“I love the mysterious nature of fog. The way it moves, and obscures your surroundings is simply chilling. Yet it can be as beautiful as it is menacing.”
Lady in the Lake
Sunday mornings were for fishing. Whether it be trout, pike or a nice fat perch. Each catch stood to remind me of mornings spent with my grandfather on the lake.
So, there was nothing unique about me being in my little white motorboat that morning. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been. The fog was especially dense on the water.
I loved how tendrils of mist would swirl and twist as if living. Like a mysterious miasma, it rolled, white and smoky, over the grey water hiding the shores from view.
It was silent out here on the lake. No birdsong. No cars passing by. Not even the splash of a fish nearby. I could be the last person living in this nebulous world.
With a shimmering lure on my line, I reached back and cast with a strong arm. The whirr of the spool seemed loud to the mute surroundings. The splash from the lure like a boulder crashing into the lake.
Now, to sit and wait. I adjusted my hat and turned up the collars of my green wax jacket against the chill and reclined.
A thrumming crossed the lake.
The shattering silence filled me with displeasure. It was like somebody playing heavy metal music ruining my serene yoga session.
A motor grew louder. Coming towards me at quite a speed.
The fog parted revealing another small motorboat.
She was standing before the throttle. A unique and pretty lady in a flowing white dress; so soft it could have been part of the mists surrounding her. Tresses of bronze hair in a twist that flowed over her shoulder; enchanted me.
A fish snatched at my lure. The line raced away but I barely noticed.
The lady opened her mouth to speak as she reached a dainty hand toward me.
“Good morning, dear la—” my last word vanished into the thick air.
A silent scream reached across the water as she clawed at her throat. She wobbled, staggered and fell out of sight. There was no splash; she landed on the boat. Then it was gone absorbed in the cloying, all-consuming fog.
My fishing rod leapt over the gunwale. I’d hooked the king perch but it was secondary to the life of the lady. Grabbing the rod, I sliced through the fishing line and dumped it in the hull. Gunning the throttle, I set my boat hydroplaning toward the last place I’d seen the other vessel.
At that moment, I learned what my brother felt when piloting his RAF Typhoon through the clouds. How I wished I had his radar. The rolling plumes of moisture obscured everything on the lake.
Not once did I glimpse the hull of the lady’s boat.
Four hours passed to the sound of my engine cutting a search pattern all over the lake. She’d vanished without a trace.
When the fog lifted just past lunchtime my fears were realised. There was no other vessel to be seen on the water. No sign it had ever been at all. I docked my own and contacted the police. They had no reports of the missing lady in the last twelve hours. Their actions only to monitor the situation.
My thoughts returned to the lake. Had I seen a ghost? Was the pretty lady really there when she emerged from the murk? There was no way of knowing.
I knew, from then on, my Sunday mornings would never be the same again. One day, my fishing hook would snag on the answers. Somewhere beneath the waters of the lake, she lay at peace. There was no other explanation for why the lady of the lake had vanished this morning.
Thanks for reading my friends.
Have a great day!