A Little Night's Conversation

The fog seemed to billow in behind the spectral figure, buffeting the window silently. His eyes, piercing pinpricks to blue light socketed in deep shadow, locked onto Ginny’s. Though her heart nearly stopped, she could soon see that there was no malice there.

The dog whined. A board creaked. The house breathed.

“My husband,” Ginny started, over enunciated as if talking to an old person or a foreigner, “went to find you, off in the fog, out there.” Try as she might, with her simple speech and exaggerated hand motions, the soldier only stared, as his accompanying mist crept in the window’s seams.

The lights flickered. The radio crackled. Ginny swallowed hard.

“You idjit,” she finally said in her sternest voice, “Not here. Out there. Go on. Go find Michael. He’ll help ya’ with whatever it is got you lingerin on.” As soon as she said it, she worried if that had been the right thing, the safe thing. It sure didn’t seem the brave thing.

The fog receded. A chill descended. The soldier vanished.

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