A set of azure eyes pierced through the whirling mist, penetrating my skin already stinging from the icy vapor. How fast the world had become a foggy haze. How quickly my surroundings had vanished into eerie nothingness. And yet the eyes still shone through, cold and steely, unaffected by the smog that had distorted everything else into faded shadows.
Night approached, though it was hard to tell with hardly a ray of sunlight escaping the brume. The ground clouds that had previously been ghostly white grew dark, adding effect to the murky gloom. Now the eyes grew brighter in the dim, contrasted against the dull grey of the fog.
My heart pumped wildly, and with each beat, paralyzing fear coursed through my body like seawater crawling up the shore with each wave. Petrified, not only by what creature lurked mere meters in front of me, but by the unknown of what lay around me, I stood frozen. So frozen I couldn’t even tear my own eyes off the pure, blue pair glaring at through the wisps of film.
There was something unnerving I couldn’t put my finger on. Something about those eyes holding me prisoner. They were too wise to belong to an animal, yet something hidden deep within them made them impossible to be human’s. They seemed hardened and aged, like they’d lived through too many lives, seen too many things. They seemed to belong to eternity.
A sudden coldness froze my thoughts in their track. Numbness seeped into my fingertips, slowly but surely spreading up my arms, into my chest and freezing my lungs. Soon my body was incapable of reacting to my brains commands, leaving me powerless against anything and everything.
I stood like this for maybe 30 seconds, though each second stretched out to what felt like hours, until something snapped. I needed air. My body quivered as I inhaled shakily. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. Calm down. Calm down. I stared determinately at what little I could see off the ground beneath me to avoid the eerie eyes I could still feel gazing at me through the fog.
Forcing myself to stay calm, I attempted a simple action. A tentative step backwards. The soft grass flattened to the ground under my foot. Encouraged by this I took another more confident step. Then another. Glancing up randomly mid-step, my heart skipped a beat in sudden surprise. The eyes were locked to the exact spot beneath my shoe with a strange glint in them. I realized this a second too late.
My foot came down on a smooth stone, half buried in the ground, made slippery by the bursting water droplets. I found myself sprawling in the dirt, my ankle twisted at a freakish angle with agonizing pain breaking through the numb. My gasp of pain mingled with shock stood out of place in the haunting silence.
With all numbness from my body absent, I was left free to experience the bitter cold triggering uncontrollable shivers to travel up and down my spine. But the freezing weather was nothing – nothing compared to my ankle, which continued to swell rapidly and turn a sickening purplish colour against the pale of my skin. I was scared, cold, lost and injured, not to mention those unnaturally captivating blue eyes still glaring at me little more than a few steps away.
So caught up in my self-pity and misery I almost missed the beam of warm light dancing in my peripheral vision. My head turned instinctively, though I didn’t dare try and stumble forward toward the source, whatever it may be. The light was joined by another, stronger beam. Suddenly, I was propped up on the stone, squinting into the darkness.
“Jaden, Jaden!” a familiar woman’s voice called, slightly hoarse and laced with worry.
“Jaden, boy, you have to be out here somewhere!” boomed a male with a tired but determined tone.
My heart leapt with sudden hope and a new warmth seemed to drive way the cold and pain.
“I’m here, out here to your left” I shouted in their general direction “I’m sorry, I got lost but I’m fine now, I mean, I think I twisted my ankle pretty bad but other than that I’m fine”
I heard two pairs of footsteps hurrying towards me. The relief that this nightmare was almost over was unbelievable. Like when I spotted the finish point of that ride that was making me feel sick in the amusement park last year, only a hundred times better. I was swiftly pulled into my mother’s arms, tears dripping down her cheeks and into my ruffled hair.
“Didn’t I tell you not to come down here into the valley by yourself?” she scolded, “didn’t I tell you how dangerous it is?”
“Your mother’s right, son” said the man who I now recognized as one of the policemen in the small town near our farm. “Those fogs can come down in the blink of an eye and get pretty nasty too, now let’s get a look at that ankle, shall we?”
But I wasn’t listening. I was staring at the place where those deep azure eyes had vanished as silently as they had appeared.