The fog’s cold breath

Here’s an excerpt from my ebook Farholm… Deke and Michael have ended up sharing a cottage on Farholm Island because of a slip up with booking. They visit the Community, a hippy village up in the hills and become trapped by fog:

The fog was thicker than anything Deke had ever experienced, like a disembodied entity pushing up against her face, its cold breath chilling her skin and dewing her hair. Frightened, she wanted to hold onto Michael but he stayed close by her, his arm against her elbow. Dawnstar led them as surely as if she could see clearly. Perhaps she is an alien, perhaps she has infrared vision, thought Deke. It was an utterly silent world apart from the tap of her crutches on the cobbled path and the light thud of the man’s boots. She sensed the presence of buildings rather than saw them but no other person was visible, perhaps they were having another picnic in the chapel.

Then Dawnstar was opening a door; golden light flooded into the granular miasma and they hurried into the welcoming warmth. A woman was sitting knitting in a rocking chair by a large wood burning stove which threw out heat to greet them. She looked up smiling.

“I will leave you here with Lark, I hope you find what pleases you, Michael,” and Dawnstar left them.

Lark put her knitting aside; she was wearing a yellow and purple sari with a tartan blanket round her shoulders, similar to what Frost had been wearing.

“We have photos down here. The paintings are displayed upstairs.”

It must have been a stable once, there were stalls and at the far end beyond was an open stone staircase which Michael climbed, he had told Dawnstar he wanted something for his wife. So much for Sean’s suggestion that they were separating.

Deke wandered around and looked at the photos, many similar to those in the café and she remarked on it to Lark. They were by two of the sisters, Lily and Daisy. There were more pictures by a different photographer, scenes from Community life: people dancing, two men weaving, a potter, some women making jewellery, children skipping in a ring around a pond. They too were black and white but they were more appealing, less artificial.

Lark commented that the photographer was a visitor and her tone was reserved. There were more earnest ‘arty’ photos by Lily and Daisy and then another set of smaller pictures all of children by ‘the visitor’. Deke stared at a group of small girls, clambering over rocks by the sea. They had turned towards the camera but the wind had caught their hair so their faces were hidden except for their laughing mouths.

“I like this.” Deke would buy it for Blaine.

Lark unhooked it and took it away to wrap it. Deke stared at a picture of Christine Anemone; she was with other children hauling sacks of potatoes. They were all grimy and hot but every one of the five was laughing, except for Christine who scowled her defiant scowl.

“You poor child,” Deke whispered.

If you want to find out more… here’s a link:

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