One Foggy Night
Disclaimers: These characters belong solely to me. No part of the following maybe reproduced without permission. Copywrite 2002.
Adult Content: Yes, between two people of the female persuasion. But nothing graphic.
This is the third installment of my holiday series. While it is not necessary to read the others in order to enjoy this tale, you might want to take a look at Twelve Days and Two Hearts.
"Trick or Treat!"
Knock, knock, knock.
The two women standing on the sidewalk chuckled silently. He still hadnt quite understood that you have to knock on the door first before yelling the taunting greeting.
Luckily the homeowner was standing near the door at the time and heard his hearty greeting. The green door opened to reveal a tall, white haired woman who promptly smiled down at the small child. In her arms was a big bowl filled with eye-popping treats. The little firemans green orbs did become saucer sized as he peered into the mound of sweet candies. The well-mannered four year old waited until he was properly presented with the bowl before making his choice.
"Arent you the brave little hero," Mrs. Baker said to the young man standing on her porch.
The boy gave her a toothy grin. A shiny red helmet covered his close cut blonde hair and a black, plastic, knee length coat covered the heavy sweater and blue jeans that kept him warm on the chilly Halloween night.
"Take your pick," the woman told him, handing out the big orange bowl.
His small hand hovered over a Snicker then gravitated toward a Nestlés Crunch and a Kit Kat that lay next to it, all full sized bars. "Ummm," he hummed as the indecision rattled his brain. Five little fingers twitched and finally grabbed onto the old favorite Hershey. He lifted the brown and silver wrapped bar and dropped it into his small plastic bag. "Thank you," he said. Travis Shafer turned and pointed to the trio of ladies standing on the curb by a silver SUV. "Could I have something soft for my baby sister?" he asked. "Shes still too little to walk up here with me."
Mrs. Baker looked up and waved at the familiar faces. Corridan Sterling hefted the bundle in her arms and waved her daughters gloved hand in the older womans direction. "Hi Mrs. Baker," Cori said to her mothers long time friend. The small woman shivered as the cold wind blew across her face, but a strong pair of arms suddenly wrapped around her and the baby, guarding them from the chill. Cori smiled up at her tall partner and enjoyed the moment.
Taylor Shafer called out to her son. "Come on Travis we have to go now."
"Okay Mama," he said jumping from the porch and heading back down the walkway to his waiting family. He was a big boy and wasnt a bit phased by the scary faced jack o lanterns or the shivering ghost that dangled from a gnarled old tree. But still he wasted no time getting back to the safety of parents, walking as fast as his little legs could carry him.
Mrs. Bakers was the eighth and final house they were going to visit for Halloween treats. Cori and Taylor were very cautious parents, only allowing Travis to visit people they knew. The evening had started at 5:30 after a rushed dinner of burgers and fries. The child insisted on eating in his costume so they wouldnt waste any time later on. Their first stop was the mall where the two children gathered a fairly large bag of goodies, some of it earmarked for Mama to prevent small tummy aches. The family then visited the local fire station for trick or treating, where Traviss choice of costume was a big hit.
With a small boost from his Mom the four year old climbed into the back seat and reached for his seat belt. He held out a bright, orange wrapped peanut butter cup, showing his little sister. "Look what I got for you Kylie. Next year youll be old enough to go with me to the houses and pick out your own candy. But I didnt mind doing it this year."
The baby grinned and wiggled, trying to reach her favorite sibling since she had no idea what candy was.
"You are a very good big brother," Taylor said as she finished buckling the baby into her secure car seat. She straightened the small black-eared hat atop the childs blonde head and pulled the furry black, spotted costume away from a slobbering mouth. Checking the buckles one last time, Taylor grabbed the chocolate from the tiny reaching fingers. "Ill just keep this until later," she said as she pocketed the candy.
"Mama, dont you eat that," Travis warned, "its Kylies."
The dark haired woman feigned hurt feelings. "Would I take candy from a baby?" she asked, putting a hand over her heart. Taylor smiled and winked at her son who didnt get the joke at all. "Dont worry sport, its all hers." Kissing a soft, pink, baby cheek Taylor then climbed into the drivers seat and started the engine filling the car with warmth. She jumped when something tickled her side and looked up to see the grin on her blonde haired partners face. The Reeses was now clutched between two of her fingers.
"Ill just hold on to this for later," Cori echoed. "I know its your favorite sweet."
Blue eyes leered turning silver under the moonlight shining through the window. "Not my favorite." Taylor paused dramatically as a rose tinge, not attributed to the wind graced her wifes cheeks. "You know kisses are."
