Friday Fictioneers: Fog

I’m early on Friday Fictioneers for a change, partly because I’m having so much trouble with the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups this time. Anyhow, Madison Woods has given us a photo prompt that’s not completely clear, but I found it evocative. (Actually, my story is well over the 100 word Fictioneers limit. But since I’ve already taken away a quarter of what the narrator originally had to say, it seems cruel to cut out any more.)

Fog

I remember. I used to see everything so clear as far as the horizon, and I knew what was past the horizon, too. Then all the things out of sight just faded and fuzzed up and one day I knew they wouldn’t be there if I went looking for them.

But everything from here all the way to that third hilltop where the trees are was still sharp and bright and real. At first just a patch here and a patch there got lost, kind of like holes worn through an old dishtowel. Then the towel frayed worse and faded, and now I can barely make out the far line of trees.

The trees close up are still solid, though. I bet I could lean on them and they’d take my weight. I wonder how long that will last.

I’m scared.

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39 responses to “Friday Fictioneers: Fog

  1. I’m wondering what kind of fog it is–mental, emotional, maybe both. Good job.

    I’m wondering then the story page will be live so I can post mine. But that’s in a fog, too. 🙂

  2. Sharon I think it’s a shame that you edited a quarter of this amazing story. You have left me wondering what she is losing, her vision or her mind. Very moving and I would love to read a longer version, but perhaps that should be written and kept for submission somewhere.

    • Thank you, Gilly! Some of the editing was desirable tightening up; but some of what I removed probably did deserve to stay. I’d say she’s losing her mind, or her memory, but her vision could fit too. Or maybe this is a horror story in which the outside world really is unraveling… (Actually, no matter what the explanation might be, this is a horror story. The narrator is frightened and suffering with no way out; that’s horror as far as I’m concerned.)

  3. I agree with Gilly. A little expansion down the road, perhaps. I had the feeling that it was her memory that’s going. Loved the holes in a dishtowel line.
    I’m #2 this week on the list. My first week on WordPress.
    http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/escape

  4. Very evocative, the emotions are tangible….

  5. A good, well written evocative take on the prompt. Well done. Mine is here and linked too: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/fridayfictioneers-light-on-the-hill/

  6. makes me think she is losing her sight, her vision is fading like the trees in the mists. Interesting idea…

    • It’s a sad situation, and unfortunately it’s real for some people. And I really don’t know where it came from – maybe the idea of mist slowly rising up and blanketing the familiar world around us…

  7. I took it as a sci-fi theme, with holes suddenly appearing in our world. Which is a fascinating concept if you can get your head around it. Nice one, lots of potential in this. well done.

    • Yes – that’s more or less what I thought I was going to write when I started. As I went along, I realized there were strong overtones of memory loss in the story (well, strong to me; a lot of readers saw other explanations). I’ll have to put this one in the list of ministories to be considered as seeds for a longer piece. Thank you!

  8. Her vision or her mind? I’d say her mind. i found this to be a very moving story about growing old. What we gain in memories (for a time) is offset by our gradual loss of mobility. And then comes the creeping horror of slowly losing our minds, our ‘selves’ to the ravages of time. This was a very good take on the prompt.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    • Thank you!

      Yes – after writing the first draft, it seemed to me that this was very much a story about aging and memory loss, though as other people point out, it can also be read as a story about blindness or insanity or a “really” disintegrating world. But no matter what’s going on, I don’t think there’s any question that this is a horror story.

  9. I’d like to think, as my coffee cup sits empty beside me, it is her sanity that is leaving.

    • Ah, the tragedy of loss! Some find their sanity (or their memory, or their sight, or the overall cohesiveness of the universe) slipping away; others have to watch their coffee diminish until the cup sits dry and unfulfilled.

      😉

      To give you a serious reply, I didn’t anticipate the different interpretations that commenters have offered – but I have to agree there’s nothing within the story to say any of them are wrong. If I extend the story I’ll have to make it clear what’s happening, if only because personally I hate stories that turn out to have no point except refusing to answer questions like this. 100 words worth of uncertainty is fine; thousands of words or hundreds of pages of uncertainty is a gimmick.

  10. I love your writing, Sharon. 🙂

    The sadness here is so real and so painful, yet beautiful at the same time. I like what you’ve done with those fading patches of sight, and the building fear.

    Great work!

  11. Interesting story. In life everything changes. But are these changes in nature or in yourself. If your protagonist is speaking of herself it is sad.

  12. Was a different take on the fog that I have read so far, nicely done.
    My offering this week can be found at yaralwrites.com

  13. Very nice take on the fog. You really communicate her sense of insecurity in the line “…wouldn’t be there if I went looking for them”.

  14. Such a wonderful and different take on the fog. I can imagine how scared she must be. Reading this …I thought (don’t mind me) that the story can turn into something about our global warming…cause it is what she truly sees, for the fog does come when there are lesser trees. Well that is what is happening here in Malaysia. I really like your story though, very well thought of.Bravo!
    Mine is here
    Blessed be.
    hugs
    shakira

    • Very interesting about global warming! So there’s yet another possible explanation. I didn’t know that there’s more fog when there are fewer trees – my part of the world is mostly either urban areas or farm country (neither one has lots of trees). The forested areas are generally on mountains where it’s too much bother to farm, but where you wouldn’t expect to see fog because it stays on low ground.

      Your story is really frightening, and well told!

  15. This is a really evocative piece, and I enjoyed wondering how real the fog and fading were and how metaphorical. You could definitely extend it, but for a descriptive piece it’s a great length.
    If I could have one concrit, it’s that the last line is a little weak in comparison to the rest. “I’m scared” just seems to repeat the sensations we’ve got through the rest of the story. You could leave it out completely, or replace it with something more specific, like “And I’m wondering what will happen when they fade too.” Just a thought!
    I’m over here; http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/friday-fictioneers-far-afield/

    • Thank you for your analysis! I see your point about the last line, but actually that weakness was deliberate. I wanted to give the reader a sense that the speaker just can’t cope with what is happening, and retreats to focusing on herself (instead of the fading outside world) and using childish language. Did it work? Well, not for you, and that’s helpful to know!

      Your story does an excellent job of giving us the world through alien eyes.

  16. mysocalledDutchlife

    I’m completely unsure what kind of fog is afflicting her and I don’t mind that at all. An intriguing tale.

    http://mysocalleddutchlife.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-haar-ff-240812/

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