An Age of Mist

by Mathias G. B. Colwell

"An Age of Mist" is set in an alternate world where the sun never shines and the land is covered in mist and fog nearly all of the time. What begins as a classic tale of another world develops into something much deeper. As we follow the protagonist, the young Santori, it becomes apparent that he faces a far more menacing element to this world than simply the absence of sunlight. It recounts Santori's coming of age as he struggles to protect his family, and the battle for their survival against an unimaginable evil. It is a story of myth and legend becoming nightmare and the indomitable spirit of mankind to live and fight another day.


The First Night

“Legends say that they come in the night,” the old man said, his voice thin and rough from its many years of use, “that they drink in the mist by the dim, half-light of the moon so as not to be seen clearly by mankind when their murky covering disappears.” He looked over at Santori.

With his hunched shoulders, and a chest that was thin and fragile, the old man resembled something more akin to a spindly creature from one of the old wives’ tales, not a man. The old man opened his mouth again and cackled. Nearly toothless, his wheezing filled the silence of the moonlit night only partially before the sound dispersed through the quiet surrounding them. The weak echoes of his laughter finally vanished, as sound has a way of doing, during those rare moments of existence when noise is an unwelcome visitor and silence the inhospitable host.

“Denizens of the mist they are,” he mumbled to himself now as he stared off towards the dark horizon in front of them. The sea met the night sky in a nearly indistinguishable line illuminated only by the faint sliver of light hanging in the sky. One of the moons, the White Moon, was making its single appearance of the night. The dense cloud covering rarely broke more than once or twice during each night, and then only for brief moments in which one could glimpse a window to the heavens above. The moon was hardly more than a fingernail and the fog clouding the shoreline was enough to make sight difficult. The clouds never broke by day, so the night sky was the only sky Santori had ever seen.

The old man’s body was wracked with a spasm-like chuckle that quickly converted into a coughing fit. He had always been half crazy, or at least he had been for as long as Santori had known him, but it seemed like dark nights such as this brought him to the verge of being almost entirely mad. Santori felt a nudge in his side as the old man elbowed him in excitement. A fish was biting on the end of the old man’s line and Santori watched him haul it out of the sea, with surprising strength given his appearance, whooping with delight. Half-mad he might be, but there was no denying that Santori’s grandfather was one of the best fisherman on the isle.

"An Age of Mist" by Mathias G.B. Colwell


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