The car came to a stop two blocks later and two children and one small suitcase were left inside the festively decorated house. Grandma and Grandpa Sterling were hosting a sleepover while Cori and Taylor were going to a Halloween party at the house of one of Taylors co-workers.
The young night was already black as pitch as the SUV left the city lights behind, heading into the remote countryside. The party was being held in an appropriately spooky old barn. To get there they had to pass through an equally spooky stretch of woods.
The childrens trick or treating excursion, short as it was, set them on a path that would have seen them at least one hour late for the start of the party. For their children though they would gladly have stayed home all together if necessary and before the night was over Cori and Taylor might wish they had.
Taylor pulled the car to a stop at the fading and nearly knocked over stop sign. "Do those instructions I gave you say to turn left or right at Foxs corner?" she asked as she peered in both directions down the dark, barren dirt roads.
Cori pulled the slightly crumpled piece of paper from her pocket and a small flashlight from the glove compartment. "It doesnt say," she responded. "Which way do we go now?" The blonde fumbled in her purse and fished out a small silver box. "Call your friend," she said, tossing her partner the phone.
Static quickly greeted Taylor.
"Not working out here. So we choose or turn back."
Cori read the note again. "Well, it says that two miles after the turn the forest thins and eventually becomes a field." She flashed the small light, catching her partners incredible profile. "We could just try and then turn back if it isnt there."
The dark head nodded in agreement and the car turned right, kicking up dust behind it as they made the unknown journey. The uneven ruts in the road made for a really bumpy ride, but that was the least of their problems.
Green eyes steadily widened as the big car progressed into the black forest. The previous illumination of the nearly full moon was now diminished by the drifting clouds, which brought with them the threat of rain. A storm was something they really didnt need at this point as things were already going from bad to worse. Headlights soon became nearly ineffective, unable to penetrate the developing hazard ahead. The silence in the car was quietly broken by a quivering voice. "Taylor, is that what I think it is?"
The low hanging, white puffs thickened as it rolled across the road.
"Looks like fog to me," the driver said with a slight chuckle as the vehicle entered the thick bank. Her foot tapped the brake, slowing the cars already snails pace.
"I hate fog," Cori said with vehemence. "Its creepy. You can never know whats hiding in it."
"Jamie Lee Curtis fan?" Taylor asked drolly.
The blonde didnt answer as her sudden shivers were compounded as the car was totally enveloped in the dense grayness. The fog was bad enough, but going up hill in the dark in unfamiliar territory was just plain stupid. She looked out the back window and really freaked. "We have to stop Tay." A few seconds passed. "I mean it now!" she demanded as the car still crept forward. Cori grabbed the tall womans arm and a calming hand almost instantaneously caressed hers.
"Okay honey Im stopping. Im stopping. Well just wait here until it lifts." Taylor studied the swaying treetops barely visible through the cars sunroof. "It cant last long in this wind."
Cori spat out bitterly. "It better not." Her heavy breathing soon began to fog up the inside of the cars windows as her panic response kicked into high gear. She flipped on the radio so she couldnt hear the things she just knew where outside in the dark. But the only station that would tune in was telling ghost stories, namely the hook on the door ghastly tale. She quickly put an end to that and grabbed the flashlight from the seat next to her and held it in her trembling hands. "What was that? Didnt you hear that?"
Taylor leaned her ear toward the window. "What? I didnt hear anything." She paused a moment to listen. "I still dont"
"Well, I dont either now, but it sounded like a voice, a very high pitched voice."
About fifteen minutes crawled by with Taylor taping out the frustrating wait with an uneven beat against the steering wheel. Her tapping was somewhat melodically accompanied by a pair of knocking knees not her own. Suddenly she had her lap full of agitated blonde. Coris mouth landed precariously close to the apex of her lovers legs.
"Ahh sweetheart are trying to make a pass at me," she asked lightly.
Cori peeked up with one dark green eye, but made no further move. "Im locking the doors. I heard a noise outside."
A pair of blue eyes rolled skyward. Taylor gently grabbed her wife by the shoulders and pulled her to a seated position. She looked deeply into the terrified eyes. "What you heard was leaves rustling across the ground. There is nothing outside of this car, except Mother Natures autumn handiwork."
Cori took a deep breath and closed her eyes, pulling her freight deep within. "Logically I know that honey, but that irrational part of my brain that makes me what to scream and run back to the safety of our home just wont shut up." The hands rubbing up and down her arms brought her ragged breathing back under control a little. "Isnt there anything that scares you?" she finally asked her calm partner.
