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Fog

When the fog comes in off the water, it makes me think of where I grew up.

We got a lot of sun growing up. During the summer we’d walk to the park to swim practice. I’d take off my shoes and walk barefoot, dancing on the hot pavement to keep from burning my feet. Summer also brought warm rains and we’d go out and splash in the puddles, glorying in the water pounding down from the sky. We’d come back inside, shivering, and our mom would make us grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Everything grew there and the dirt was good earth, black and crumbly between my fingers.

The fog, though, was my favorite. We lived near a freeway, so there was always noise. On a foggy morning, I’d wake up to the noise muffled or even silent. I would lie in bed, holding myself still, willing the relative silence to continue. Eventually a car would drive by and I would get up to look at how closely the fog had encroached.

Some days it was just a little foggy, enough to mask the Mormon temple on the hill. As the sun burned off the fog, the temple would reflect the light first. For a long time I thought that temple was a spaceship, and I think, perhaps, that watching the sun catch the tallest spire when the rest of the valley was still swathed in grey may have had something to do with that idea.

Once in a while the fog would engulf my small world. I could barely see the houses across the street. The looming trees above them were mere hints, slightly darker shadows. The world was truly quiet then, or at least as quiet as I, a city girl, had ever experienced. The sky felt low, oppressive, overpowering, and I often wondered if the top story of the house would still be there if I went upstairs. I loved the muted world. I opened the window to feel the air, heavy with water, come in, and I could feel it flow down to my feet. If I left my hand outside long enough, beads would form, beautiful, but not reflecting anything because no light was bright enough to pierce the fog and pull colors from the droplets.

The rest of the house woke up eventually, the sun burned off the fog, and the sounds of normal life resumed. All that day, though, I would remember the heavy blanket that covered my world and muffled it for a little while.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Kameko Murakami challenged me with “When the fog comes in off the water, it makes me…” and I challenged littlewonder2 with “Winston Churchill versus the mummy. Use as many actual Winston Churchill quotes as possible in your piece.”