The Fog (Part 1)

The fog was going away.

It had started to come in almost from the beginning;
She could not remember now a time when it was not coming in.
It had come in under clouds, under the sun, under star-less and star-filled skies.

Over the water that matched the sky in its vastness,
Creeping, rolling, floating, streaming forward
The fog had come in

To the shore filled with rocks and sand,
To the sparse grass,
To the tall trees that were now the only ones that had lived in clear air.

The fog had come in from no one knew where
Blowing into the roads,
Swirling around lamp posts,
Making dogs howl
And children cry.

The fog had come in,
Had crawled up the walls,
Had entered through open windows and through cracks under locked doors.

The fog had come
And it had found her.

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Questionings in the Afternoon

She walked in to find him lying face-down on the floor in the middle of the room. The afternoon rays shone directly onto his back as though he was the center of the sun’s attention.

For a moment she stood at the edge of the room watching his torso rise and fall with his breathing. He didn’t sleep much, but when he did, it was deep and it was for a long time.

She slipped off her shoes and crossed the living room to the kitchen. She unpacked and put away the groceries, still watching him. Then she took the unfinished bottle of wine he had left on the counter and went to sit on the floor next to him.

She took a sip of wine as her eyes traveled up his body to rest on his peaceful, beautiful face. She wondered what he was dreaming about. He always said he didn’t remember his dreams – “It’s just blissful unconsciousness, babe” – but she liked to think that as he slept he lived all that he could never quite reach when he was awake: having a carefree smoke with his younger brother who had been refusing to talk to him for the past three years; finally tracking down the man he had foolishly sold his grandfather’s pistol to when he was 19 and in need of money; holding in his arms the baby they had been trying for so long to have. She wished, so much, that in his dreams he would find himself happy.

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Behind the Door: In which she waits

She sits by the door, ear pressed against it, waiting to hear footsteps approaching. They’ve been gone for countless days now; surely someone will be back soon.

Hours pass, and it is now dark outside. When she is tired, she lies flat on the floor, her ear still pressed to the door.

She closes her eyes and sleeps:

She is walking down a tunnel with bare, gray walls and a high ceiling she cannot see. The corridor is dark and narrow, but she is not afraid. She knows this is leading her to a specific place, though she doesn’t know which place that is.

She walks for minute after minute and doesn’t find anyone crossing her path. There are no doors on either side, just the stretching, dark walls purposefully leading her somewhere.

More minutes pass, and she is growing tired. Sweat starts to trickle down her neck, and small panting sounds come from every breath. She is walking on, walking farther; there must be an end coming up ahead.

There is. Far away in front, barely distinguishable, is a bend in the corridor. This must lead to where she is going, this right turn in the tunnel.

She quickens her pace, nearing the bend as fast as she can. Soon, she has reached it.

She turns right to follow the new path of the tunnel. In her earnest walk, she scrapes her arm against the corner of the wall. Small beads of blood spring up …

Then her eyes fly open as she hears the footsteps coming down the hall. She realizes that the floor is cold and sits up, pressing her ear against the door once more. She listens closely and can then tell it is he who is coming back. His steps are deliberate, heavy, and brisk.

She waits in complete silence, her breath caught in her swollen lungs. How she wanted it to be he who would return.

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