Taylor gave a very short twitch and her face grew serious. "Actually there is something." She spoke quietly and dropped her head in shame. Fingertips traced her cheek and she looked up again.
"Oh honey. What is it; what are you afraid of?"
The dark haired woman sucked in a shuddering breath and confessed. "The day our daughter starts to date." A hint of the humor just traced her eyes and she received a rather hard slap to her thigh for her failed attempt at levity.
"It may be silly," said Cori, "but I cant help it."
Taylor smiled and pulled the small woman closer. "I know and Im sorry. Will the safety of my arms help any at all?"
Cori inhaled the heady scent of leather and Taylor and she snuggled in closer, a smile drifting across her face for the first time since they stopped. "Always," she whispered. The feeling of near bliss lasted only a few minutes though when the wind came whistling and she realized that one of the back windows was opened just a hairs width. Cori flew to the drivers door for the automatic window controls, landing once again in the dark haired womans lap.
"Okay," said Taylor. "This calls for desperate measures." A kiss soon followed that consumed them both, sending them into a place of peace where love could beat any foe, mortal or supernatural.
Taylor pulled back, surprising herself with the power that passed between them during the heated exchange. "Wow. There is something to be said for adrenaline."
Cori licked her lips and pulled the collar of her sweater away from her neck. "Yeah. What fog?"
Taylor snickered, but as she continued to stare into the eyes she loved a real fear suddenly drew over her soul. "You know there is something that really terrifies me." Those green eyes silently asked the question. "The thought of waking up one morning and you wont be there."
Cori understood the underlying meaning of the words. "Well, hopefully that wont happen for a very long time say when were about ninety six. And if were lucky well go together in our sleep, wrapped around each other." A soft kiss full of love and never ending devotion followed Coris sentiment.
The gentle affection gradually shifted to a deeper hunger and soon kissing wasnt enough as hands fumbled beneath layers of clothing searching for soft, sensuous skin. Some very earthly moans soon filled the small space and the blondes desperate pleas were whispered.
Taylor regretfully pulled away from the kiss, but her hands kept up a steady, but a little less lustful exploration. She scratched the back of Coris neck, a place she knew to be extremely sensitive. "Guess my distraction worked huh?"
Cori smiled. "Too well. Im about to explode and it aint with fear."
The dark head gave a quick nod to the right. "Its big enough back there," Taylor said. "We could get into the back and make us both feel better."
Cori leaned forward and nibbled at Taylors sweet smelling neck. "Thats a wonderful idea sweetie but Im not setting one foot outside of this car."
A new frustration began to settle in Taylors belly. "I bet we could climb over the seat," she suggested. "Im more than willing to try. Because if we try this right here well both be in traction tomorrow."
Cori released her snack and sized up the opening between the seats and the roof of the car. "Maybe if we take off our coats."
Taylor was already twisting in her seat struggling to remove her longs arms from the black, leather garment. "Well keep each other warm."
With just a slight grunt and a push or two, one adult body soon tumbled into the back seat and wrestled the baby seat from the buckles, shoving it to the far back corner. A few more awkward maneuvers saw the backrest flattened. Coris smile flashed in the beam coming from the flashlight Taylor held, which illuminated her almost frenzied actions. "Care to join me?" the smaller woman asked. "And bring the light." The still present but diminished insecurities brought a pale ruddiness to her fair cheeks.
For the next hour all thoughts of ghosts, goblins, monsters and ghouls were banished into thin air as two bodies and two souls exchanged passions, sending cries into the dark night that was heard by no man, animal or any other living thing.
The two rapidly cooling bodies were spooned atop the thick sleeping bag that had been spread out, creating a somewhat flimsy mattress. But at least it protected them from rug burn.
"Still?" Cori teased as she turned to face her wife.
Taylor reached over and gave her a nip on the nose. "Yes. Contrary to popular belief I can not exist on love alone even yours and its incredibly fulfilling."
The small woman laughed. "Okay, if you say so." Cori slipped her sweater back over her head and wrapped the thin blanket around her still bare bottom half as she rooted around in a brown paper bag. She quickly produced a tray wrapped in clear plastic. "I dont think we are going to make it to the party so we night as well have these."
Taylor grabbed a bat shaped, sugar cookie and hurriedly clipped the mammals wings with her sharp, white teeth. "Mmm, these are good honey."
Thank you squeaked out of the huge yawn that stretched Coris face.
A smug, half smile lifted Taylors lips.
Cori joined in the expression. "You do wear me out," she said blissfully.
Taylor finished off her second cookie and quickly became horizontal once again. She patted the spot beside her. "Come on. You go to sleep and Ill keep watch over you. I promise that nothing will hurt you."
