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The Tragedy of Promise



                On that night, a fog settled over Promise It was a thick, gray fog, which obscured anything more than ten feet away. Normally, this would’ve been disregarded, given that they were a fishing village on an immense lake. However, tonight the citizens of Promise feared the fog, locking their doors and bolting their windows in a sense of primal unease, waiting.

                There was no other name for them but the Unseen Ones. They came after midnight, with no creature seeing or hearing them. From afar, they resembled men, blacker than the darkest void.  But when looking at them closely, it was obvious they were not of earthly origins. They were hellish beings, with fire burning in their eyes.

                They cut through the town like a hot knife cuts through ice, dragging fishermen from boats, to drown in the icy waters, pulling people to unseen deaths inside the murderous fog. Nevertheless, the town remained unaware of the death that sliced through their midst. Only by the screams of a waitress driving home, did the uneasy town explode into chaos.  Men and women ran through the streets, trying to escape to the surrounding mountains, only to be dragged off before they could make it 100 yards from their doors.

                And through this, Elisa ran. She ran across the freezing, wood of the docks, the screams of her neighbors echoing in her ears, the fog surrounding her increasing her terror.  She could just barely see the moon, shining weakly through the fog. Terror dictated her every move, her every thought.

                Her legs ached from running but still she simply ran faster, her jet black hair streaming behind her, as the Unseen Ones cackled. They seemed to kill as if it was their job, as if it was their gift after a long day’s work. She saw the dark shapes moving through the fog, sporadically darting forward like insects.

                Houses and sheds whizzed past her as she sprinted, pure terror fueling her. Suddenly, too fast for her to react, her foot caught on something on the dock. She tumbled to the cold boards, screaming in surprise. She lay there, head aching from the fall, weeping in a mixture of grief and terror. It was only the harsh laughter of an Unseen One that snapped her out of it. She rushed to bring herself to her feet in a mad scramble, but yelled as a jolt of pain shot through her left leg. She knelt down and felt it, and Pain shot through her thigh as she lifted her hand, blood smearing the palm.

                In a panic she frantically scanned the area, trying to find anywhere to hide. A small building caught her eye. It was barely able to be called a shed, but all the same Elisa dragged herself, whimpering, trying to escape the death that followed her.

                She fumbled with the knob, praying to God it was unlocked. When it turned, she practically fell in as the door opened. Offering a small prayer of thanks, she scrambled to the corner. It was cramped inside, full of racks and tools. She lay against the wall, hugging her good leg to herself.

                Tears of both sorrow and fear spilled down her mud encrusted cheeks.  She wept for everything that had happened. She had been visiting her family in the mountains, on a winter vacation, and had been driving back to the motel when the Unseen Ones attacked. She had no idea where her family was right now, or even if they were still alive.  They had the prettiest little cabin up there, where they stayed every winter.  Would she ever see that cabin again?

                Flashes of the day filled her mind. People being dragged screaming into the fog, screams turning into a wet gurgles as the Unseen Ones ripped them apart. Cars exploding, children crying in the streets, only to be pulled into the fog as well. She wept for them all.

                The screaming of a man followed by a manic laugh snapped her out of it. She backed up against the wall, as if trying to become part of it. Jolts of pain shot through her thigh, causing her to wince. She whimpered and hugged herself, trying not to scream. The screaming continued as something crashed into the side of the shed with a loud thud. Something warm and sticky splattered her face. She screamed and fumbled around for something, anything to defend herself with.

                Her hands closed around the handle of a skinning knife. She brandished it in front of her, desperately attempting to defend herself. The screaming of the man had died down to a blood-filled choking noise.  The insane, hungry laughter of the Unseen Ones surrounded her, hammering into her brain, filling every part of her. She could hear them moving outside the shed, making noises that sounded like the howling of wind.

                They beat on the wood of the shed, cackling like mad men. Elisa’s heart felt like it was going to burst out of her chest and onto the floor. “Get away!” she screamed hoarsely, swinging the knife in front of her. Tears wet her cheeks as she sat, huddled against the wood.

                They started to slam against the walls, sending a jolt through her body. She screamed even louder, pain exploding in her leg. This continued for what seemed like a lifetime, hours of insane laughter and torment. Finally, after what felt like years, they stopped.

                After so many hours of chaos and terror, the silence scared her more than anything else. She darted her head from side to side, her heart pounding. She waited, the silence filling her, and her despising it. She hated the emptiness, and longed to know what if anything was outside the shed.

                A slow movement caught her eye. She whirled around, her knife in front of her. A small trickle of fog leaked in through a crack in the wood. She stared at it wondrously as it flowed slowly into the shed. She found she couldn’t take her eyes off of it, as if after all of the horror of the past night, she had found sanctuary in this tiny wisp of fog.

                She watched as it flowed into the room until filled nearly half of the shed, twisting and writhing with vigor. She didn’t even blink as it began to take shape, twisting into the shape of an all too familiar man. She stared up at the Unseen One, her eyes devoid of any emotion. The shock of the night had leeched all emotion from her, leaving her a soulless husk.

                The Unseen One stood in front of her, staring at her with its cold red eyes. The fog that was its whole being pulsed and flowed around its black heart. For a moment, Elisa began to feel the slightest glimmer of hope. Maybe it wouldn’t kill her, maybe it would leave her to her sorrow.

                And so, she sat there, her knife forgotten on the floor, staring into the flaming eyes of the Unseen One. Then, almost faster than the eye could see, it lunged for her, slamming her into the wall of the shed. Elisa screamed as the Unseen One began to tear into her body, blood staining and caking onto the wood. She screamed not of pain or fear, but at the realization that there was no hope for mankind. She screamed at knowing that the Unseen Ones had killed everyone in Promise without trying. And as the Unseen One devoured her flesh, the fog spread further and further, until it would cover the world. A storm was coming, a storm no one could possibly prepare for.




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