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Wednesday, 17 April 2013

O is for Otherworldly - Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

Greetings and welcome to O is for Otherworldly. Today I have a short piece of fiction for you.

I don't know about you, but there's nothing more otherworldly in nature than fog or mist to me. The way it swallows up the landscape and makes everything distant and indistinct. Even sound changes in fog. This is my take on fog and all the possibilities it creates. It's suitable for all ages.

I've also recorded it as am mp3, if you would rather listen to it than read it.

Right click here and select save if you would like to download it

In the Fog
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Cold and dark and alone; three things that make my heartbeat thud in my ears.

It had seemed like a good idea to walk to try and find a phone signal half an hour ago. The moon had been shining and all the stars had been out and there had been a warm breeze. Everything had seemed so straightforward then.

Where the fog came from I have no idea.

The moon is gone, the stars are gone and there is a damp chill in the air I can feel through my clothes.

I know I'm still on the road, because there is tarmac beneath my feet, but I can't see it. I can barely see my phone that I'm using as a torch, let alone anything else. There's still no signal and turning round to go back to the car is looking like a really great idea. If I could be sure that turning around would actually take me back to the car that is. At least going forward I have a chance of finding something, but I'm all turned around so forward could be back for all I know.

Of course, I've never been that lucky and when my foot catches on something I can't see I almost go arse over elbow and my phone flies from my hand. It's like it's happening in slow motion as I watch it fly through the air, a glowing blob in the fog. I hear it skitter along the tarmac for quite a long way, my heart in my throat and then my worst fears are realised; it goes out.

Now there is no light, just a wall of blackness around me and I panic. I can't move, because I am rigid with fear, but it feels like my heart is about to explode and my mind won't stop rushing with thoughts. I need to get a hold of myself, but that primal part of me that's afraid of the dark has total control. I'm just about ready to cry out in fear when light pops back into my world. My first thought is 'thank god' and my second is 'thank you phone makers for creating such a hardy piece of technology'.

I feel silly for about three seconds until the light moves. Now the cold terror is back as what should be my inanimate phone floats into the air, still nothing more than a blob in the fog. I can't hear anything.

"Hello," I try.

Nothing comes back to me, but the light is getting brighter. The urge to run is quite strong, but the light has me with a primeval need to see. Then, in the fog, I make out a shape outlined in the light. It's tall and vaguely human shaped and every horror film I have ever seen comes back to haunt me. My brain kind of shuts down as I wonder what monster is coming to get me. I'm not really ready for it to resolve into a human shape and a familiar human shape at that.

"Don't worry, Baby Girl," says a very familiar voice, "the cavalry is here."


"Who else?"

"But you're not supposed to be here."

"Of course, but what kind of man would I be if I broke a promise to my little sister?"

I can see his smiling face now, eerily white in the harsh light of the phone.


"Does it matter? Someone had to rescue you or you'll wander into a lake or something. We need to go back that way a hundred yards or so and there's a farm track on the left; it's the only house for miles."

I hadn't even seen a road off the one I'm on and I realise I had walked right past salvation.

There are too many thoughts whirling around inside my head, too many questions, so when Tim hands me my phone I take it and turn at his urging.

"Come on, Baby Girl," he says, "let's get you safe."

As his hand settles at the base of my back I feel the safety he is talking about already. Tim is ten years older than me and he has always looked after me, from skinned knees to troublesome boyfriends. For the first time since the car rolled to the side of the road with a puncture, I feel happy.

It doesn't take us long to reach the farm, especially with Tim chattering away to keep me centred. He takes me right up to the door and knocks for us without me having to do a thing. With another man I might have objected, but with Tim it's different; I will always be his little sister.

"There you go, Baby Girl," he says, "safe and sound."

Then the door opens and it's like looking into another world. Suddenly the fog around me is alien and I feel the chill once again.

"I'm sorry," I stutter, typically British, "my car has a flat tyre and I'm kind of lost."

The woman standing there just looks at me for a moment, after all I have just dragged her out of bed, and then she seems to wake up.

"You poor dear," she says, "come on in."

Something shifts as I walk into the house and the feelings of safety melt away again.

"You're lucky to have found us with the fog."

"My brother showed me the way."

"Your brother," the woman says, "is he still out there?"

"No," I reply, "he's gone."

And the tears prickle at the back of my eyes.

"He died last year."

That's when I burst into tears and everything that just happened hits me. It was Tim: my handsome, kind, wonderful brother who was taken from us in a matter of weeks by aggressive cancer that had spread everywhere before he even knew he had it. My caring, amazing brother whose last words to me had been: "Don't worry, Baby Girl, I'll always be there when you need me."


If you would like to see what all of my posts will be about in advance, click here to see my theme post.
My twin and I are also doing the A to Z Challenge over at our fantasy erotica blog: http://fantasyboysxxx.blogspot.co.uk/


  1. Excellent, well written and such a pleasure to read.


  2. I live in N. Colorado, USA where we are a semi arid desert. Lately more of a desert, period. When I get fog, it tends to settle in the meadow and looks like a white ocean. Very calm and soft. I enjoyed your post and I will not be seeing Oblivion, even though I like Cruise.

    1. I'm in South East England and it's very wet here. There is a river that runs past the village and that's mostly where the fog collects, unless it really means business and it's like pea soup ;).

      Thank you.

  3. Wow! Beautiful and bittersweet!
    Happy A to Z!

  4. Lovely short story. Very powerful.


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