Friday, November 10, 2017


No, I don't need another writing project - and I'm not starting one. This is related to something else.

Jandra stands in the open door of her prison and watches the last traces of the greenish mist recede. She is hunched, old despite her relative few years. This place has aged her, sickened her, broken her. Far away, in the last shadows of the trees, she can hear the giants moving away towards the marsh beyond. She does not know what they are. They are a product of the mist, or a part of it, and like the mist they do not come to the strange, empty stone buildings here at the center of the trees. Jandra, for her part, does not leave the buildings when there is even the faintest hint of mist in the air.

Jandra fears the mist.

She does not know where it comes from, or why it avoids the derelict structures. She only knows that she is safe here, save that she must venture beyond the stone structures to gather food, firewood, anything she can scavenge. In the trees there are beasts that hunt, and carnivorous things that might be plants. These are dangers, but after years -- or longer? -- she knows them, knows their shapes and their smells and their ways. There are worse things in the marshes, and those she only knows in part. She does not venture into the marshes willingly.

The mist is something else. It comes when it would, lingers for hours or days, departs without warning. It brings things with it, things from marshes and perhaps from other places as well. It does not enter the rounded, lobed stone shapes of the buildings, but when it comes Jandra can only wait inside until it passes. Her world is tiny then, only a few paces across, with stone on all sides except for the open doorway, where the mist hangs in a filmy curtain.

Jandra has given up all hope of discovery or rescue. There is no one else here. Nobody is coming. There are only the structures, and the woods, and the mist, and the marshes beyond.

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