Ghosts in the Mist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two lovers and their encounter with their own death.

Submitted: December 25, 2011

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Submitted: December 25, 2011

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It stands to reason that if you could see a tragedy before it occurred you could change your mind and stop it. Just this very thing happened to a young couple in love one night as they strolled through the mist and shadows in the dusk of a spring evening somewhere in the foothills. Her eyes glinted with lust for the unknown for she had no fear with her lover by her side. He couldn’t stop smiling. She was everything he ever wanted, and he still had a satisfying career working with his hands, a supportive and loving family, and very good health. They were very happy together and he planned to ask for her hand in marriage when they reached a place on the trail where they had shared a first kiss.

As they rounded a bend and came out of the thick of the forest nearing the bank of a gently babbling creek there was a wide point in the road, and they stopped short. There in the dimly lit mist was the figure of a young woman kneeling by some dark shadow on the ground. The couple approached slowly, the young healthy man insisting on finding out if assistance was necessary. 

As they neared they heard the strange woman sobbing and soon saw why. As the fog cleared around them they saw the shadow in the road was a man, lying facedown in a pool of his own blood. The young lover girl cringed at the site and swallowed an upheaval of bile and crab cakes from dinner. She asked what happened and the sobbing woman lifted her head and revealed an inhumanly pale mirror image of the girl shocking the couple so intensely they almost didn’t notice the deep bloody gash running ear to ear under her chin. 

She looked at them with pleading eyes and rolled the man she had been crying for over, bringing to life the couples worse fears. It was in fact a similar pale mirroring of the young man. The ghostly woman reached out and grabbed the girls hand with and icy touch. She did not move away. they made perfect eye contact unblinking for what seemed like an eternity. Then the pale one uttered in a seemingly disembodied voice “save yourselves”.

 

The lovers awoke the next morning by the creek. The sun glinting from the crystal creek water into their sleepy eyes. They each wondered if what they had seen was real or some bizzar sick nightmare. They turned their heads and gave each other a look confirming at least that it was true enough for them both to have seen it. Their hearts filled with dread, a dread so deep that for a moment they felt no love of one another.

They questioned what it meant. Had they been warned of some future disaster. Or was it a message to accept some final fate. They didn’t know, no one could. They were quiet at diner at the man’s parents house. Speaking only to announce their engagement and accept congratulations. 

Even when they made love that night, it didn’t feel the same. It felt distant, weak, like everything else in their lives. They would walk together, holding hands even though it felt they were lightyears apart. When they stared into each others eyes they saw not the life and soul of their lover, but a reflection of the shadows behind themselves.

The man was ever watchful, never looking at anyone else except as a cautionary glance. The woman pleaded with him to come back to reality. She thought it was just a sign that they should never let themselves grow apart. They stopped looking at each other and soon stopped speaking. The man constantly sidetracked. Ever looking off to something distant no one could ever see. And the woman always stared at her once passionate love longingly for no purpose at all.

 

Decades later her husband died of old age. As she stood over the open casket she finally knew what that night meant: “Don’t let yourselves die”. And she began to sob. They had failed that test in the worst way possible. She recalled looking at her husband across the dinner table, she saw not a man, but the empty husk of a man who had once been alive. She looked down at his corpse and thought to herself that in his death he looked somehow more alive then he had in life, because he appeared at peace, death no longer loomed over him like it had since that night. And right then she dropped dead, killed by a broken heart.

And so I leave you to consider this: You need to decide weather it is more important to live or just survive.

 
 


© Copyright 2017 Coop Van Auken. All rights reserved.

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