In the Fog
by Laura Hamby
Good. She'd be away from the men, facing the Potomac. Lovely view, even shrouded by dark clouds and pelting rain. "That's some storm."
"That ain't nothin' but an afternoon shower," Mr. O'Malley informed her. "It's a grand sight, though, when the lightning flashes."
On cue, lightning forked across the almost black clouds, lighting the storm-tossed Chesapeake and Potomac like the sun had just come out for the briefest of seconds. Tabitha angled herself to face inland, where the campground should have been. She nibbled on her dinner, impressed that it didn't taste half bad. At least it satisfied her hunger, and the pangs went away as she ate.
The next bolt of lightning headed for the ground, near the vicinity Tabitha watched. It was bright long enough for her to see that the campground had disappeared. Her stomach cramps immediately resumed.
Weirder and weirder.
This had to be the longest dream she'd ever had. It was the most realistic one for certain.
"Good grub, Miss. You got yourself a keeper there, laddie," Mr. O'Malley bellowed over the rumbling thunder.
Startled, Tabitha turned, making eye contact with Grady around the Fresnel lens that dominated the middle of the cupola. The fury of the storm intensified around them; the rain crashed against the lighthouse in a steady torrent while the thunder boomed for what felt like an eternity. In the midst of this chaos, Tabitha experienced the unnerving sensation of being pulled inside out. Her gaze never wavered from Grady's, and she saw him reaching out towards her.
Fog roiled up from the wooden floor, curling around her legs— circling around her body. The campfire flickered before her eyes, and her sister Veronica's wildly distorted face filled her vision before hard hands grasped Tabitha's upper arms. Instead of her sister staring at her, Grady loomed over her. His mouth moved, but she couldn't hear his voice over the sound of the tornado that engulfed her, leaving her ears ringing.
She realized he was holding on to her for dear life. His florid face showed his strained exertion. Grady wasn't just hanging on to her for the fun of it. The fog enveloped them both, and with one last grimly determined jerk, Grady all but pulled her shoulders out of their sockets.
Before the darkness overcame her, felt herself tilt to the side, and then a jarring pain as her arm and side connected with something that had no give. And the sound of the tornado faded.
In the Fog will be available in By Grace's After Dark spooky anthology tomorrow.