The blonde picked at the blanket as a chill started to brush over her skin. "I believe you," she said, "but I think we should put all of our clothes back on in case something someone finds us in the morning."
Taylor wanted to chuckle at the slip, but wisely held back.
Once the task was finished, Cori settled back down into Taylors arms. "No more fears?" the dark haired woman asked.
The blonde head took a quick glance at the windows and saw the roiling clouds that still seemed to be soundlessly tapping against the glass, asking for entry to do unspeakable things to them both. She made a shameful face and once again found something interesting to study on the body beside her. "Why did this have to happen tonight of all nights?"
"I told you not to watch Halloween the other ." The tall woman sucked in a breath when Coris arousing fingers landed on some delicate territory. " night."
"I dont mind being scared by a movie, in the safety of my own locked up home."
Taylor decided to drop the discussion in favor of encouraging Coris coping methods She quickly decided a little more distraction couldnt hurt. Both disappeared under the thin blanket and they soon fell asleep that way.
Something soft brushed up against her face, but it wasnt her lover. Cori would know her touch anywhere. She reached up to brush away the annoyance and her fingers came away wet. "What the ?" It finally dawned on her waking brain just where they were and what was happening. Cori reached for her partner, but felt nothing but empty space well except for the puddle where her body should have been. "No!" The blanket flew away and Cori jumped up to a freezing wind and that damnable fog. It had filled the car because the back door was standing wide open. "Taylor what are you doing out there?" she asked. "Get back in here right now!" After another call, a shape began to form in the heavy mist. Cori squinted to make it out, but most of it was just too distorted. The figure stopped well away from the car and reached out a hand. One finger beckoned. "Tay, this isnt funny now get back in here and close that door!" Cori clutched the blanket again, holding it tighter to her chest. Her heart rate tripled and the breath wouldnt fill her lungs fast enough. Something told her that wasnt her beloved partner standing outside in the fog, but her eyes were riveted to the spot. And if that wasnt her wife playing a joke, then where was she? Suddenly her fear became twofold, but it was no longer for herself. The courage boiled up inside her, ready to burst against any foe, man or monster. She climbed to her knees as there was new movement in the dense clouds.
A new figure slowly emerged with something in its arms. It came closer and closer, feet scraping across the loosened dirt bringing with it the powerful stench of putrid flesh. Cori blanched as the smell burnt her nose, but her newfound bravery was unstoppable. She leaned closer as a dark patch became very visible.
Raven colored hair.
Taylors limp body was in the clutches of that thing. That was all she needed to know. Cori jumped from the car and chased the retreating figures. She ran and ran harder, but they always managed to stay just ahead of her even though they appeared to move very slowly.
The fog finally thinned enough for Cori to make out the beams of the bridge overhead and under foot. She momentarily lost her bearings until a muffled voice called out.
The blonde looked straight and began running again. Her body ached, but it didnt matter. Her eyes burned, but she didnt care. Her heart was being taken away and that meant everything. Cori caught sight of the three and she yelled for them to stop. They did just long enough for her to get a long last look at the woman she loved. Suddenly they plunged off the end of the structure, disappearing into the foggy night.
"Taylor no! Taylor!" Cori ran, but this time she couldnt move. Something grabbed on to her from behind. "Taylor! Taylor!"
"Im right here baby. Im right here. Its okay it was just a dream, just a dream."
The small, thrashing blonde finally calmed into familiar arms. Her lips quickly sought out their equals to further chase away the last tendrils of fear.
Tap, tap, tap.
Tap, tap, tap.
Green eyes popped open beneath the blanket, staring into the darkness of the raven hair at her side. Her hand clenched around a piece of denim and her knees rattled as the noise continued.
The shaking combined with the painful clenching and the desperate pleas in her ear slowly brought Taylor from her dreamless state.
Tap, tap, tap.
"Do something my hero," Cori said. "Make it go away."
Taylor shook the last of the fuzzies from her brain. One ear was tuned to the incessant tapping and the other to the trembling lips pressed against it. The tall woman peeled her sudden second skin away from her and flexed her stiff muscles. "Let me "
"No dont reveal our hiding place," warned Cori. "Its still dark out, it wont see us. Maybe it will just get tired and go back to the unknown place it came from."
Willing to let Cori ramble on about whatever it was she was rambling about, Taylor pulled her left arm around and checked her lighted watch. "Honey its almost seven am. That means its getting light out. It is still dark in here because, if you remember, after your dream at about two oclock you made me cover the windows with those trash bags I kept in my car kit. Its okay, I promise you."
