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Uno and Fog: Home Invasion

June 7, 2019

The limousine arrives at the estate.  Large lawns, framed by carefully manicured fruit trees, especially plum and cherries, even though it was a pain to have the petals cleaned up every spring.

Dark stone and balconies framed windows filled with warm light.  I step out of the vehicle and head inside to see my family.  As soon as the door opens, I can hear the scampering of the twins to greet me.  They come running down the hall with squeals of delight. their shoes making clicking sounds on the mosaic in the entry.

I am home.

They hug and pulling me to the dining area.  Not the one used when we had company, but the small nook next to the kitchen area.  I can smell Paella and Pisto cooking as we enter the kitchen.  Copper pans, kettles utensils hand over the large center island made of white tile.

Serafina is cooking, she cooks even though she doesn’t have to.  She does it because she likes taking care of her family.  She pulls a strand of black curly hair out of her eyes before noticing I’m in the room.  She smiles at me, “You’re home early,”  there is delight in her voice at seeing me.

She’s still thin, with an athletic build with just a hint of thickness around the waist from carrying the children.  Her skin is smooth and the color of dulce de leche.

“I missed you.” I say and I realize I mean it as she comes over and kisses me.

It feels like the first time I ever kissed a girl.  The first time I ever felt in love.  Excited and nervous, happy and scared at the same time.  The kiss is electric.

She steps back a little breathless, “you are happy to see me,” and she laughs.

I laugh back, but there is something about the blues of her eyes that seems wrong for a moment, like they belong to someone else, but not her.  That feeling of disorientation hits me again.  I shake it off.  Its ridiculous.

She takes a step back, “dinner is almost ready.”

“Good, because I’m hungry.”

“For food?”  She teases.

I chuckle, “for now.”

The girls are over at the table coloring, I walk over to them.  “Time to clean up for dinner,”  they keep coloring.

“Come on,” I gently pull them away from the paper and crayons, their arms reach out to put one more line on their drawings as I set them down and scoot them toward the washroom.

“Your mother is joining us for dinner tonight.” Serafina calls out.

“Sounds good.”  I look at the drawings my daughters were making.  They are all in black and grey.  Masked figures in rough strokes, hats, coats.

Angry eyes.

Not rainbows and butterflies.

I recognize him.

The Fog.

What happened to him?  I try to remember and can’t.  We used to be partners.  Friends.  But that was long ago.  Years ago.

It doesn’t seem like years ago though.

I hear the water running and the girls giggling in the other room when the sound of glass breaking upstairs reaches me.

I glance at Serafina.  “Is anyone upstairs?”

She looks alarmed, “No.”

“I’m going to check it out.”

“Don’t Juan, let security handle it.”

“It’ll be fine,” I reassure her and race upstairs.

I click the lights to the hallway upstairs.  Pictures line the walls, trips we have taken around the world.  Older ones of my mother and father and other relatives.

I hear the floor creak in the nearest room.  I open the door quickly then move away.  After a heart beat and nothing happens, I accelerate my nervous system and run in.  Its a guest bed room, old bed with cherry wood frame, dresser, closet, nightstand with a lamp.

The light won’t come on when I switch it.  I see on the floor in front of me broken glass from the window reflecting the light from the hallway.  The French doors to the balcony are open, the curtains billow slightly.

A figure is standing there, silhouetted by the night sky.  Fedora, trench coat, black gloves, mask.

The Fog.

“I was just thinking about you.”  Out side I can hear the dogs of the grounds keeper in the distance.

A slight nod, “I know, but I’m not who you think I am.  We don’t have much time.  None of this is real.  You need to fight it.”

“What do you mean?  You’re The Fog.”  But that uneasy feeling of vertigo and disorientation hits me again.

“I’m not The Fog, I’m you.  None of this is real.  You’re being manipulated.  You need to wake up.”  The sounds of dogs and men is closer now.

Everything looks real, feels real, smells real.  I had never had a dream where I could smell anything.  “None of this is real, and what are you, my subconscious?.”

The Fog grimaced the way I remember him doing when he was impatient and unhappy, “Not your subconscious, I’m the cynical part of you that doesn’t trust anyone or anything.  SHE has you. Now find a way to get free!”  He ran for the balcony and jumps outside.  I see him land and roll.  The sound of the dogs gets more excited as he runs for the hedges.

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