Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ghosts in Fog

Driving, lost in the predawn fog. I pass something, a white shape made of fog, a pale woman, her feet not touching the ground. I shiver violently and roll up the window.

I pass an old barn. There is a pale light inside and I think I see steam drifting from the open loft, but it is another fog woman, ghost woman. She leans forward like the figurehead on the prow of a ship, moving blindly forward as I drive past. I drive faster.

I see more of them, one every few feet along either side of the road, like fence posts. My hands are shaking. I don't think these things are angels. I try not to look directly at them because their faces are not right: they are ill-formed and hungry.

They press in closer. Their misty gowns and bodies are taking on a more solid form. One holds a knife. Is she threatening me or threatening suicide?

Then there is one standing in the middle of the road, hands held out, pleading for me to stop. I keep driving, and she blows apart into a smoky swirl, but there is also a soft thud, as if the car passed through a wall of cotton.

Four more stand a few feet further down the road. When I hit them they are less yielding. The ones along the sides of the road lean forward and touch the car, brushing it with disintegrating fingers. I am slowing. I push the accelerator to the floor, but I am still slowing.

I am nearly stopped. Faces press against the windshield. They are weeping, enraged. Now one of them is inside. She reaches to touch my face. I pull away before her fingers can brush my cheek, but there is nowhere to go. She leans closer. Now there are more of them. Inside.

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