Tap, tap, tap.
The blue blanket was flipped aside. "Now if youll let me up, Ill se whos there. And well finally get out of here." Despite her bravado, Taylor gave just a tiny shudder and cleared her suddenly dry throat before slowly pulling the dark plastic from the window.
Beyond the uniform clad body of the deputy sheriff that was standing there, Taylor saw the glowing rays beginning to illuminate the tree trunks and remaining colorful fall leaves. She turned and flashed her wife a smile that rivaled those morning beams.
"What happened to you guys last night?" asked Stacy. The hostess of the previous nights party dropped a bowl of left over candy on the table in the break room.
Luckily Taylor didnt have to be to work until one on the first of November. Once she and Cori had taken the long trip back home she took every advantage of the nice soft bed in their nice warm bedroom to recoup the sleep she had lost the night before.
Taylor flipped the metal door of her locker shut and turned to her almost former friend. "You my good buddy left a little something out of those directions. You didnt say whether to turn left or right at Foxs corner. I made the wrong choice and we ended up in a fog bank as thick as Patrick OGradys accent. We got stuck there all night."
The tab popped open and Stacey took a healthy drink of the diet cola. "Im so sorry Taylor. Sorry you got stuck and missed all the fun."
The tall woman looked back over her shoulder with a lecherous grin. "I wouldnt say that. We made our own fun."
"Ho,ho,ho, Ill just bet. Maybe you should thank Wait, you said that you turned right at Foxs Corner," she paused for the nod. "And got caught in fog."
"Creepy fog as Cori put it. She was so sure something was going to teach in and drag us away. Her being so upset was the only really bad part of " Taylor turned to find her friend grinning and shaking her red head. "What?"
"Thats a good one Taylor. But Im not falling for it. Where did you hear that story anyway; not many people know it?"
A dumbfounded Taylor asked, "What are you talking about? I told you the truth. And I dont know about any story."
"What story?" asked another of their suddenly interested co-workers.
Stacy turned in her chair and indulged him.
"In 1976 a teenage couple was walking across Crying Bridge, at least thats what its been called since that night. It was on Halloween and they were dared by some friends to go out there alone at the witching hour. The story says they were half way across when a heavy fog descended down on them. She was too scared to go forward or back, but she did take a wrong step and the rotting boards gave way beneath her. He grabbed onto her hand, but she panicked and struggled and screamed out for help. He wasnt strong enough and finally lost his grip. Then he freaked and reached for her, leaning too far forward, falling through himself. They both plunged into the water below. The bodies were never found. The next time there was a fog on that road a car crashed into one of the support beams. The driver stumbled out of the car, began walking and tumbled down the side of the cliff and drowned. Fog seems to be drawn to that area even when weather conditions arent right for it. Legend says when the fog comes they return to sabotage the bridge to take more victims to their home below the water. Its a good ghost story, but I dont believe it for one minute."
The supervisor soon sent everyone back to work. Stacy looked back to kid her friend once again, but found nothing funny. Taylor sat at the table, her eyes darkened and staring blankly. "Come on Taylor, the jokes over."
"I told you it was no joke. With the light of day we saw that our wheels had stopped right on the edge of that bridge you were talking about." Her eyes finally rose to meet Stacys. "The far half of the bridge was missing. If we hadnt stopped when " Her statement was left dangling and her friend was no longer left wondering. Taylors fear was almost palpable.
"You really think ?"
"I dont know what to think," Taylor said as they both headed back to work.
Not another word was ever mentioned of the experience between the two co-workers and Stacy got a chill up her spine every time she stopped at Foxs Corner.
That evening, when Taylor arrived home she was greeted with an enormous hug. "Im sorry for last night," Cori said. "I realize now that I went way off the deep end. My imagination just got the better of me."
Taylors smile wavered just a touch as she remembered the spooky tale. "Dont worry about it honey." She kissed Coris waiting lips. "Lets just forget all about it."
"Okay, but you were my hero. You didnt make fun of me and you saw me through the bout of fear and that Ill never forget. I love you."
"I love you too." All the facts still rumbled around in the tall womans head causing an ache behind her eyes. A good meal and a night with her family would hopefully heal all her pains. The two of them walked arm in arm to the dinner table where two very happy children greeted the couple. Taylor studied the shining faces and a flash of how this day might have been for them crashed into her already overflowing brain. Spirits or no, coincidence or not it could have been a disaster. She looked to Cori as she sat down. That fear may have just kept us alive, she thought. But I think Ill just keep that story to myself for a while a long while.
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