When I was little, I used to see giants in the fog. Their long limbs would sway like trees, drifting over the misty fields where I would play. They were always silent, always stoic, these tall, limber shadows walking with us in the woods. Each was unique, recognizable by their movements and the creaks of their ancient joints. My friends and I gave them names, but I’ve long since forgotten them all.
Back then they would come right up to us, just barely out of reach. We would go on adventures through the forests, vanquishing the demons from our dreams and finding buried treasure lost to the world of adults. They guarded us against the terrors of the woods, and showed us the secret paths over the deepest streams and through the thick brush filled with thorns. Sometimes we would borrow ropes from home and climb high into the trees, hoping to see their faces, but we never could climb high enough.
One day my friends and I were playing in the forest. The skies were clear and the barren trees had started to grow the first leaves after winter. It was a bright, dry day and from the hilltops we could see for miles. We were digging up crayfish in the creek when ear-splitting cracks echoed through the woods nearby. In our naive curiosity we went to investigate, taking a vantage from a nearby ridge. Figures of men, huddled around another form, their bodies tense and angry. We had spotted something they didn’t want us to see, and though we thought ourselves sneaky, they spotted us too.
I’ve never forgotten the biting air rushing through my mouth and nose as I sprinted through the underbrush. They were fast, but these were our woods and we knew them perfectly. My friends had split, gone in different directions in the hope our divergent paths would confuse the men. I was on my own, and heard two sets of feet chasing me down, accompanied by metallic clicks I dared not think about. The rustling of brush and cracking of dead branches blended into a cacophony that seemed to last forever.
It wasn’t until my lungs were burning and my legs had turned to rubber that I realized the thick, white fog enveloping me. The woods were filled with it, and I could barely see the trees ten feet away as I stumbled through them. The footsteps chasing me were gone. I collapsed on the ground and looked up, and the shadows of the giants looked down upon me, their bodies a towering wall protecting me from the world. I lay there for hours, nervous, shaking, and exhausted, but the fog didn’t clear that day.
My friends and I never talked about what happened. I’m not even sure it was real, anymore. Eventually we grew older and drifted apart, our lives taking us on our divergent paths. Sometimes though, when the weather is just right and the fog creeps along the streets, I spot one, just out of the corner of my eye. My old invisible friends, keeping watch over me even now.
I hope you enjoyed this little story. I wanted to try something different, adding a few little illustrations to go along with it. I have a few more that I'm working on that I hope to share soon. Thanks for reading!