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Fog
by Mary Nellum
04/05/05
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The fog came on little cat feet, and slowly twined itself around my body as I tried to see past the corner of the building. I was sure that I had seen him go that direction, but he just seemed to melt into the fog.

It had been a clear evening. I was walking home from the theatre, and I noticed him watching me. As I got close to the restaurant I normally stopped in, I saw him again and thought it was rather strange. There was nothing different about him. He looked like your normal, every day guy. He slipped in quietly behind me and took a booth in the corner.

As I sipped my hot chocolate I noticed what seemed to be a haze around him. Shaking my head, I thought, "You've been up too long."

I paid my check, chatted with the cashier for a moment and then took my leave. I heard the shop door close a few moments after I went out, and I felt the need to turn around and look. There was no one there, but a fog had begun to swirl in. Feeling a little foolish, I turned back around and continued my trek towards home. As I turned the corner by the building that a friend lived in, I decided to slip inside and stand there for a moment. Surely no one was following me. I looked out the windows of the door and noticed a movement in the fog. It was a man . . .the same man I had seen in the restaurant. The fog seemed to cling to his clothes, making his outline shadowy. I watched as he disappeared around the next block, and then came back. He was walking slowly and looking into each building as he passed by. I shrank back into the corner, dreading each footstep.

What would I do if he saw me? Where could I go? I wouldn't have time to make it up the stairs. I frantically searched the empty foyer with my eyes, and saw nowhere to hide.

The sound of his footsteps got louder and then abruptly stopped. I wanted so badly to look, yet I was afraid to. Then I heard the door of the apartment building opening and the slap of his shoes on the linoleum. I breathed a silent, frantic prayer.

I watched him as he stepped into the foyer and looked around. He looked directly at me. It seemed like he stared into my eyes forever. Then he moved, but it was towards the staircase.

As his foot touched the first step, a breath of relief escaped my lips. It seemed he heard it, because he turned and looked back in the corner where I was crouching. He even came back towards me, looking carefully in the corner. Then, shaking his head in bewilderment, he turned and went out the door.

As I stood on my shaky legs, my head bumped against a plaque that was on the wall.

It was a picture of a warrior angel standing guard over a little boy, and under it were the words

"Hide me under the shadow of Your wings
Protect me from wicked people who attack me."
Psalm 17:8-9

At that moment I felt a whisper of a touch against my cheek, and smelled the faintest scent of feathers.

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