Short Story
                                                   The Fog
                                                                     By Ernest Roberson Sr.


     Michael Dixon was at work driving a cut down machine for Gilder Timber. He was 6’2”, weighing 200
pounds, with brown eyes and hair. Every since he started working for Gilder Timber, his wife Janet quit
working at Oxford, a shirt factory. Janet was 5’6”, 120 pounds, with sandy blond hair, and green eyes. She
was now a homemaker. The two had one son Roger, which went to Pulaski County Middle School where
he was an Honor Roll Student. After Roger’s schooling, he wanted to serve his country as his dad Michael
had. Michael knew Roger would honor his country by joining the Army. Though Roger was young still,
Michael knew that because he honored them well, respected life, authority, and new challenges.

     Michael was 41, a retired Army Ranger. He went in at 18 when he graduated from Pulaski High in
1986. He’s worked for Gilder Timber 3 years and hasn’t missed a day; not even for sickness, Michael
looked at his wrist watch to see that it was 3:20 and thought about his boy, Roger, which was on the bus
headed home. But little did Michael know that the bus would go through an unexplained, demonic fog that
came from the water underneath the bridge that the bus would soon cross.

                                                                                     PAGE 1

     A school bus half filled with children traveled on a county maintained road, out of the city limits of
Glenwood, Georgia. The children ranged in age from 11 to 14 years old. The bus driver, Ralph Little, had
driven this route for 19 years. He never saw nor heard of anything weird happening, but soon enough that
would change. Mr. Little let the kids do and get by with a lot. He liked the kids, and they liked him. He
looked up in his mirror on a sunny, warm day and thought;

     “Seven more children, then we have Spring Break for two weeks this year.”

     As he came around a curve to a bridge, he noticed fog. He lost his grin and began to look like
someone having trouble with a math problem. In the background the children continued to talk, and laugh
with one another, as Mr. Little drove through the demonic fog.

                                                                                     PAGE 2

     He let Roger, Will, and Peter Dixon off. Will was the B-team’s star quarterback, and he’d broken all the
school’s records for that position. Will had even started 3 games for the varsity team, winning all 3, while
putting up records, as he did for the B-team. Will’s go to guy was none other than his cousin Peter. Peter
like Will played B-team football, as a wide receiver. He also played in the 3 games which Will was the
starting quarterback. Many of the people talked about how if Will and Peter remained healthy and injury
free, that they’d be the next Joe Montana and Jerry Rice combination. They were cousins and they all
usually got off at Roger’s house. They didn’t even tell Mr. Little anything. During his years as a bus driver
they usually said “bye” and “have a good vacation,” but not today. So the bus began to move. The four
others, all girls, moved closer to Mr. Little and sat down. He noticed through his mirror, the girls eyes were
milky white, their fingernails black.

                                                                                     PAGE  3

     “You girls wearing contacts, and black fingernail paint?” he spoke up.

     As he ran off the road, and regained control of the bus, they still hadn’t answered. It was time to let
Cindy and her sister Melondy Bush off the bus. Cindy was an undefeated single match tennis player, she
was 23 and 0. Her average match lasted about 48 minutes. Cindy’s sister Melondy was a standout softball
pitcher. She’d broken every record as a pitcher including E.R.A., innings pitched, saves, and wins with 53,
and only 2 losses. They too said nothing as they got off the bus.

     He began to drive.

     Ann and Amy Bacham were B-team captains of cheerleading. But they also stood out in basketball
too. Ann was the assist, rebound leader, and Amy the scoring leader of all time. The two like Will and
Peter had their own record books; records that would stand for years to come. Their father was the Deputy
of Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department.

     Silence, that’s all there was on the bus until Ann and Amy got off, as Ralph drove the bus to his house.

                                                                                     PAGE  4

     He thought to himself, “Never can I remember the children and I not talking.”

     “The patch of fog was odd, but they never talked to one another after going through that fog. Did it have
something to do with black fingernails and their milky eyes? Did the fog make them like zombies?” Mr.
Little wondered.

                                                                                     PAGE 5

     Roger’s mother was cooking, when the three boys walked in.

     “Hi, boys.”

     No response.

     “Bad day? It’s Spring Break, don’t tell me it’s going to be like this?”

     Janet, Roger’s mother, walked into his room.

     “Roger.”

     The door shut by a push of Peter’s hand.

     “You boys alright?”

