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                                                                      Amber in the Fog ©

           The view across the lake haunted Amber each time she stopped to gaze from her window.  Today the water was choppy and the fog had settled in.  She tried to recall the lay of the landscape but as always this time of year, the fog consumed the mountain peaks.  Movement forced its way through the dense haze.  Then the sound of a motor boat broke the silence.  Amber stiffened and drew in a quick breath.  Clinching the curtain, she watched, only once glancing down at her white knuckles clinging to the curtain. The harsh air hurt as she inhaled and as she exhaled, she tried to imagine her breath escaping through the open window.  The noise of the approaching boat grew louder now . . . she glanced over to the suitcase on the bed and then turned back to close the window.
           The hushed voices downstairs sounded urgent and the scurrying of feet on the carpeted stairway muffled.  It all seemed to be playing out in slow motion, even the knocking on her bedroom door, yet her inner feelings were spinning out of control.  She kept reminding herself to remember the yellow wallpaper.
           Movement behind her caught her attention and she turned in time to see her sister Ria entering the room.  "Amber, Gregory's here for you now."  Ria moved to the bed and pulled at the one suitcase, but Gregory took it from her and started back down the stairs.  His 
shoulders slumped even more under the weight of the suitcase and the tail of his captain's jacket rode high in back.
           Mist from the fog tugged at Amber as she followed the old man down the steep winding path to the water's edge and the dock which rose and fell with the swells in the large inlet.  She looked back up toward the house set high above the water.  It was already half hidden and the morning held a dream-like quality.
It's cold. She shivered.  Soon the wind will be picking up.
           Gregory helped her into the boat and mumbled something pointing to the bench on the opposite side . . . something like, "Do you want to sit over there?"  She said she didn't care as her feet followed obediently.  Water lapped at the side of the motor boat making intrusive sounds— sounds she had to consciously block from her attention. 
Why is everyone so angry with me?  All I did was push Stephanie away from me.  I didn't throw anything this time—  I didn't hurt anyone.
           They crossed the bay in silence, the old man and Amber.  The boat, banging on the surface of the cement water, made a pounding noise and she felt the thud each time.
I can endure anything.
  The man in the emperor's new jacket waited on the dock as they came to rest against the wooden peer. 
I never did trust him.  That's all right.  I simply won't talk to him.  I won't tell him anything.  I won't tell anyone that God talks to me now— no one at all.
                                                                                                         Sheryl Hamilton Chaney