Fog of Death


Photo © Joy Pixley

The bodies recovered from the raid were laid out like bolts of cloth.  Hennar could barely see the ones to either side for the fog.  The chilling mist filled her nose with despair, with disease.

Another woman, unseen, shrieked in discovery.  Hennar’s tears would not come.

She lifted Jannar to her hip.  He weighed no more than when they’d left the farm a year ago.

“Where’s Papa?”

Hennar turned him away from the sight.  “He’s gone to watch your sisters, dear.”

A dark, hazy form approached.  Hennar retreated, shuddering, until she recognized a fellow refugee.

Glancing down, the woman hugged her.  “Now will you reconsider?”

She meant the heathen prophet, the supposed son of the northerners’ river goddess.  The one they claimed was stronger than Sambar.

“He clears the killing fog, Hennar.  Everyone says.”

Maybe he could.

“Come with us.”

Had she not constantly prayed to Sambar?  Been devout, loyal?  And here grew the fruit of it.

Hennar knelt, touching her husband’s stiff hand.  “Forgive me, love.”

She rose, joining the shuffling parade heading north.

Word count: 175.  Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting, and for featuring my photo this week!  Click here to see the other stories written for this prompt.

To read more about Hennar, click here: A Dim Sight

Note that the title was intended to evoke the phrase “fog of war” and not some song I just found online with the same title.

23 thoughts on “Fog of Death

  1. Death can be such a powerful force, to make one lose faith. If she was devoted to Samber, she must really b desperate to let her beliefs fall by the wayside. Great story, fog is never a good sign, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for commenting! And yes indeed; her husband’s death was terrible, but it was only the last straw in a long line of heartbreaks. I can see why she feels Sambar has abandoned all of them, and is desperate for anything that might save her remaining child.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I like the fog too, especially how it deadens sound. But this one — the “never-ending mist” or “killing fog” — has been going on for over a year without let-up, causing all kinds of problems. It’s a real disaster, and their god Sambar seems to have abandoned them. No wonder they’re drawn to this new guy who claims to be able to clear the fog away.


    • Yes, exactly. The previous story mentions her “children” and here she mentions the boy’s sisters, and yet all she has now is the one son. She’s lost a lot – who wouldn’t be desperate? Thanks for commenting!


    • Sounds like something her Sambaran priest might say, indeed! But remember that this is an entirely fictional world with entirely fictional gods and religions. Any similarity to real-life gods like Jehovah or Shiva or Zeus is purely coincidental. And the gods in Eneana really run the gamut — many are perfectly capable of abandoning their worshipers and have done so before Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Jennar’s made the right decision, especially as Sambar seems to have deserted them. Having lost so much, with the prospect of the desperate times continuing, her people have nothing to lose by turning to the northerners’ god – who can, reportedly, clear the killing fog. An atmospheric, sad and chilling story, Joy, and so well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The story of the never-ending mist and the prophet is a much larger one, and ends up instigating a new religion that competes with the Sambaran monopoly in this region and leading to all kinds of conflict. But I like pulling back from the big picture and seeing how the events affect individual people, and how they view them… (More on the big picture later, though, I’m sure!)


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