Her long, weekend getaway wasn’t going so well. She’d hoped for sunshine and fresh air, and all she got was rain and fog.
Based on her weather app, it was already sunrise. Based on what the weather looked like outside, she couldn’t tell where the sun was. The low clouds were so thick, they drowned out all color, leaving the landscape a dreary monochromatic gray.
Standing on the back porch, she looked down over the far woods. Searching the mist for any sign of life, there was no hint of color or movement. All sound was suspended. No chirping birds, no rustling of leaves, her own breath was a muted buzz in her ears.
It was if all time had stopped, and her existence was left in limbo, or purgatory.
Without the warmth of the sun, she could feel a cold creeping into her bones and pulled the quilt wrapped around her shoulders a little tighter.
Looking at her feet, she took a startled step back. The mist was curling over the edge of the porch and around the wooden railings. Phantom tendril, sinuous and sinister, reached out for her. Tripping over the abandoned Adirondack chairs as she made a panicked escape toward the house, she groped for the door handle, falling through the entryway just as the mist filled the porch.
She slammed the door, locking it against the menacing threat. As the fog rolled out of the woods, she watched in horror as it engulfed the house, shrouding it in a monstrous cocoon.
She heard a barely perceptible cry – a mournful keening of a broken heart. As the weeping grew louder, she tried to hide, closing her eyes and covering her ears. It hurt to hear.
Huddled under the kitchen table, she risked opening her eyes, only to add her own screams to the wailing. Ghostly faces appeared in the windows, slamming into the glass as they tried to break through. Spiderweb cracks began to form and the mist seeped into the fissures. Just as all the windows threatened to shatter, a sharp ray of light cut through the fog.
The keening turned to angry shrieks, as the wraiths writhed in the bright sun. The fog burned away in seconds, taking the wraiths with it.
She didn’t waste time packing, instead she simply grabbed her purse and ran from the house, not even looking back in her rearview mirror as she raced away. If she had, she would have seen the faint trail of fog stealing behind her car.