     As then she saw what Ralph had seen. Roger walked to his mother never saying a word and hugged
her. As his fingernails planted into her back, he held her until her body was limp, then let her fall to the floor,
dead. Rogers’s dad would be home soon. The boys left the body there, not moving it. The boys had left,
and walked to Cindy’s house.

                                                                                     PAGE 6

     Cindy’s grandma played the piano. Cindy slowly walked up behind her as she played. Her grandma
stopped and turned to see Cindy.

     “Hello, I didn’t even hear you.”

     Cindy reached down and hugged her grandma. She shook and began to smoke. Nothing of her body
was left but the skeleton. Cindy turned her grandma back towards the piano, and then the body fell over on
the keys making an awful, loud noise. Just then the three boys joined Cindy and her sister. The five walked
out of the house to her father’s barn. There they would stay. Meanwhile, Amy hugged her mother and Ann
hugged their dad, killing them, as Roger killed his mom and Cindy had her grandma. Then they, too, had
left for Cindy’s father’s barn where they’d be together.

                                                                                     PAGE 7

     Roger’s dad Michael had come through the opened door, seeing the pots of food over boiling and the
smell of scorched and burnt food.

     “Janet! Roger!” he called out,

     No answer from either. He turned off all the burners on the stove and walked back to Roger’s room.

     “Janet!”

     He knelt by her side, rolled her onto her back, and saw she was dead. He got back into his Dodge
Ram and drove to the Bush’s residence. At the same time, Edward and Jill Bush came into the drive. They
got out and before they said a word, Michael asked if they had seen Roger?

     “No. we’re coming in from work.”

     “My wife’s dead and Roger is missing.”

     “Come inside, we’ll ask Cindy or Melondy,” replied Jill.

     So, the three walked inside as the seven children watched from the barn.

     “Mother?” Jill said.

     As her mother sat at the piano, Jill walked to the piano, grabbed her mother’s shoulder, and pulled
back on her. As she did, her mother’s legs got caught on the piano, breaking her mother’s spine in to, as
her upper body fell to the floor. Jill screamed and ran to Edward, weeping.

     Edward yelled out, “Cindy! Melondy!”

     But there was no answer.        

                                                                                     PAGE 8

     Peter’s and Will’s mothers had come to pick them up at Roger’s. They noticed the door opened and
welcomed themselves in. When they entered they smelled the burnt, scorched food that lingered in the
house.

     “Quiet isn’t it?” Amy Dixon, Peter’s mother said.

     “Sure is.” Nancy Dixon, Will’s mother replied

     “Will, Peter, Roger, you boys here?” Nancy yelled.

     Nothing. They walked towards Roger’s room. There lay Janet dead on the floor. The two ladies ran out
of the house, concerned about Janet’s death, and the boys. They took no chances, and rode to the Pulaski
County Sherriff’s office. They told Charles Smith what they saw, and that three boys were missing.

                                                                                     PAGE  9

     “I’ll call David, the deputy out there.”

     The phone rang and rang for three minutes.

     “That’s odd.” replied Charles.

     “What?”  Nancy said.

     “David calls me before he leaves from home to go anywhere.”

     “What about his kids?”  Nancy and Amy asked.

     “Don’t know. They should’ve answered. Let me ride out there, and have a look. You both go home, and
if I hear, or if I don’t, I’ll call you both.”

     “Thank you.” replied Amy.

     “It’s my job.”  Charles said

     So they all left. Charles Smith, the sheriff, rode to the Dixon’s home.

     He got out and searched the house.

     “Just as the ladies said,” he thought.                                              

                                                                                     PAGE  10

     He never found the boys, so he went to his car and dispatched backup and an ambulance to the Dixon’
s home. He’d pulled into the Bush’s drive. Michael, Edward, and Jill stood outside talking.

     “Hello.” Charles said.

     “Hello.” The three responded.

     “Cindy and Melondy here?”

     “No sir, they’re not. My boy’s gone, too.”

     “I know. Peter’s and Will’s mothers went by your home, and found nothing but your wife.”

     “Where are they?” Jill asked.

     “I told them to go home and I’d call them as soon as I find something out.” Charles replied.

     “My mother’s dead, too,” Jill told Charles.

     “Let me call in and tell them to bring an ambulance out here. This is weird.”  Charles said.

     The seven children watched from the barn.

     “Has anyone called Ralph?” Charles asked.

     “No.” Jill replied.

     “Call him.” Edward insisted.

     Jill called.

