I went for a walk today and found myself transported into a world where no one else existed except me. Okay, that didn’t actually happen. It was more like it was an early Sunday morning and the world was shawled by a heavy layer of fog and there was no other sound around me. No bustle of traffic. No lights. Just me, the pre-dawn and that misty smell of morning dew that always makes you want to inhale it all in.
In all directions, all I see is open road, which is a strange considering I live in the heart of one of Vancouver’s largest cities. But it is beautiful, just me and absolute silence, and the longer I walk, the more I am convinced that I’m the only person left in the world (impossible, I know), but bear with me.
So, the deeper I walk into this syrupy fog, the more my mind churns. I come across a bridge, not a very big bridge, not a real bridge at all. It’s a mere curve in the street, doming over the stream that bubbled below. It has two strips of plywood on either side, guarded by rickety railings that have no doubt seen better days. I stop on the makeshift bridge and peer over the edge.
The stream below is narrow and ripples over chunky rocks so when the light pierces the canopy of trees, it sparkles, but there was no sun, just a thick blanket of clouds that stretched forever overhead.
As I resume walking, I notice the solid wall of fog in the distance. It looks so dense, so real. I’m sure I could touch it and feel the smooth surface like glass. The closer I draw the more my mind takes me to the book written by Stephen King, The Mist, and my footsteps quickens.
Maybe the mind of a writer is a dangerous one, but we are curious creatures, always needing to know what lies on the other side of that bend.
For me, the pot of gold lay on the other side of that fog.
Would there be enormous insects, attacking and terrorizing the street? Was it an alien invasion and the fog was a sort of dome to keep the government out while they prodded the minds of the unsuspecting humans? Maybe it was a different force or maybe, it was just nature, the results of hot and cold meeting.
But the idea had been planted. Even as I step through the fog, observing the world though a gauze curtain, I can’t stop myself from wondering:
What would I do if I were the only person left alive? What if everyone I knew, my friends; my family; the grouchy lady next door with her yuppie Pomeranian, Floo-Floo; the kindly postman who tipped his hat to me every morning; the bored bag-girl at the grocery store who always put my cans on top of my bread, what if they were all gone? What if that fog went on forever, stretching clear across the entire earth? What if it didn’t? What if I made it to the other side and found myself falling into another existence? What kind of existence would it be?
The more I think about it, the more I want to write. My fingers are practically electric when I finally reach my keyboard. Even now, there are scorch marks, evidence of the power my imagination has on me. Writing is a passion that runs like a fever beneath my skin. It pulses with its own heartbeat. Writing isn’t a want, a passing fancy that I can easily brush aside. It is a need, like air, water or food. But what more, writing is the piece of sanity keeping my skull from exploding with ideas.
Now, that I got this all written down, I have an end-of-the-world scene that is demanding my attention.