No text this week, just pictures. Still 100 words exactly though.
Tag Archives: fog
Hi everyone, did you think I would miss Friday Fictioneers this week? I’m over 24 hours late from when I usually post this, but I wasn’t feeling inspired. The problem with doing these every week for so long is that I don’t want to write just any story and if I don’t get an idea I really like, I just keeping thinking and thinking. I don’t know if this is exactly a good story, but it’s unapologetically bizarre, and that’s okay in my books.
Foggy Bottom Brain Surgery
Dr. Singh was sweating like . . . there was no better analogy than what he was at that moment: a doctor performing brain surgery on the king of the Bhligli, whose cognitive organ was in their buttocks. The Blighli never thought sitting down.
The tumor was an active thing, dodging the scalpel and hiding in the forest of alien ganglia.
“More suction, the whole thing is filling up with fog.”
Slurp. A greenish appendage disappeared up the vacuum tube. The nurse cringed under his wrathful look. “Do you think that was important?”
“For the sake of the human race, I hope not.”
First of all, apologies for not producing as many long stories these days. I have a few in the works, but I just don’t have much time these days. I’ll post them as they are finished. This post is a true account, something I was thinking of as I rode to work today on my motorbike.
I rode my motorbike out along a small highway going out of the city this morning. I passed the Ajung reservoir and Kirin peak beyond, the tops dissolving into the nebulous grey of the fog. All this was reflected perfectly on the still surface of the reservoir. Besides the hum of my engine and the other cars, the world was silent.
I thought, “This would make a great picture. Maybe I should stop and take one.”
Then I thought, “But pictures are all about later–about the Then. And they can never compare to the Now.”
So I didn’t stop. I continued on, over the mountain pass and down into the next valley where my school was, soaking in the wondrous beauty all around me and enjoying the sublime Now.
(Currently I am on a trip and writing this on my phone so please forgive me if I am late reading your stories.)
“Fog for sale!” Keppler shouted from his soapbox. “Authentic river fog, blessed by a gen-yoo-wine water spirit!”
The man looked skeptical. “Water spirit?”
“Yeah, her name’s Brittany.”
“What’s fog good for?”
“Good for what ails you, my good man,” Keppler said. “For instance, you seem like a man who has trouble getting a girlfriend– Hey, come back!”
Brittany, the water spirit appeared next to him. “Of all the snake-oil salesmen I could have taken up with…”
“Why do you even need money?”
“Paying off a class-action suit,” she said. “Apparently my water’s too dirty for some cry-babies. Life’s hard, man.”
Jun-Young’s breath caught in his throat as he stepped outside and saw a mountain rising out of the mist, where before there had only been fields. It was Gwishin-san, the phantom mountain, which appeared every century, for one day only.
He had to leave soon. He had less than twenty-four hours to reach the peak.
This was based on a story prompt by my good friend, Sharmistha, on her post, Who Was That? Check out her blog and write your own version if you wish.
I walked out onto the crushed gravel of the driveway, the only light coming from a window high up on the third floor. It was my bedroom, and the only inhabited room in the whole dreary pile. The rest of the manor, with its long corridors and sepulchral parlors was in the hands of another, at least during the night. It was a place where fear was as plentiful as the dark through which it flowed.
The mist was rising up off the lake, slowly taking the grounds for its own. I could feel its chilling caress as it flowed past me. My heart was pounding and my knees were shaking, but I swung the flashlight beam around, looking for the reason I had come. But the fog diffused the light and I could see nothing but the white mist.
Never look out your window after dark. That was my rule, which I obeyed faithfully for all those months I had lived alone in that gloomy mansion. But that night, as I drew the curtains fully closed, I happened to glance out and saw the flicker of a light below in the courtyard: not the bright beam of a flashlight from a lost hiker or a deliveryman, but the dim flicker of a lantern that had no place in the present age.
Never let the fear master you. That was my other rule, and so I ventured out to investigate, against the cries of common sense. I felt my neck prickle with premonition and I looked quickly back at the house. My eyes were drawn irresistibly to the roof and I saw it, the dark, cloaked figure looking down at me, so black that I saw its silhouette clearly, even against the night sky.
It could only be he, the long-dead master of the estate that I had usurped. For a moment, my will failed me and I ran inside, barring the door with futile bolts of steel.
Later, in my room I sat in dread anticipation by the glowing embers on the hearth. I had broken his truce and I did not know what would come. The darkness closed around me, pressing on me, until I did not dare move to build up the fire or find refuge in bed.
I heard the door creak softly and then a soft, almost inaudible whine as it opened, slowly but inexorably.
I tried to control my rapid breathing. Never let fear master you, my mind screamed, but the words were lost in the whirling shriek of the blood rushing in my ears. The floorboards creaked, one by one, coming ever closer. I heard that quiet tread, back and forth, just out of sight. I needed to build up the fire, but I could not move. Just as the panic overcame my senses and darkness began to cloud my eyes, I groped for a piece of wood and pushed it forward onto the embers.
The fire flared up and I heard a hiss from the darkness next to my chair. Then my mind slipped into darkness.
I awoke, still in the armchair, with a sliver of daylight slipping between the heavy curtains. When I pulled them open, I found blackened footprints leading to and from the door. Whatever had made them had paced back and forth in a circle, just outside the light of the fire.
From that day on, I never looked outside after dark and I kept the fire built high, especially on foggy nights.
The darkness enveloped me on all sides like a shroud of fear. Leaves, twisting and shuddering in the night breeze, fled across my path as I steered my bike down the quickly darkening lane. Streetlights gleamed periodically through the gloom. It was becoming foggy.
Strange, I thought. They said that fog almost never appeared in that area. In fact, it was the first time I had ever seen fog this thick and cold. A sense of panic crept over me with clutching fingers as the mist settled around me. My bike was already dripping with condensation and I was damp from the fog and an anxious sweat. My hands were becoming numb from the wet steel handlebars and I was getting tired.
The turnoff to my driveway should be somewhere up ahead. It was taking longer than I had remembered. Maybe I had already passed it, obscured by trees, darkness and the mist that now blanketed everything. I had only lived in the area for two weeks and I had never gone much farther down the lane beyond my house. Something had always restrained me, a small tugging in my heart to do something else that had always seemed more important.
Suddenly, as if pulled by a preternatural sense, I turned to see two small points of light piercing the gloom some ways behind me. Headlights. An irrational terror seized me, as if those lights were the roving eyes of a beast that was searching me out. I looked wildly for a place to hide, to escape. The trees seemed to draw closer to the sides of the road, blocking any passage through them. Retreat was out of the question. The only way was forward. If only I could reach my driveway before those lights overtook me. I slammed the bike into a higher gear and started to pedal harder. The sleek frame sped along the slick asphalt.
I was being silly, I realized. The headlights behind me most likely belonged to a farmer, driving home from the store. I started to slow my pace until I looked back at the lights again, much closer now. Those pale, unrelenting beams bored straight into my mind, melting all logic and rational thought as they went. Adrenaline flooded my veins and again I was off like a shot. My muscles were aching and I was dragging in breaths in ragged gasps.
The car was closing fast; my last burst of energy had made little difference. At any moment it might overtake me. Then, at the last moment, it appeared: my driveway, like a tunnel in the trees on the right. The brakes let out an indignant shriek from the water, and gravel flew as I skidded recklessly into the driveway seconds before the car roared past. I took a deep breath and turned to go up to the house.
With a start, I noticed for the first time the tall iron-wrought gate that now barred my way. Beyond it, row upon row upon countless row of bone-white gravestones rose like broken teeth out of the fog.
This was not my driveway.