Scenario: You're wandering around a big neighborhood garage sale. It's a beautiful day, lots of people are out and about, and everyone is friendly. An old man - tall, thin, gangly - shambles toward you on the sidewalk. He moves as if his joints don't quite fit together, his limbs loose like a scarecrow. Hedge clippers - large, dull - hang heavy from his left hand. He doesn't smile, but he nods, says hello, shuffles past.
What if . . . he's on his way to take down more than the hedges around his property? What if he's going after his wife? A neighbor? Why?
What if . . . he believes he must protect himself from a time traveling murderer lurking in the woods beyond his fence? Or that he must slay a monster living in the bushes around his house? What if he's crazy? What if he's not?
What if . . . plants, weeds, spindly trees are growing where they shouldn't? In the attic? In the car? From the carpet in his living room, in his bedroom? What if they're starting to grow inside of him, sprouting out of him? What if he's the only one who can feel them, see them?
What if . . . the hedge clippers are cursed and everything they cut grows back faster, thicker? What if whatever they cut into actually bleeds? What if the people who sold them to the Shambling Man know exactly what they are, what they do, but this was the only way to free themselves?
Your turn! What is this man's story? Did you ever make up stories about people at garage sales? Imagine the history behind the items being sold? Ever wish your imagination was wired differently, like in a way that would actually let you sleep at night?