It Comes in Fog

It Comes in Fog

A Story by S.Fischer

Trying some Gothic writing


I have often heard tell of a queer tale that seems sewn into the very fabric of our little port town. It is told in hushed, whispered voices by children delighting in scaring their friends or by Mothers warning off their unruly little darlings.

It is the story of a man, or so it goes, who returns to town during the full moon. There are details that change with every retelling, but the description of the man is a constant. This is an ancient man with eyes blacker than a raven feather, dried parchment skin stretched across thin bones with fingers akin to twigs of a long-deceased rotting tree. His arrival is heralded by thick, greasy fog that clings to the town like a great spider’s web. I have checked town records and there are accounts of this phenomenon dating back hundreds of years, everyone I have spoken to believes each and every case to have been caused by this same, strange, inexplicable man.

As the fog stalks in from the sea, distant cannon fire of thunder can be heard but nary a flicker of lightning and the skeleton of a decaying ship creeps into the harbour, commanding and dominant despite the impossible nature of its existence. The crew of this dilapidated vessel have never made an appearance in any version of this tale I have heard; there are those that believe it has none, instead believing it navigates and docks through unnatural means. There is also never a mention of the man disembarking from the ship, it seems that with its arrival so too the man arrives, as though the two were birthed by the fog itself entirely independent of each other.

At this point it should be noted that none of our townsfolk are of the temperament to wander during these nights. No, on nights such as these the town belongs to the man and the ship, cloaked in their choking fog. The silver night and the silence is theirs alone. Except, the storytellers say, inevitably there is always one who, despite everything, finds themselves drawn out into the unrecognisable landscape of greys and indistinguishable silhouettes. I have heard accounts of those that have locked themselves away from the invading fog and all it brings, only to claw at the chains and bolts like caged animals. Desperate it seems to taste and experience what the night has to offer. These wanderers can be man or woman, but they are always young and beautiful, never older than 20 years of age. There are even rumours of the old man rapping lightly at the door of the chosen, beckoning them to join him beneath the blanket of clammy mist.

Once out in the lonely night it is as though they themselves sink into the flat grey with no trace left on the streets, only the objects of their history left behind. The story ends as the chosen face the raven-eyed seaman. The fogbank retreats, man, ship and young beauty with it. In its wake is a mildew covering all surfaces and walkways, glittering beneath the full moon, as though the stars themselves have settled within our small town.


© 2019 S.Fischer

Author's Note

Written fairly hastily, revisited a couple of times with minor edits

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Added on April 22, 2019
Last Updated on April 22, 2019
Tags: Gothic, flash fiction, fiction



Shrewsbury, Shropshire, United Kingdom

Casual writer, occasional musings, poetry, flash fiction and very short stories. Haven't really exercised my writing properly, something I would like to improve on. more..

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