Mist on the tracks

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A re-submission with quite a few edits. Enter a boys mind shrouded in confusion and dying hope.

Submitted: July 31, 2010

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Submitted: July 31, 2010

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'Balance.... come-on - BALANCE!'

A foot slides and slips.Jeremy curses the track, curses himself before stepping up.'Concentrate, focus..'A grey blanket rolls in to hide the metallic snake.Inching its way into his senses, Jeremy welcomes the mist, welcomes the stillness it brings, how it muffles out all other sounds, all other feeling.Warmth in cold, security in blindness.He welcomes it.

With an almost uncanny sixth-sense he proceeds down the train track, one foot in front of the other.With each step forward the screaming, the madness, is left behind.The hate, the cruelty, it ran like an angry current through the house, turning everything to venom.A glass was smashed against the wall.Unsure of how long they had screamed at each other.Jeremy had slipped quietly from the house before either could hold him ransom for a minute of consolation.The quiet exit had turned into a sprint and without realizing it Jeremy had reached the track.

A memory now.Someone else’s, not his.‘Mine is a good life, filled with warmth and love.Of dinners around old wooden dining room tables.’Yes, this was indeed better than that other persons life.The other one where everyone took their supper to their rooms to escape the hurt.

The mist coils in wisps and a heavier silence sets in.Jeremy's new memories, the fond ones conjured in the shadows of his mind are silenced.

So silent.’

It is a while before it lifts.

'Maybe it hasn't lifted' he thinks to himself.'Maybe I've risen from the dream, or perhaps stepped into one.'

There is something else now.Something besides the light tap of each footfall upon the rusty tracks.Almost a sob.He pauses and listens.

Yes, there it is again.’

Examining his surroundings the boy realizes how far he has travelled.He is on unfamiliar terrain.There are hills about him covered in vineyards.There is a bridge over the track.It is far away, but it is a bridge.Crouched next to the track is an elderly woman.Covering her face her head rests in her hands and she is crying.It is almost a whimper.The creases revealed between her fingers give away age.The slur in her voice betrays the confidence of one who has lost something of value and replaced it with a lie. The tattered clothes that cling with scraping nails to her body are the answer:She cannot replace what has been lost.

He stops and stares before asking, "What's wrong?"

She raises her head to see a tall, lanky boy balancing on the track.

"My boy, my baby boy, my son.I can't find him."

Sounding a subtle whimper she returns her head to her hands.

Her words are so slurred.. it sounds.. it reminds me of something.Something I thought I left behind.’

"Why aren't you looking for him?"

Again the hands come away.For a moment Jeremy thinks she is going to scream at him.Instead she whispers like the mist.

"I asked him to wait right here while I picked some grapes.He is only six years old my little boy is!And he's gone!God help me he's gone!"

The wailing begins again with renewed vigour.

"Please... don't cry lady.I will help you look for him."

She sniffs, wipes her nose with a dirty handkerchief and stares at him through blurred teary vision.

"Why don't we walk down the track together and call his name?I just came from that direction and I didn't see anyone, so he must be this way."

Jeremy is sure he catches a hint of a hopeful smile in her creased face.It gladdens his heart.She rises and they begin their walk with Jeremy balancing on the track while she steps and staggers from sleeper to sleeper.Nothing more is said except for the crying of the missing boy’s name.

For Jeremy it seems as if their walk will take them to the end of time.An age and a half pass before his eyes and still the hills and greenery continue, each hill looking more and more alike.But he will walk until he drops.He will find her child.Someone will have joy tonight.She will take him in her arms and weep with joy, and he will watch them and weep like they do.He'll have to dry the tears of course before he gets home.

Wouldn't want 'them' to see them, to try force their twisted compassion upon me between broken glass and torn clothes.’

But the boy is no-where to be found and light fading, retreating to places of hope.The bridge that seemed so distant is now very close.He hears whispers as he passes under and into the shadows.The mothers cry for her boy is hoarse now.As they exit the pass she stops and runs to an old cardboard box.Carefully lifting it she reveals bottles of liquid, uncorks one and takes a swig.Another age passes until she remembers the boy who offered his help.Turning, she sees but a shadow with eyes.It stares at her with coldness.Or perhaps it is the mist returning.Never the less she shivers and gulps another mouthful of the foul liquid.She is almost finished with the bottle when the shadow moves.It is slow with deadly intent.Each step is a determined step, and each stone the feet fall upon seem to hiss and cry at the fiery rage that now fills him.The bottle that warmed her gut burns like poison.The voice, too hoarse from calling cannot scream a scream.

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The mist wins in the end and Jeremy is shrouded in a cloak of darkness.He remembers the boys name and calls.He must return but he will not abandon his oath.Slowly his feet carry him home, forever calling and calling.The sun is gone and all is dark.Darker than the wardrobe at home.Darker than the depths of the ocean.Darker than the dry, caked liquid on his now grubby hands.When at last the squeal of a six year old boy finds him he is lost.When they embrace he weeps.He weeps for her, he weeps like she should have, he weeps like the tiny human now does as he folds his arms around the precious life."Shhhh there there, we'll find mommy together.She’s waiting for you by the bridge.We'll be there soon and then you can be with her..... forever."


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