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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: White (10/29/09)

TITLE: Erie Fog
By Mary Lou Cook


The family plans were to spend the day boating on Lake Erie. Arriving at a small island, Ben, the children’s dad, anchored the boat in a small cove. Swimming and fishing the morning away, they ate lunch followed by the ten year old twins, Tyler and Tory, having a watermelon seed spitting contest with their grandma Joan. The twin’s mom, Lisa, started to clean up the lunch mess when she noticed the thick white clouds gathering. She looked at her husband to see him scanning the fog bank that laid on the far horizon.

Standing behind the steering wheel Ben said, “Before we left I checked the weather, nothing mentioned about fog. If we leave now maybe we can out run it, head back to Put-in-Bay before it gets bad. Hope it doesn’t blow into something worse, this lake’s noted for its sudden storms.”

Before the family could make it back to the bay a cloudy haze had surrounded the boat. The sound of the motor and the water hitting underneath seemed to echo through the silence.

As Ben drove, he tried to look for islands and other boats. Joining her husband on the deck Lisa gazed into the fog to see nothing but a cloud of white. She said, “I radioed the Water Patrol about our situation. Somewhere out in this mess there’s a Canadian fishing boat that they lost radio contact with. The captain and his crew should have arrived in Montreal over an hour ago.”

Never taking his eyes off the fog, Ben said, “The GPS doesn’t work, it wanted to send us to Porto Bay in Porto Rico. I should have left the compass on the boat. It set on the dash for years and never failed me.”

“Ben, stop being so hard on yourself. Kids, let’s go play a game of ‘Skippo’.” After giving Lisa an assuring smile, Joan scooted her grandchildren down to the cabin. After Ben’s father died she moved in with her son’s family. By managing the household she brought tranquility to their hectic life style.

Ben stared into the thick fog. “Lisa, keep an eye out for an island. We can anchor close to shore and wait for this to lift. It’s not safe to be out here in open water.”

Seeing the worried brow on Ben’s face Lisa asked, “You know what direction we’re headed in?”

“Not sure, could be headed for the States, maybe Canada. I could have us going nowhere but in circles. Just hope we don’t ram into someone else’s boat. I’ve never seen fog this thick, should have stayed at the island.”

From below came Joan’s voice. “I am the ‘Skippo’ champion, hear me roar. Grrr!!” This was followed by the twin’s laughter. She kept the children busy, away from the menacing weather.

Through the dense fog came the sound of a diesel engine. When Lisa saw the large fishing boat she screamed, “Ben!”

Ben turned the bow into the high wave and the small boat tipped from side to side. From below came the twin’s screams followed by Joan’s voice, “Hang on kids.”

As the boat rolled back and forth Lisa found herself thrown to the deck floor, taking a hard blow to the back of her head.

When the boat stopped rocking Grace asked, “Everyone okay?”

“Mom, bring a towel, Lisa’s hurt.”

Lisa touched the back of her head to feel her hair matted in blood. As Joan placed a damp towel to Lisa’s wound they heard the sound of the diesel engine. Ben tried to find the fishing boat before it plowed into them. Through the fog it pulled up beside the small boat. From the railing a man with a Canadian accent yelled down, “Are you in need of assistance?”

Ben looked up at the man. “Yes, we’re lost and my wife’s been hurt.”


With the back of her head covered in gauze Lisa laid on the bunk. At the door came a soft knock, she looked up to see her mother-in-law.

Joan pulled her chair close. “While the medic stitched you up the twins and I were on the bridge with the captain. When I left to check on you he offered to keep an eye on the kids. The captain asked if after our arrival in Montreal I would join him for dinner. I told him I would like that.”

Lisa smiled. “Ben survived the fog but can he survive the thought of you dating?”

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This article has been read 353 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 11/09/09
Some good descriptions here, and I was engaged in the action.

I caught several grammar and punctuation errors. It was a bit distracting, but easily fixable.

That last line was a fun one. Enjoyed this piece!
Jan Ackerson 11/09/09
Cute twist at the ending!

A few spelling errors to note: it's "Puerto" Rico, and the game is "SkipBo".

I love the title, because it also sounds like "eerie fog"--very good way to establish atmosphere.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/09/09
I am from California, and I am not sure what a "Canadian Accent" sounds like!
Ruth Brown11/09/09
Nice piece keep it up!