Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Out of this World

I never expected it. Not that anyone would. Or at least I don't think anyone would. Like every night after work, I had boarded the bus -- the very crowded bus -- to take me out to the Avenues. I had lived in the Richmond District since I had first landed in San Francisco. Yeah, at first, the fog was a drag, but the park was only two blocks from my flat. Having that wide expanse so near essentially lifted the fog for me.

The fact is, the fog and I became friends. I found I missed it if I spent too much time away from the city or if some weird tropical air or arctic air forced the fog away for more than a few days. While others celebrated its absence, I pined for it. I guess you could say I suffer from the opposite of FAD -- fog affective disorder.

The fog was thicker than usual when I got off the bus to walk one block up Geary and one block up 6th, then one block up Anza and one block up 7th. By the time I turned up 7th, I could hardly see the parked cars. I know it sounds like a trite exaggeration, but it's true: I could hardly see my hand at my side.

Right in front of my flat, the fog disappeared. It vanished so quickly, it was as if I had halfway entered a room. My right leg was still in the fog, having yet to complete my stride. The rest of me was entirely visible. I stopped once I had entered the area of no fog. I placed my arm through the fog and it was no longer visible. I did the same thing swinging my purse. The strap was visible, the hand holding it was visible, but the bag was no longer there.

The anti-fog area seemed to entirely encompass my flat and the upper one. The houses on either side were swallowed by the fog. Our was it our flats that were swallowed by no fog? What the hell was going on? I'd heard of micro-climates in the city before, but this was much different than even a micro-micro-climate.

Something touched me, then, as my bag was in the fog and I was in the anti-fog. I don't know what it was. It traced a -- finger? cane? stick? -- along my neck. I dropped the purse. I spun around. Then I spun around again. I saw nothing. Nothing but the sidewalk in front of me. The steps to my flat. The house. The small grass plot. No one was there.

I walked to the middle of the clearing. Again, something traced along my neck, then my shoulder, my side, my lower back. And back up again the other side. But there was nothing there.

There was nothing for a few moments, and then the fog burst through the clearing. And whatever it was vanished.

[A 10-minute writing exercise. See what's out of this world at Sunday Scribblings.]

16 comments:

forgetfulone said...

That was wonderful! Great post.

Granny Smith said...

If you can do this amazingly well in ten minutes, I hope you are working on a novel!

I know fog,too, since I live right across the bay from your story's site. I've been in fog that thick, but nobody has traced a something along my body - yet.

Liza's Eyeview said...

mysterious ... that fog ....

that was good!

Wine-dark Sea said...

yes - so said...

WDS

Just Jen said...

that is so neat! I've seen that with the rain, like its raining in the front yard and not in the back but with fog, thats really neat!

Lilibeth said...

A fog. My old friend. I'll try not to think about the tracing hand nest time I walk in the fog.

tumblewords said...

Wow! What an interesting post! I could feel the fog and the puzzlement.

Robin said...

Excellent!

Lucy said...

I will tell you what was making your spine tingle... Talent! You wrote that in 10 min??
Talent baby! :)

Sian said...

Spooky, horrible and really, really good!
How is the novel coming along?

Ingrid said...

This was pretty cool and spooky. I loved how you left it mysterious nd open-ended.

Cheryl said...

That was terrific. I loved the wide focus/close focus change in the narration.

Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

Fog, presence and absence... great story.

gautami tripathy said...

It has all the elements of flash fiction!

debris of our making

Pacian said...

I like how this is chilling, but not necessarily sinister.

susiej said...

Pretty darn amazing for ten minutes. I'm anxious to see your book.

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