b-marchand123 B. Marchand

Unseen fears contest silver medal winner, prompt a story that strikes fear by atmosphere.

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Lauren gazes out the window of their new home, taking in the dense fog that seems to envelop the entire town. Unease stirs within her as she wonders what secrets could be hidden by the omnipresent mist.

There was an eerie stillness to the fog, as if it was more than a mere weather phenomenon. As she peered into the white void, Lauren felt a sense of lingering unease that she couldn't quite explain.

Shaking off her disquiet, she turned away from the window. David would surely assure her it was just nerves in their new environment. Still, as Lauren began unpacking their belongings, she couldn't help but feel eyes staring back at her from beyond the veil of mist.

During dinner, as Lauren half-heartedly picked at her food, she voiced her concerns about the heavy fog surrounding their new home. "Don't you find it unsettling? This town is wrapped in mist like a shroud."

David looked up from his plate with an easy smile. "It's just the weather, honey. I'm sure it's perfectly normal for these parts. Nothing to worry about." He reached over and gave her hand an affectionate squeeze. "You're still adjusting to town life. I promise the fog will become second nature before long."

His cheerful dismissal did little to ease Lauren's disquiet, however. She couldn't shake the unease that had crept over her as she gazed out at the swirling whiteness. It felt like more than a mere meteorological phenomenon. But not wanting to appear foolish, Lauren forced a smile and turned her attention back to dinner, trying to emulate David's carefree attitude. Still, his assurances rang hollow against the voice of doubt within her.

In the dead of night, Lauren was startled awake by strange noises outside. It almost sounded like footsteps, as if something was moving just beyond their property in the mist-shrouded darkness. Panic set in as the noises seemed to grow louder, closer.

She shook David's shoulder urgently. “David, did you hear that? There's something out there!”

Grumbling sleepily, David climbed out of bed and went to the window. Lauren hovered nervously behind him as he peered through the dense fog. But there was nothing to be seen in the impenetrable whiteness, even with their lamp held close to the glass.

"Just an animal or the wind in the trees, I'm sure," he reassured her. "Nothing to worry us inside folk. Now come back to bed before the chill gets in."

Exhausted and unsettled, Lauren let David lead her back to their room. But sleep evaded her as she strained her ears for any sign the ominous noises had returned.

Over breakfast the next morning, Lauren recounted the strange noises that had awoken her in the night. She couldn't shake the sense that something sinister lingered out there under the shroud of mist.

David sipped his coffee and shook his head patiently. “You're imagining things, honey. It was probably just a raccoon or possum rooting around the trash. Nothing to get all worked up about.“

But Lauren wasn't so sure. "This place gives me the creeps. Can't you feel how wrong it is?"

Her husband chuckled. "I think it's this isolation that's got you on edge. You're not used to living so far from the city. But you'll adjust in no time, I promise."

His easy dismissal did little to calm Lauren's mounting anxiety. She pushed away her half-eaten breakfast, having lost her appetite. David didn't understand - she knew in her bones that more lurked in this fog than met the eye. His blithe country logic failed to counter the foreboding that gripped her heart.

While unpacking a box of books, Lauren came across an old, yellowed newspaper article tucked between the pages. 'Strange Disappearances Baffle Rustledge,' read the headline.

She glanced over the lurid details - how several townsfolk had vanished without a trace in the thick fog decades ago, leaving their farms and families behind. Showing it to David, Lauren felt a surge of vindication. "See? I'm not the only one who thinks something weird is going on here."

David scanned the article briefly before tossing it aside. "Ancient history, my dear. Just local yokels frightening each other with campfire tales. I wouldn't give it much mind."

"You never take my worries seriously!" Lauren snapped in frustration.

He drew her into a conciliatory hug. "Look, I'm just saying these old rumors aren't worth losing sleep over. Let's focus on settling in and leaving the past in the past, yeah?"

Lauren wasn't so easily convinced. But sensing David's impatience, she held her tongue and returned begrudgingly to unpacking their belongings.

That evening, seeking some fresh air, Lauren reluctantly ventured out into the fog-enshrouded streets as David had suggested.

She walked slowly, peering into the gloom for any signs of life. At the corner grocer's, two elderly men halted their conversation to bore holes through her with icy stares. Further down, a gaggle of gossiping matrons fell silent at her approach, regarding her suspiciously before resuming whispers behind their hands.

The open hostility left Lauren feeling like an intruder in her own town. She quickened her pace, eager to escape their judgmental gazes. The mist seemed to close in, muting all sound except her own footsteps echoing hollowly.

By the time she returned home, Lauren's sense of disquiet had grown tenfold. The residents' distrust affirmed her belief that something dark festered beneath the town's placid surface. That night, she crawled into bed more unsettled than ever, dreading what further surprises the morrow's fog might bring.

Lauren watched nervously as the mist swallowed David whole. Though he brushed off her worries with a kiss and smile, unease still clutched at her heart. She traced his fading form with her gaze until even that last glimmer was devoured by the encroaching whiteness.

Fear kept her rooted at the window long after he vanished, dreading any sign of movement beyond the veil of fog. When at last all seemed still, Lauren forced herself away with a shiver. Night was falling, she wished only for David's safe return.

