Story corner

ABC in the fog

Agnes clicked the gate shut and with a little ‘come on’ to Zak and a gentle tug on the lead, set off down the road.
‘Brrr – its cold, Zak’, she chatted to the dog as they walked along together, ‘ and this fog is getting worse’. Coming out of the mist towards her she recognised the tall figure of her neighbour, Mr Brown, who she knew would stop for a chat, as he had done every time they met, since her husband had died two years ago.
‘Damned awful day, Aggie’, he said. ‘Early home for you two tonight,’ he gently persuaded her, giving Zak a pat on his fuzzy mongrel head.
‘Fog or no fog, Zak has to have his constitutional,’ Agnes told him, ‘ and we must get on – no time to gossip today! Goodness me – look at the time’ as she glanced at the church clock just visible in the gloomy yellow light.
Hurrying on with a little wave of her woolly gloved hand, Agnes decided she was hungry and would just call in at the baker’s shop to buy a Chelsea bun for tea. In fact she usually made a fruit cake and scones to last her all week, but yesterday her gas cooker had gone wrong and the repairman said he couldn't make it until tomorrow to mend it.
Just then a small black cat streaked across the pavement in front of them. ‘Keep still, Zak’, she tried to hold on to the lead, but Zak leapt forwards as if a gun had been fired behind him. Lead and Zak left her side and disappeared after the cat, at a speed that left Agnes standing, calling helplessly into the fog – ‘Zak, Zakkie, Zakkie – come here!’ Making her way carefully down the pavement she looked up all the paths into the gardens, calling his name continuously. Nothing, no sight nor sound of Zak – nothing. ‘Oh dear – oh dear’- Agnes suddenly felt very alone and wished Mr Brown would appear again for another chat. ‘Perhaps Zak will run back home’ she pondered, and turned around to head back towards her house, all thoughts of the Chelsea bun far from her mind now, all hunger gone, in the fear and panic of losing her dearest, mongrel, doggie friend.
Quickly, or as quickly as her ageing legs would take her, she trotted back down the way she had come – or so she thought. ( Reminding herself all the way that dogs have a very good sense of ‘homing’). Soon she arrived at a gate- her gate she thought - and made her way towards it, gradually realising that it was not her white gate but a brown one. ‘Tssk – you silly old fool', she muttered ‘- you must have turned the wrong way in the fog’. Unduanted she turned back and tried to peer at the house names as she went. ‘Villa Rosa’ she read out loud to herself, ‘ oh that’s just round the corner – I know where I am,’ she thought, and walked quickly down a more familiar street. With hope in her heart she finally passed Mr Brown’s house, seeing the warm, welcoming glow of the light coming through his living room window and wishing she was safely inside her house having tea, with Zak curled up by the fire. ‘Xray eyes are what I need now’, she thought as she peered to the left and right of her, still calling out his name, from time to time. Yelps suddenly greeted her as she arrived at her own gate and there in the gloom she saw a bedraggled fuzzy, mongrel, dog, his tail wagging meekly.
‘Zak’ she cried, and they both made the most ridiculous fuss of one another and walked happily up the path to her front door for tea.

Elisabeth Ribeiro
online creative writing school
internet bases writing classes