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A Moment Mist ~ By Nick Vidal-Hall

‘Christ, how can I get away. He’s falling behind, but I’m running out of pier. I just hope the mist will throw him off. He’s so damn persistent. I have to be careful.’ As the mist swirls and closes in on Jamie he crouches and jinks to the left behind the arcade on the pier.

‘What now. He’s gone. All these months waiting for this moment. This instant when I would catch him before he sees me and now he’s away.’ Karl halts, pulls back to an area of the pier where there are no buildings and he can see from side to side. ‘ I’ll just wait him out. The mist can’t hide him for ever, or enough for him to get past me’. Slowly recovering his breath he saunters to a bench positioned perfectly in the middle of the walkway blocking any exit. ‘Got the filthy bastard. He’s going to wish he’d never seen the sea again’ Time drifts and slips like the sand beneath the rusted steel girders. Karls eyes dart back and forwards determined not to give his adversary the slightest chance to slip by. He stands, sits, stands again. Carefully scrutinising each figure that rolls out of the mist, resolving into a living being. He knows even from the ghosts that these are not his prey. Too tall, to short, too stooped, a woman, a child, but still he inspects the closer, bodily form to be sure.

A splash, a scream. Desperate shouts ‘No, no, no, surely no. The miserable bastard always finds an exit where there is none’ The mist flows to one side, inhabited by the darker forms of people rushing to investigate. ‘No, no, no.’ Karl darts forward, eyes edging into the grey nothingness which reaches down to touch the darker nothingness of the sea. Is there movement out there? Someone swimming? ‘Drown damn you, drown.’ Gliding along the other side of the pier is one man gently, slowly, invisibly, moving back to land. Back into the all encompassing mist. ‘Time to move on again.’