The WatchersJune 15, 2011
I used to go running at midnight, about two years ago, when I was living right next to a state park. I was an insomniac and I didn’t really have time to run during the day, and besides the cool darkness was good for running. I would run on the park road, into the park for fifteen minutes, and then turn around. I gradually noticed that just off the road, on a certain stretch, there were human forms just sort of standing around. Obviously a coincidence — there were trees and kudzu that could look like humans if you were running by them fast. One night, however, I was winded and had to walk back to town, and all the human forms were there — clearly recognizable (albeit nothing more than silhouettes) as people, who looked like they had dreadlocks or something. They all seemed to be either facing the road or away from it, and they were all just sort of standing there, fidgeting. I took to calling them the Watchers (I know, really original), and even though they freaked me out I never messed them and they never messed with me. In a scared-shitless, oh-my-god-keep-running sort of way, I grew fond of them. They never did anything but stand there, though.