The hours dragged as Lauren paced their small home, straining her ears for any sound beyond the door. Only the squeaking floorboards marked time's passage. She paused again and again to peer through the unyielding gloom, hoping against hope to see David emerging unharmed. But the mist lay stagnant as a frozen sea.

As midnight came and went with still no word, panic began to claw its way up Lauren's throat. She dared not linger on what horrible fates could have befallen him in those engulfing shadows. Snatching up her coat, Lauren threw open the door, only to reel back at the wall of dense whiteness before her. How could anyone find their way in this impenetrable shroud?

Terror seized her heart in an icy grip. David would not stay out so late willingly. Some nameless evil had reached out from the fog to claim another victim, as it had so many others before. Lauren slammed the door shut and doubled over, retching wretchedly as the awful truth sank its claws deep, her husband was lost to the mist, gone as if he had never been. And she was alone with her fears in the dark.

The hours dragged endlessly as Lauren paced their small home, checking her phone every few minutes though she knew, with a sinking heart, it would show no new messages or calls. Still she clung desperately to hope with every fruitless check, as if her longing alone could will David's safe return.

When midnight came and went with no word or sighting, panic's icy claws sank deeper into her chest. She paused again by the window, peering uselessly into the abyss of mist that had swallowed her husband hours ago. A dreadful sense of wrongness suffocated the small home, stealing the air from Lauren's lungs with each panicked breath.

Where was David? He would not stay out so late willingly and leave her in such torment. Though reason dared not speak its theories, fear relentlessly shrieked them into Lauren's mind. Her imagination tormented her with visions of David lost, drifting alone and injured somewhere in the shrouding shadows. Or worse yet, dragged down into the mist by some nameless evil that lurked hungry in the fog.

Lauren's panic mounted as she paced, imagining horrors that could have befallen David alone in the dense whiteness. Gripped by despair and determination, she snatched up her coat and flung open the door. A wall of fog greeted her, a threat in its stillness. Yet its secrets would not remain quiet.

Lauren plunged into the mist, calling David's name with increasing urgency. But the fog seemed to muffle and devour her voice, each cry fading quicker than the last. Shadowy forms loomed and dissipated just feet ahead as she picked her way down the street.

A dizzying disorientation set in, she could have circled the block a dozen times without knowing.

David did not answer her calls, and the mist did not yield him up. Hours passed aimlessly in the smothering grey, her desperation mounting with every fruitless sweep of the neighborhood.

Then the streets themselves began to disappear, leaving Lauren alone with the realization that David was truly gone, vanished without a trace into the shrouding fog. Exhausted and wild with grief, Lauren pounded on neighbors' doors begging assistance through chattering teeth. But all who answered peered from darkened windows with icy distrust before slamming shut against her pleas.

The mist seemed to leech the warmth from her skin as she stumbled down the lonely streets, the fog amplifying her isolation. No soul remained abroad to hear her hoarse cries rending the silence. Only yawning emptiness greeted her outstretched hands wherever she turned for aid.

Tears froze on her cheeks and her knees buckled with fatigue, yet still Lauren forged on through the smothering quiet. No kindness or answer came, however, to soften the crushing dread and grief bearing her down beneath the shrouding mist.

Only loneliness harrowed her soul as the last light faded from the sky, leaving Lauren lost and despairing in the shadows. There, collapsed in the empty street with no shelter but the uncaring fog, she at last surrendered to racking sobs of fear and sorrow.

Her anguished cries were swallowed willingly into the muffling mist, unheard and unanswered in the gloom.

With trembling hands, Lauren fumbled through the crumpled phone book one last time by the porch light. A single name remained that hadn't yet turned her away, Jake, an aging mechanic who'd lived in Rustledge his whole life.

She stumbled through deepening shadows to his remote homestead tucked away at the fog's edge. His amber porch light seemed a beacon of hope in the smothering gloom. Jake peered through a cracked door, frown lines deepening as Lauren spilled her desperation in shaking words. For a long moment they simply measured one another, then with a heavy sigh he stepped into the misty night.

"I'll not leave a soul stranded out here," Jake rumbled, though wariness lingered in his stare. He marched ahead through swirling mists as Lauren clung to his steady footsteps, the first guide in a labyrinth of white. Together they swept each lonely lane with grim purpose, calling out into the shrouding silence.

No answer stirred the stillness save their own fading voices drifting into the fog. What cruel fate had swallowed David so thoroughly on this soulless night?

Dawn crept chill fingers through the thinning mist as Lauren and Jake swept the last darkened lanes calling David's name. Only silence pressed back, thick and uncaring as the fog. When at last the grey lightened to a hueless glow, Lauren collapsed against an oak's solid trunk and broke.

Tears coursed freely down cheeks rubbed raw, despair swallowing any shred of hope. Jake stood sentry, breaths misting the quiet. His weathered form remained stiff and still as aged bark, yet in piercing blue eyes centuries seemed to stir, haunted glimpses of mist-veiled sins and losses left unburied.

As the final vestiges of night melted away under pale sunlight, Lauren dissolved fully into wretched sobbing. David was truly gone, swallowed utterly by this place's ravenous shadows. Only Jake remained, a sentinel of secrets in the thinning gloom, keeping mute watch over her grief until the last whispers of the dreaming mist sighed themselves to rest at his feet.

10 Mars 2024 14:02 0 Rapport Incorporer Suivre l’histoire
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