She folded her scarf into her coat, having only wrapped it loosely around her neck in a rush to get out of the office. Not that there was anything to rush for; she knew she didn’t want to spend any more time there than she’d already wasted. She pulled her brown hair from underneath the folds of fabric, and let it fall across her fake-fur lined hood and onto her shoulders. At least it was starting to get long again.
The fog came in like the tide, slow and unassuming. At first he thought it was just a cloud, passing the office window. Of course, it never passed. It just stood there, foreboding, as if it was the norm. As if it would never leave. He had looked down the long corridor, and saw it wash across the windows at the end, his only source of daylight, gradually blotting out the sun, until they were fully submerged.
It had come to her out of nowhere, a butterfly of a thought that drifts past you and lands on your nose, sprinkling some scales like pollen in its wake. Scales to seeds, taking root, under the current, slipping into your subconscious until it was so ubiquitous to be original.
One cold Winter morning, I stood waiting for the bus. The Sun was low in the sky, having only just risen a half hour ago, and would set only a few hours from now. Stripes of clouds drifted in the air, stretching but never losing their shape. I was bundled up, but still felt the cold slip under the cuffs of my pants around my ankles and the chill on my back.
The evergreens here were taller than those back home, she thought. They stretched up towards the sky, becoming long & spindly by the tree tops, swaying only gently in the breeze. She wondered how they managed to stay so strong, being as slight as they were.
It started innocuously enough, as most of my projects did. A friend of mine crashed their drone into the lake, presumed dead. Just a small consumer model, all stock. Once we fished it out, water had run to the motherboard, shorted everything. He said it was done, and that I could have it.
I first saw it in a dream. At least, I thought it was a dream. I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten on a boat otherwise. The quivering lights, on the horizon, drifting and shifting, a mirage on the bay, towards the harbor. A flying fish leapt from the salty spray to watch me before returning to sleep in the deep.