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Uno and Fog: In Which SHE Arrives

April 19, 2019

Two feet in front of me something is stepping through a tear from beyond into this reality and I’m too late to stop it.  Well, stepping isn’t the right word, slithering is a better one, but even that isn’t quite the right word to describe the terrible wrongness of whatever it is that is coming through into the park at the heart of New Amsterdam.

Blood from the sacrifice performed just seconds before continues to slowly drip upwards and spill outward in a feather like pattern from the oblique shape that is slowly widening and reaching farther up towards the autumn stars.  I can’t describe what is within that tear, my eyes keep slipping away from it when I try to look inside that rift.

We had saved the intended victim, he is mercifully passed out on the grass behind us, but we still couldn’t stop the madman from turning his Tecpatl knife on himself and completing his insane ritual.

Two feet or two hundred from the hole, it doesn’t matter, I can barely move.  The Fog is right beside me, a grimace on his face that almost looks like a rictus grin as he struggles to get closer.  We can feel an intense, strange pressure against us, as if we are in a high wind tearing against us, but it is absolutely still.  His trench coat is pushed out behind him as he moves incrementally closer toward the gate between this world and the other. I see him glancing at me from the corner of his eye, hoping that maybe I can do something, but I can’t.

My abilities are essentially useless.

I know we’re about to die and wish, well I wish for a lot of things in that moment.  Mostly I wish I wasn’t going to die, part of me wishes I had never met The Fog, and I feel guilty for thinking that.  He’s my best friend and, as far as I can tell, I’m his only friend.

We met in college.  I was an arrogant rich kid with a secret and he, well, he didn’t care.  If he was endowed in any way, I’ve never seen it, other than perhaps his sheer intelligence and single mindedness.   He has a theory about that, but then he has a theory about everything.  Nothing is simple with The Fog, which is why I am out here in the park about the face something unmentionable.

I know what you’re thinking.  Since you know my identity, you can figure out who The Fog is.  We went to college together after all, we’re best friends, right?  Like I said, he’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met and every trace of his prior existence has been removed, wiped out.  He has an algorithm, or A.I., maybe both sifting through the internet for anything that refers to who he was before and remove it before anyone has a chance to see it.

You could, perhaps, search for physical records somewhere and maybe find a trace of him, but these days almost everything is kept electronically.

He’s a living ghost.  Which would have been a better pseudonym for him than The Fog, but I would never say that to him.  Its still better than how I got my name of Uno.

We are suddenly pulled forward, as if something was taking a deep breath, or gathering strength.  Everything seems to actually stretch toward the gape in the world.  The lights of the city that surrounds the park distort slightly, getting redder.  I swear the stars above us, on this cloudless night, twist.  I hear muffled car alarms in the distance, even the sounds of the city sound deeper, lower.

Just as quickly, we are propelled backward.  Both of us stumble, although The Fog is quicker at catching his balance.  In that moment, the rift closes.  You would think it would make some kind of sound, or popping noise.  It doesn’t.

Where before there was a hole, there is standing before us a woman, barely five feet tall, wearing a denim shirt, jeans and sensible flats that looked a little scuffed.

Her shoulder length hair is straight, dirty blond and her skin looks windburned.  She looks at us with watery blue eyes that have a hint of crows feet around the edges.  A nose more button than pert crinkles slight as her thin lips tighten and she furrows her brows on a forehead that is maybe a little to big (The Fog has a theory about that last bit too).

She is also pregnant.

Very pregnant.

Like due any day pregnant.

“Where is he?”  She demands.





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