Zombies evidently are not afraid of heights

“Brrraaaaiiinnnsss,” echoed down the streets, a soloist in a chorus of groans.  I was tired from running, and as soon as my feet touched the soft lawn of the park, I dove for the first bit of shelter I saw.  It was a small shrub, and I buried myself in its branches.  Heart thumping, shallow, nervous breaths.  Closer now.  They were getting closer.

Soon, shuffling footsteps surrounded me.  The procession was flowing by my sanctuary, like warm blood dripping from a freshly opened skull.  Where on earth are they going?  I peered from my shelter, out into the world.  It was as if by hiding, I no longer existed to them. 

I waited, patiently, until the last of them had passed.  Standing, I could see them across the street, congregating on the patio of the Vermont Pub and Brewery.  The brutes looked to be laughing, and socializing with one another.  I was puzzled by this turn of events, but was not about to let my curiosity get the best of me.  The fates had smiled upon me, and that is not something to squander.  I made haste in the opposite direction, brain intact.

I have now made it my life’s work to tell others about this unlikely event.  I will spread the word, and hopefully spare a few good souls from the horrors I have faced in Burlington.  

APN gives the Burlington Zombie Walk five brains.