Sarah and Michael, like all other children in town, grew up hearing stories of the old road that once brought grown men to their knees with fear. The road, they say, is the Devil’s road. One that will tempt, terrify, destroy. Sarah and Michael, like most children laughed at the old stories and taunted the myths every day on the way to and from school.
“Fogs rolling in,” Michael said, “maybe we should take the main road.”
“You’re not turning yellow, are ya?”
“Course not. It’s just… “
Sarah laughed and punched his arm as she ran past him and disappeared into the fog bank.
The two walked and joked as they did every morning but the hair on the back of their necks began to twitch as earthen landmarks failed to appear.
“Shouldn’t we be at Mrs. Foxwood’s back orchard by now?” Sarah asked, squinting at the thickening fog.
“Now who’s scared?”
“Shut up. Seriously though, shouldn’t we?”
Michael’s grin disappeared when he nodded.
“Let’s go back.” Sarah turned but could not see anything behind her. The fog encased the two friends in a wall of thick grey mist. The only way to go was forward.
Michael’s trembling hand reached for hers as the wall closed in and he could no longer see anything but the fog. He felt something cold and sweaty. “You’re as scared as I am, you can’t deny it. I feel it.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your hand. It’s cold.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Yes, it is. It’s like ice.”
“No, it’s not.”
“Sarah, I’m holding it right now. You can’t lie.”
A long silence greeted him in response.
“Is that you?”
“Is who me?”
“The hand on my shoulder?”
“I’m holding your hand, stupid.”
“No, you’re not.” Her voice trembled. “Stop playing around. Stop pushing down so hard.”
“I’m not. Watch. Feel this?” He squeezed his hand as hard as he could. “That was me.”
“Michael… that’s not my hand,”
“I’m going to enjoy this,” a snarly voice whispered in Michael’s ear.