Helen made her way along the woody path, her feet kicking at the mist making it swirl. She pulled her coat tighter and breathed the cold into her lungs. She loved this time of year, almost winter and loads of mist. Her black hair streaked out behind her as she hurried along, looking for mother.
She couldn’t have gone far, she was only missing a few minutes. Helen hoped she had the sense to put her coat on, she cursed herself for not checking – she could have brought it with. Helen called out as she walked, her feet barely making a sound.
‘Motheeeer. Mother! Are you here? Motheeeeeeer?’ Nothing.
A man was loading chopped branches onto a barrow in the clearing.
‘Excuse me Sir? Have…’ he dropped the branches, turned looking terrified and took off running.
‘I just… have you seen…?’ but he was gone, swallowed up by the mist, even his footsteps shushed by it. Helen shook her head. Why would he run off like that? She carried on down the path in the same direction, muttering and irritated, where was Mother?
Helen noticed she wants wearing any shoes. How odd. She had rushed out so quickly she must have forgotten them. Strange that the sharp stones and sticks didn’t hurt her feet. She shrugged, maybe they are numb. I better find Mother soon. She walked faster, the mist was really thick now, gathering around her like a blanket. Everything was muffled and if she weren’t so scared, she would have loved the peace of it all.
The path twisted and turned, ghostly branches and shrub fingers tried to grab her as she passed. The 2nd clearing was empty except for a deer which turned and fled as she passed.
‘Motheer? Mother? Are you here?’ Nothing and no-one was around.
As she came into the last clearing the man who had run off walked towards her with another man. ‘She just floated past me, her feet hovering off the path…’ Helen stopped unsure and just as she was about to move out of his way – he walked right through her. He was behind her and the man with him just kept walking.
‘HEY’ she shouted. They never stopped and the mist soon swallowed them. Whatever could they mean. Helen looked down, her feet were still shoeless, still clean. She was floating. Fear rushed through her. ‘How?’ she asked herself. She turned and chased after the men, catching them in the clearing.
‘I’m telling you, it was a ghost. It was Helen.’ She stopped, not 2 feet from them, he carried on.
‘It was her. She was floating, black hair flying out behind her, calling for her Mother.’ The 2nd man paled, ‘calling for her Mother?’ He nodded.
‘Let’s get your wood and get the hell out of here and quickly.’
Helen, shocked stepped forward. ‘Ex…excuse me. Sorry? HELLO?’ she shouted. The wood cutter stopped, turning slowly.
‘Did you hear something?’
‘It was me’ Helen said. ‘I am looking for…’ But she didn’t finish her sentence.
‘Come on, let’s go’ they threw the wood they had in their hands into the barrow and ran down the path, leaving those that fell out.
Startled Helen stared at the mist for a while. Turning to the path, she shouted ‘Mother? Mother? Are you there?’ and floated away.