They come out of the mist, guttural, hungry noises echoing in the haze around them. Clustered together, shambling, awkward.
It’s the wrong time of day for fear. The wrong time of day for monsters and mobs. The sun is coming, and the world is serene, and being out in this is supposed to be lonely and comforting.
But here they come.
If you’re a dog walker, or a jogger, or a person carrying yourself home on the morning after from a strange house, powered only by regret and a desire to be better next time, this is where you’re meant to be. This is supposed to be your park. You have the best of intentions and an eye on the future.
Today, you’re in the wrong place, and you’re there at the wrong time.
They’re coming, and they can’t tell where you are, but if they cross your path they will eat you whole. The mob will descend on you in your isolation, and tear strips of meat off your bones. They will look you in the eyes and see your soul, hiding down there, afraid, and they will chase down after it with their teeth.
All of them, each of them, identity lost to the mob. And I among them: hiding, blameless. Keeping my hands clean of the blood, but smiling all the same.
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