     “I have to go and check on David, my deputy. No one’s answering the phone there. I’ll be back.”
Charles said as he was getting into his car.

                                                                                     PAGE  11

     Jill came out of the house.

     “What did he say?” Edward asked.

     “He told me they went through a patch of fog and the children have black fingernails, milky eyes, and
won’t talk.”

     “What?” Michael asked.

     “That’s all I know.” Jill responded.

     “Why doesn’t he have it?” Edward asked.

     “Adult maybe?” Jill quickly answered.

     “So you’re saying evilness?” Michael asked.

     “Yes.” Jill responded.

     “My wife’s dead, so is Jill’s mother, possibly David, and his wife, but the kids.

     “Where are they?” Michael asked

     “They’re our kids, but they have to be…… shut up Edward.” Jill harshly said.

     “Jill, it’s the truth.” Edward said.

     Jill walked inside as Charles pulled up. Jill looked at her mother and cried, knowing Edward and
Michael were right. Charles got out of the car with a shot gun, and pumped it.

                                                                                     PAGE 12

     “They’re here. David and his wife are dead, too. They won’t quit until the parents are dead, then they’ll
kill everyone else. I talked with Ralph; he told me of the fog, fingernails, and their eyes. You have any guns?”

     “Yes sir.” Edward responded.

     “Get them.” insisted Charles.

     Edward went inside, hugged his wife, and went and gathered three handguns, and two rifles. Then
walked by Jill, and Jill and he met eye to eye.

     She said, “I know it’s got to be done.”

     They both walked out of the house.

                                                                                     PAGE 13

     “We each get a partner, Jill and Ed, and Charles and I.  Whatever you do, don’t let them touch you.”
Michael said.

     They searched the house first, after they found nothing, they moved to the barn. Inside now, Will walked
out. Charles shot his head off, and his body fell like a rock.

     “Don’t be afraid to shoot.” Charles said.

     They split up into groups of two. Jill saw Roger, aimed the .357 to his head, as Peter stood behind her,
Ed in front of her looking forward. Peter touched Jill, then she fell.

     “Jill! Oh, no!” Edward said shooting Peter in the chest; he fell. Edward went over to Jill, laying his gun
down. Roger came up behind him, touching him, killing him as Edward was dead on top of Jill. Meanwhile,
a shot rang out. Melondy had been killed.

     “Forget heart,” Charles told Michael.

     Michael climbed a ladder going up to the top of the barn while Charles stayed on the lower part.
Michael fires.

     “Dang it!” Michael yelled.

                                                                                     PAGE 14

     He shot Cindy in the leg, and fired again into the chest knocking her over the railing where Charles
stood. Amy faced Charles now, but Ann was coming up behind him. Click, he tried for his pistol, but never
removed it from his holster, before Ann and Amy touched him, killing him. Michael shot two times killing
both Amy and Ann. Michael stood and heard nothing. He called out Jill’s and Edward’s names, but not an
answer. He threw down his gun and figured it was over. Michael climbed down the stairs to the lower level.
He walked around seeing all the bodies, but he never saw Roger’s.

                                                                                     PAGE 15

     As Michael began to walk out the door over Will’s body, he heard a stick snap. Michael turned quickly
and saw Roger reaching for him for help like he did when he was little. Michael began to shed tears, but he
knew he couldn’t hold his son again. Michael pulled a .44 out his pants, cocked it back, and remembered
what Charles had said.

     “Don’t be afraid to shoot, you can’t have heart now.”

     Michael aimed the gun at Roger’s head as he held his arms out, but Michael shot into Roger’s head
leaving a big hole, then he met his son’s eyes once more as Roger fell.

     “It’s over now.” Michael thought to himself.

     Michael dropped his gun and walked out the barn never looking back. Outside he fell to his knees and
cried. He thought of his wife, child, and the others. How would I tell them what happened to their children?
Michael thought of Roger being an Honor Roll student. And how he led and not followed others. He knew
that Roger, no matter what the fog had done to him, turned him into, Michael knew that Roger, and the
other children had short lived, remarkable lives. But Roger died with dignity, respect, and honor which he
never received from the Army, but from his father, as the sun scorched down on him.
About Ernest Roberson Sr.

Ernest Roberson Sr. was
born in Glenwood,
Georgia and has lived
most of his life there. He
and his wife, Angie, have
five children, David, Ernest
Jr., Aaron, Christina, and
Jersey. His stories are or
will be in Blood Moon
Rising Magazine.
To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.