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|Games of the Mist (standard:fantasy, 8220 words)|
|Author: J.A. Aarntzen||Added: Nov 01 2005||Views/Reads: 2353/2874||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A married couple are visited upon by apparitions in the early morning mist upon a serene lake.|
Games of the Mist Coming toward him through the eerie veil of the early morning mist was the vague and shadowy shape of a soundless aboriginal vessel that may have emerged from some distant and forgotten past. Paddling silently yet menacingly was a solitary figure that kept a firm yet fluid posture. Each stroke seemed more designed as a passage through the fabric of time rather than a passage through the still water. The vapour-like apparition was coming straight at him with the seemingly dangerous intent of a hungry black bear on the prowl. And then the slight breeze wafting over the warm lake waters swallowed the image as if it had never existed at all. The mist caved in upon itself and time once again was the here and now. Did it happen? Emerson turned and looked across the bow of the boat at his quiet wife, Luna. She appeared oblivious to even being out upon the lake let alone to eerie apparitions manifesting themselves out of the games of the mist. She was sitting on the plastic lawn chair on the teak deck and might have been asleep. Her head was tilted back, the skin of her cheeks swallowing voraciously the early morning sunlight. She seemed to be sleeping a lot lately. The doctor back in the city said that it wasn't chronic fatigue syndrome as Emerson suspected. He had to question that diagnosis. Luna used to be so filled with energy when they first met seven years ago. She was a regular dynamo, a workaholic at work and a zesty imbiber of pleasure when not at work. But ever since New Year's, she just could not muster enough vitality and enthusiasm to excite a puppy let alone keep up a pretense in being interested in making their marriage work. “Did you see that?” Emerson called out to his wife. He could have sworn that what he saw was a young Indian brave in a canoe. Not a modern member of the indigenous people but some age-old relic from a pristine and etchy distant past tranquilly paddling his birchbark vessel over familiar waters. “See what?” Luna groaned from a disturbed slumber. Knowing her mood, Emerson decided that he would not elaborate on what he saw. She would snap at him and for what purpose? Just because his eyes allowed the mists to play a trick on them did not warrant that he might accidentally open up some marital wound and have to be on the defensive the rest of the day. Best let her sleep. He could continue to find a relative peace on this fine Kawartha morning. “Never mind” he sighed as he gazed at her as she fitfully moved to re-establish some lost comfort she might have had earlier before he interrupted it with his hallucination. She never liked this boat, she thought that it was ugly, and had protested vehemently when he announced that he had bought it last winter. The boat, a thirty-foot Georgian steel, hardly moved at all on the glazed surface of this lake. It was as stationary tethered to its anchor as any of the myriad of islands that dotted the waterscape although Emerson was sure that Luna would never see this almost haphazard conglomeration of sheet metal as anything near as picturesque as an island. As a joke, Emerson had renamed the boat, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” even though all of his boating cronies had pointed out that it was bad luck to rechristen a vessel. But he knew that Luna would never accept a boat with the name, “Can't Afford It” as the boat was originally called. As a vice president for a profitable investment group, Luna was well able to afford such an anachronistic salvaged hull as this Georgian steel. Especially when she coupled her income with the hefty dollars Emerson made as a top rate cabinet-maker back in the west-end of the city. His touch for wood had not translated well to his touch for metal. “The Ugly” as he nicknamed the boat was a work in progress and thus far he had not progressed very far in that work. Outside of the change of name not much had changed on “The Ugly” since he bought it off the back lot of an industrial park marina back in the city far away from any waterfront. Something about that chipped paint hull resting on a series of car tires next to the fence where a vocal German shepherd was penned had awakened some primitive feelings within him. Before he allowed his conscience to talk him out of it, he was handing over a cheque to the man who ran this business. Click here to read the rest of this story (767 more lines)
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