Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mist (Flash fiction) by Diane Height

by Diane Height

Mist. Scary, beautiful, eerie. The mist of the night fog or the early morning dew. Late night—when it creeps up from the ground as though it’s alive and something is moving it. It’s not moving on its own. It can’t, or can it? Why does it really come? Is it to give solace or fear? Fear in the hearts of those who have fear, but nothing else.

The mist off the ocean is different from the mist in a bog. A cold damp mist in a New England village…an ancient village where witches once lived and roamed the countryside looking for little children they could snatch and keep for their own.

Why do I love the mist? It’s soothing like a drink or a
cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon or early morning. It refreshes.

What drives the mist and the animals walking through it and the fog when all creatures are just getting up and still alive, but alive with what, with the word “kill”, with love, with duty?

It’s a matter of survival.

The mist it moves freely across the land into the houses, down the street, full of colors or maybe only an illusion, no colors at all. But where it goes and doesn’t go, is it near me or not? Will it come to me and then take me, even though it’s not really alive or is it? Do we know as it swirls around our feet and moves up our legs into the parts of us that cry out for what? Don’t smother me, oh! please don’t smother me.

The witch doesn’t care. She needs the children, she wants the children, the children really belong to her and no one else. On her broomstick she rides the mist as if it were the wind she needs to be free, but free of what? she asks herself. Free of these children, of my life? Does the mist care? Do the animals care?

What of the trees? They yearn for the mist to cool them as the grass looks for moisture. A little drink? says the grass to the mist. Yes, says the mist. Whatever you want I’m here to serve. My only masters are those I serve. Not myself. Never myself. I’m here to please. The witch gives a laugh. The mist, the mist, the mist. A fable of sorts about life. Just fly through the mist, our toes barely off the ground as if we were angels or demons or even just the spirits we are.

Author bio:

Diane's writing is inspired by her love of travel, adventure and the world at large. She recently spent time in Africa working with cheetahs to help educate people about this beautiful animal. In an earlier life she passed her wisdom along to 5th graders as an elementary school teacher. When she's not writing, she enjoys her new grandson, Bodhi.

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