With this one I might have creeped myself out a little bit. I like it. 😀
F is for Fog
She told me, before I left. Get back before the dark comes, she said. Get back before night. Get back before the fog.
I told her not to worry. It’s only fog, I said. It’s only dark.
But she insisted. Said her daddy, the innkeeper, would lock the gate at full dark and wouldn’t open it again until morning.
She was a pretty one, that girl. Like many innkeepers’ daughters she was full and curvy in all the right places, and soft to the touch. Both the kind you give, and the kind you get back. So I smiled at her. I nodded. I promised I wouldn’t be out after nightfall. I’d stay out of the fog.
Mama told me never to lie. Daddy told me never to disappoint a woman. My parents were wise folk and they ain’t never turned me wrong. So I had every plan and intention of being back to that inn plenty early for supper. I thought just maybe that innkeeper’s daughter would share a little something sweet with me after.
And then I walked out of that boarding house and took the narrow path toward the hills.
The map I had was rough. Worse, it was old—maybe very old. But I knew this was the place and I had to go. It was the best chance I ever had to change my fortunes. Best chance to turn my life in a way that might earn me the right to hope for something more permanent than just a cuddle in the dark with a pretty girl.
The guy who gave it to me said it was his grandfather’s map, and his grandfather’s before that. I don’t know the whole story, but it showed where to go to get the magic and the token. And when you have a chance like that, how can you turn it down?
So I went up that track through the woods and into the hills. I followed the signs. I found the place. I said the words. I searched for the treasure.
And do you know? It was true. It was all true. And it happened just exactly like it was supposed to.
Except when I went in that cave it was high noon. When I came out—it can’t have been an hour later—the sun was scraping the horizon.
I knew there was no way I could get back to that Inn before I lost the light.
But I didn’t want to be a liar, so I ran. Oh light, how I ran.
I chased the sun right down the side of those hills. I whipped through those trees like a ghost in a graveyard.
I could swear I heard the gate clang shut just a moment too soon.
Just a moment before the darkness slammed down like a guillotine.
Just a moment before the fog lifted up and wrapped itself around me.
And I told myself it’s only fog. It’s only dark. I tried not to worry.
And then I was gone.
I wrote a follow-up for this story in M is for Mist.
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