Staring ahead blankly, you just stand still within the foliage around you, the thick plant life growing around you, pressing in around you. The vines are thick around your torso, even thicker around your legs. Your feet are stuck in dried earth, what was once thick Louisiana mud, now grips around you around your thighs, holding you in place.

Your lips are chapped, your skin is cracked and broken... but you don't care. You've been through worse. A tiny part of you stares vacantly from beyond your eyes out into the nature trail that you are set up near.

You haven't seen anyone for nearly thirty days, by your count. It's hard to keep track as your mind rolls in and out of consciousness, your body slowly being incorporated into the weeping willow that you found yourself trapped under. The skeleton of the little girl you chased under here, of the little girl you picked clean over the course of two days, sits buried beneath the dry mud. You and a fellow pack of zombies had stumbled upon a group of survivors, sent them scattering. You'd followed the little girl until she just couldn't run anymore, the distant cries of her friends and family ringing through the night.

That'd been a month ago... the hunger wracked your body ever few seconds, the millions of fibers within you rotting at a slow, dehydrated pace. You could feel your body turning to raw rot, to compost, and there wasn't anything you could do about it.

You didn't have control of your body. Not anymore.

No, it belonged to it.

It was a horrid, wretched creature that lived only to feed. You fought It for control, the desire to turn away from other living beings and let them run. But It was too strong.

But that might not always be the case, you think morosely. You'd noticed It losing control of your body, allowing you an arm here, a twist of the head there. It would quickly quash your control and reassert itself, but It was facing the ironic fact that nobody would have seen coming.

It was dying.

Between the tree slowly setting root into you and drawing out your substance and the lack of food, It was starving itself out, growing weaker by the day. And with your mind as sharp as ever, between your observations and attempts to wrestle control away from It, you would soon be able to control your body once more.

Your body was too weak to make any journeys out of the bayou but who knew? Maybe someday the world would return to normal, and you could speak with the survivors as part of the Willow tree. Maybe you could learn what started it all, and how humanity won back the land that the dead had conquered.



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