<Storyteller> Once again a thick fog rolls in off the gulf, blanketing the entire city in the pre-dawn hours. There aren’t many out this time of night, and even if they were no one could see in this. It has an eerie feeling to it, moreso than just the lack of sight provides, and some people find themselves even waking from a dead sleep with a sudden and overwhelming feeling of dread.
Kara wakes with a start. The events of the past few days hadn’t been conducive to her sleep cycle, and whatever this was, it wasn’t doing her any favours. She pushes herself off the desk she passed out at, and peels a smudged piece of notebook paper off her cheek. In a slight daze, she manages to shower and dress herself. Her recent insomnia’s horrific attrition of her coffee reserves forces her to leave her apartment for sustenance. She leaves, proceeding to the nearest open cafe. Or bar. In some ways, a bar would be better.
<Storyteller> Bars have closed up shop for the night, but there are a couple of diners open this late/early. The fog is very thick and heavy, and it dampens her clothes fairly quickly just walking outside.
Kara scowls slightly at the unnatural weather as she steps inside the closest diner. Apparently nothing was in a mood to make sense this week.
<Storyteller> There are a few people in here but not many. The waitress behind the counter does give Kara a friendly wave however. The people that are here mostly look out the windows, watching the fog as they sip their coffees.
Kara waves back, managing an almost not-exhausted smile. “Two coffees, as strong as you serve them. And one plate of something you serve at this time of day, please.”
<Storyteller> The woman gives a nod and starts pouring a pair of coffees after saying something to the cook. She makes her way to Kara and slides them in front of her. “There ya go, hun. Surprised anyone could find the place after that fog rolled in.”
“I’m not sure how I did,” Kara shrugs, then accepts the coffee with a thankfully smile. “Danke!”
After a first lengthy sip, she asks; “does the city see fog like that often?”
<Storyteller> The woman shakes her head but glances around to some of the other people in the room. “Not too often, but every few years of so we get a bout of it.”
“Well, here’s hoping it’s the last in a while.” Kara says before taking another sip.
<Storyteller> The woman nods her head a bit and goes to take care of a couple of others. The fog makes it impossible to even see any other buildings, the windows are just a sheet of gray, amking the place feel like a big glass jar full of people.
Kara shudders as she looks out the window for a few moments. She quickly turns to stare back down at the table in front of her. “Great. I now I feel like I *am* going crazy,” she mutters under her breath.
<Storyteller> The woman comes back and puts a plate of bacon, eggs, and toast in front of Kara, along with a little bowl of jellys and butter. “There ya go, hun.”, she says and then turns back to the counter.
“Thank you,” Kara says, smiling sheepishly as her stomach growls at the smell. She waits for the woman to turn back to the counter before starting to eat.
<Storyteller> The food is good, and over time an elderly couple enters and the waitress takes care of them as well, and they sit near the back and talk amongst themselves quietly. The fog stays as it is, and even as the door opens for people to enter one expects it to follow them in almost.
Kara finishes her meal with a hasty efficiency, then pulls herself out of her chair and heads to the counter to pay. She shudders slightly at the thought of venturing back into the fog.
<Storyteller> The woman takes Kara’s money and gives her a reassuring smile as she looks past her at the glass door and the solid gray beyond. “You be careful out there.”
“Thanks, I’ll try,” Kara replies, only half joking. She heads to the doors, takes a deep breath, and steps back into the fog.
<Storyteller> It has a tangible effect, walking into it seems to dampen more than just her clothes… it muffles sound, and she can barely see her own feet it’s so thick out here.
Kara keeps to the sidewalk, trying to keep the buildings to this side in sight. After walking for about half a minute, she takes off her glasses and puts them in a chest pocket on the inside of her coat. The city seems far too quiet around her.
<Storyteller> Unlike the fog a few nights ago, this does not sworl or eddy. It simply blankets everything, smothering it. Lights barely show through the dim, diffusing quickly in the gray. The sidewalk looks wet, building only barely cut out even on this side… nothing but shadows visible, nothing moving.
Kara continues to walk, heading back in the general direction of her apartment. She isn’t sure exactly where she is, which makes things a bit difficult. Even if she could make out her phone clearly through the fog, she couldn’t use or make out the gps without her glasses. Instead, she presses on based solely upon intuition.
<Storyteller> The apartment building slowly seems to come into view, the streetlights here flickering as if about to go out at any moment and not helping her vision any.
Kara presses forward, alternating between cursing the fog, the city, her vision, the colour grey, and the past week in general. All she wants is to get back to her apartment so she can focus on the things that should be causing her stress.
<Storyteller> There is a definate feeling of dread that seems to go right through Kara as both of the streetlights on either side of her building go out at once. Leaving everything in the dark, suffocating silence.
“Sohn einer Kuh und ein Schwein!” Kara exclaims as the lights go out. She turns about, trying to catch a glimpse of anything through the fog.
<Storyteller> There is nothing there, just near total darkness all around her.
“I am starting to get really tired of this Scheisse.” Kara mutters vengefully as she takes careful steps towards where the nearest building was before the lights went out. Her arms are stretched out in front of her, trying to feel for something, *anything* solid in the darkness.”
<Storyteller> Eventually she finds the door that leads into the building’s stairwell, grasping the cold steel doorknob.
Kara turns it quickly, ignoring the biting chill of the door’s handle.
<Storyteller> The doorhandle turns and it opens with a little bit of effort, revealing the stairs that lead up. The lights here bathe the whole hallway in a off-yellow glow.
Kara steps in slightly in closes the door behind her. She stands in the hallway for a moment, allowing herself a therapeutic shiver and a sigh of relief before moving further in.
<Storyteller> She keeps walking down the hall… and keeps walking… and keeps walking… and it’s as if she can’t seem to get any further. She looks behind her and she is still only an arm’s length from the door.
“I…” Kara turns from the hallway beyond, to the door, and back again. “No. This is not…just no.”
She turns and tries the door again.
<Storyteller> As she tries to go the other way, she takes a step forward over and over but doesn’t ever seem to get any closer to the doorknob. Then suddenly it’s in her hand and the lights flicker all down the hall and things seem to go back to normal.
Kara simply stares at her hand clutched around the door’s handle for a few moments. She’s only dimly aware of her heartbeat beginning to return to regular speeds. After almost a full minute, she snaps herself out of her daze and opens the door slightly, looking to see if the street lights are back on.
<Storyteller> The lights are out but the fog seems to be lifting as the dawn slowly overtakes it.
Kara stares with wide eyes at the withdrawing fog, then turns and rushes back up to her apartment with such single-minded suddenness that she doesn’t remember to close the door.
<Storyteller> The door closes itself behind her with a definitive slamming.
Kara pauses halfway up a flight of stares at the sound, her heart skipping a beat. She refuses to look back, just in case the sound *wasn’t* just a trick of her mind, and she starts moving up the stairs as quickly as she can.
<Storyteller> She makes it up the stairs the rest of the way and to her apartment without further incident.