Marching Souls

August 1976:

   It was late summer and I was visiting a girlfriend. I wasn’t allowed that far out into the country. I stayed until it was dark outside. I knew I was in trouble because it would take me an hour to walk home. I had to be in by 10 o’clock. I started my long walk. The sky was clear and I could see with the moon light. I could also see the raccoon eyes crossing the road ahead of me.

   I came to the end of the long flat road. Now it drops and turns real steep. The moon light dims the farther down the road I go. I stay close to the guardrail rope in case any cars come up on me too quick. The steel guardrail rope runs the entire length of the narrow road because of several sharp curves ahead. Little Darby Creek is on the other side. If anyone went off the road at night, no one would know until the morning. It’s dark. All I hear are the sounds from the woods.

   Suddenly, out of nowhere, in the very center of the road were six white translucent humanoid shaped beings. They were in single file. The first five were gnome looking, without the hair and about two feet tall. The one in the back was around four foot and looked more human. They seemed to intentionally not to look at me while they walked by. They kept their heads turned to their right while they marched in single file. There wasn’t any sound, the bugs and animals in the woods were a distant silence. It appeared they just wanted to get past me as fast as possible. As each one passed by me their heads turned forward. They were avoiding eye contact with me. They were conscience beings. They had to be.

   I watched them going up the hill in the opposite direction I was walking. Their legs moved but they faded out near the knee’s, the movement was a walking human. They disappeared around the hills curve. I was only half way home. The woods slowly came back to life with sounds. I walked faster to get back to my neighborhood. I didn’t look around, I just moved really fast. I see the Super Duper parking lot at the top of the final hill and I felt a little safer. At least there were street lights and houses.

   One final thing, I had to think quick why I was coming home late. It was after 11 o’clock. I see the front door open and the living room lights on. They’ve never done that. I thought I was in big trouble and they were waiting up for me. I walk in, all sweaty and tired. Didn’t hear anything. No one’s in the house. Upstairs in the bathroom. I click on the light, just then, my dad yells in from the back patio door, “We’re out here if you need us”. They were talking with the neighbors. Finally, relief.

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