Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2016 Day 12: the Fog

By Robin de Voh on 2016-10-22

A feeling of discomfort set in. I was watching a horror movie at the time. Not a particularly good one, but it was creepy enough to unsettle me. It was around 2am and I was by myself. After a scene that rattled me to the point where I couldn't take it anymore, I turned off the movie and sat in the near-dark for a while. I got up and made myself a cup of tea to calm down but it wasn't working.

After finishing the tea, I was still uneasy and decided to go for a walk. Maybe some fresh air would help.

Pulling on my jacket, I wondered if it was a good idea to go for a walk at 2am. Besides, where would I go? There's a park nearby, but I've heard bad things about it, especially about stuff that happens at night. Yeah, given how I felt, that was a really bad idea. So I decided to go elsewhere. Far from anyone else, there was a nature reserve about 10 minutes by bike. It would be quiet and calm.

When I went outside, I noticed there was a bit of fog. Hmm. Slightly creepy, but not that bad. I could still see far enough, figured it wouldn't be an issue. I got on my bike and 10 uneventful minutes later I propped it up against a tree and locked it. Even here, on the outskirts of the city, it was really quiet already.

I'd started to like the fog. It prevented me from seeing very far ahead, but it was also a little like a blanket.

The unease was starting to fade and I felt like I'd made the right call coming out here.

I walked along the path, into the nature reserve. As the light from the city behind me started to fade, the fog seemed to close in on me. About half a mile in, I could see clearly up to about 10 yards, after which the fog seemed so incredibly dense that I felt boxed in a little.

I found a bench and sat down. I looked up at the sky, but couldn't see much. This fog was really something.

Now, I've been watching horror films for years, since I was about 8 years old. My mom rented one without realizing what it was and didn't realize her mistake until after we were already halfway through the movie. By that time, she figured me and my sister could handle it. We could, and I've been a fan of horror ever since.

But sometimes, and I cannot explain why, it just gets to me. Gets to me in a way I can't continue watching and need to shake it off somehow. This was one of those moments, where I guess the suspense and fear was just a little too much to handle. I thought about why it would be like that now, and came to the conclusion that I was stressed about college. Perhaps when I'm stressed, I can't deal with this stuff as well as I usually can.

While I was thinking all of this through, I heard a noise. A weird noise you wouldn't expect out in nature. Well, maybe in nature, but not in a cultivated park-like area like this. I know there's cows roaming here, to feed on the weeds and manure all over the place -- I had nearly stepped in a patty when walking up here -- but this was a sound I would not expect a cow to make.

Squealing pigs. With some really wet-sounding screams, too. My skin immediately responded with goosebumps and the hairs in my neck stood up. The sound was a little too close for comfort too.

I had brought a flashlight just in case and fumbled in my jacket pocket to get it out. Once I did and flicked it on, I noticed something that really didn't help me feel any better. Shining the flashlight in the direction the sounds were coming from, I noticed it made the fog seem even closer. Now I could only see 3 or 4 yards ahead of me. Moving the flashlight around me showed that I was really quite boxed in. It was like a sudden wall of fog around me.

I snapped. I turned off the flashlight and waited for my eyes to adjust to the dark again, after which I got up and walked briskly to where I had come from. The screaming got louder and it seemed to follow me.

I kept telling myself that it was all in my head. That even if the screaming was real, the fact that it sounded like it was following me was a trick played on me by my horror-infused mind. That it was just sound bouncing around the trees around here.

When I suddenly heard footsteps I didn't think, I just ran.

I unlocked my bike and jumped on it, riding off into the fog as quickly as I could.

When I got back home, I dropped down onto the couch without even taking my jacket off.

A house mate, one who was also still up, had heard me come home and knocked on my door.

"Hey, you alright?"

I sighed and looked at him.

"Next time you hear me saying I want to watch a horror movie, tell me I shouldn't."
"Huh? Why?"
"Just promise you will."