My apologies to the town of Moberly, but I love the sound of your name. It inspires.
Even Angels Have Bad Days
Those mists of Moberly had a chilling effect on not only one's spine, but the psyche, as well. People pondered where the icy fog got its powers. Did it roll in from the river like a tempestuous snake slivers through damp morning grasses? Or did it fly in like cantankerous angels wishing ill on all in their paths. Even angels have bad days, don't they?
It followed me home that evening, after a day of fishing. I felt its moisture on my skin and its freezing hands wrapped around my torso like a strait jacket. I couldn't breathe in the suffocating mist, or perhaps my pounding heart was giving way, sucking the life out of me. I remember walking, then running in terror down our road with the fog over my shoulder, with me finally taking two steps at a time to reach my doorway. Once I'd gotten in and slammed the bolt, I thought I was safe. What a fool!
In the supposed sanctity of my home, I first heard the voices.
"Edmund, you can't hide from your conscience."
"What? Who is that?" I turned on my heel and scanned the room, looking for the voice's source.
"You won't see me. I'm in your head."
"You're the mists of Moberly. You followed me home."
An icy draft blew through me, knocking me off balance. "Or so you imagine." The voice wavered with contained emotion.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT?" My fear transformed to a fiery rage. I was home. I wanted to have my evening meal. Rushing to the kitchen I slammed a frying pan on the stove. When I tried to light a fire under it, the mists blew out the flame with a blast of icy breath. I persisted, finally succeeding with a sizable flame. Spooning a blob of butter into the skillet, I listened for its satisfying sizzle. Next I reached into my bucket for a slab of freshly cleaned fish and tossed it in the skillet.
"Cook all you want. It won't make me go away."
The mists! I turned around, hoisting my spatula in the air, ready for battle. I was tired. I was hungry. I wanted my dinner, and the mists were getting on my nerves. Ha! Of course, they were. Why wouldn't the mists of Moberly get on a person's nerves? I flipped the fish, determined for normalcy and a hot meal.
"You won't be able to eat with me around."
"Watch me," I replied.
A gurgling chuckle filled the room. The mists were amused.
I flopped my fried fish onto a plate, grabbed my fork and set about to have my supper. Utensil poised, I broke off a flaky chunk, but when I lifted the morsel to my mouth, the mists crowded around my wrist and stopped me.
"Are you really going to eat that fish? You know you went fishing without a license. As your conscience, I cannot let you eat that fish."
The mists were right. Damned conscience! I'd gotten the fish illegally, sporting without paying five bucks for the required license. Slamming my fork down, I stood and emptied the plate in the garbage. As the mists watched, I next humbly set up a bowl of cereal. With my first crunchy bite, the pesky gray fog swooshed out the kitchen window. Damned mists of Moberly!
Copyright 2008 JO Janoski