When a polar vortex slips its arctic boundaries and spreads across Lake Superior, two snowmakers clash. Keweenaw photographer, George C. Bailey, captures the lake in her many moods. While the vortex hovered, Superior’s waves pounded ice heaves on shore, illuminating sea mist and water the color of icebergs.
Writers followed sea mist into the photo. Journeys, emotions, and wisdom of the land emerged in the stories this week.
The following are based on the January 31, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about sea mist.
PART I (10-minute read)
He Never Left Us (BOTS) by Susan Sleggs
We called the seaside motel to book a room.
They said we’re closed for a private function.
Yes, we said, the funeral of the owner.
You know that? You may have a free room.
In a local diner dressed in our best we were asked,
Are you here for Dick’s funeral?
Our friend was very well liked.
His companies employed half the town.
A church so full, people stood.
Back at the motel well after dark.
The sea mist rose.
The fog horn sounded.
We knew Dick was still with us.
The horn will always be his loving voice.
Sunset By the Bay by Nobbinmaug
The sea mist dances through the sun’s waning glow. Each droplet catches the light creating a rainbow shower. The distant clouds take on a hue of orange, pink, and a faint purple, as the fading disc melts into the horizon. Somehow, the roar of the waves and their crash on the rocks only adds to the tranquility.
The breeze catches the ocean, and it sprays my face. Though salt is all I taste, it’s refreshing on this summer evening.
There’s only one thing keeping this from being a perfect evening.
I reach for your hand, but you’re not there.
The Sea Wept by Di @ pensitivity101
Icebound, blocked, cracking,
This world is a mass of layers.
From the deepest depths
A blending hue
Of black and green
To four shades of blue,
Frothy curls of white
Crumble in the weak sun,
Rushing to meet the shore,
But falling short,
Layers forming, meeting
Joining, becoming one,
For many it amounts to
Uncertainty and fear.
Scrolls and wisps
The sea mist gathers,
Not to hide or cover
More to caress and blanket,
Holding the surface together,
Who is to say it is trying
To shield us from
Witnessing the sea crying.
Canned Sea Mist by Norah Colvin
No more than a hint of sea spray and she was flown back on wings of joy to carefree childhood days frolicking in the shallows, basking on golden sands, fossicking for hints of life in rockpools and amassing precious collections of shells and other treasures arranged for her pleasure by the tide. Lulled by a gentle breeze and waves whispering a heart’s rhythm, she dosed, uninterrupted by seagulls squawking, murmured conversations, hushed laughter, or the shuffle of approaching and receding footsteps. As the sun glowed bright above, she sighed her last, now and forever one with the sea’s mist.
Sea Mist by tracey robinson
Everyday for fifty-two years she went for a morning walk. No matter the season or the weather. Three miles. First alone, then with her partner, now alone again.
She loved all the weather she encountered, it made her feel alive. This morning a soft gray sea mist spilled over onto the beach, curling her white hair.
She tried not to play favorites, enjoying what each day gave her but secretly she liked the fog the best. Maybe because it was the rarest. Maybe because it softened the day. Or maybe because it obscured the fact that she was alone.
Have You Seen the Mist by S. Zutautas
Brings romantic illusions
Letting mind wander
Relaxed in a jacuzzi
Sipping a fine chardonnay
After a long day
As the warm wind blows
Across the lakes hardened ice
One can see, sea mist
Appearing as clouds
Close onto ground, thick moisture
Billows blocking sight
Lighthouses warn boaters
Vision obscured volatile
Mist has unfolded
Shining brightly the
Mist from the sea causes fog
Thickly stands resting
Will mesmerize you into
Over lakes and seas
Dawn or night you may see
The mist of the sea
Sailors have ignored warnings
Crashing into rocks
Erie Kai by Nancy Brady
From the Canadian side comes the wind. The sustained wind buffets the Ohio shore of Lake Erie, and we can hear the roar of the waves from a block away. The longer the wind blows, the louder the “Wildcat’s” roar. The lake is aptly named for the native American word for wildcat.
This winter the snow came as well as the northern wind, blowing wave after wave of water over the quarried slate blocks, which protect the beach. With dropping temperatures, the water begins to freeze, though, coating the blocks, forming a lacy, layered ice sculpture of sea mist.
Sea Mist by Sally Cronin
After tea and some shared biscuits, the little dog’s mistress sent him down to the quayside to wait for the return of his master. This late January day had been overcast and strangely still, with sea mist rolling in during the late afternoon. The boats were overdue, and wives anxiously peered out of their windows towards the shrouded harbour. The terrier’s ears pricked at a slight sound, nose lifting into the damp air. Whimpering he shot to his feet with quivering tail and one front paw lifted. A voice echoed in the fog “It’s okay Patch boy, I’m home”.
Landlocked Mist by Ann Edall-Robson
It settles again over the rocks, across the land. The morning mist portrays an eerie light to all who wake early to see the beginning of another day. Wandering along the craggy outcrops on the mudded gravel path, the damp penetrates to the bone. Hair and mittens become saturated from the fine spray slapping against faces, shrouding all signs of life with a wet, misty blanket. Landlocked, the mist will only go when the sun burns through and the temperature warms. It is a sign of real moisture to come in ninety days hence. So the old timers say.
Foretold by Reena Saxena
“Have you ever seen lightning strike water, and electrocute life beneath?”
The fortune-teller spoke with a furrowed brow,
“I foresee a clash of strong, opposing forces happening in your life, in the near future.”
I recall the legal notice sent by the brother I trusted most in life, over an inheritance issue. It can leave me with scarce resources in my sunset years. It caused ripples in the calm, placid waters of my life, but this guy is warning me of a storm.
The sea mist is clearing off, as I see people for what they are.
Master of the Sea by H.R.R. Gorman
A slender hand helped him spew water from his lungs. “It is good you lived, but I’m afraid your countrymen died.” Her queenly presence was clothed in radiant stones from the ocean, her hair glistened with sea mist.
She had a fin in place of legs and loose webs between long fingers.
“She was a good ship… and my friends were good sailors.” The man shook as tears welled in his eyes.
“Before the storm, you said you were masters of the sea?”
“Why not? His Majesty’s navy is the world’s finest.”
She flicked her tail and swam away.
Thar Blows retold by D. Avery
The giant Maushop shared whales and fish with the people. Only Maushop could stop the monstrous bird that ate children. The people showed thanks with gifts of tobacco. With ashes from his pipe Maushop made a second, faraway island. The fog from his pipe shielded for a while but was not enough.
Then the people took the others’ god. The others said he was the devil; Maushop obliged. He turned his children to fishes and his wife to a stone before taking to farther seas. They’d see him again, misty smoke now urgent spout of a great white whale.
Sea Mist by Floridaborne
“Once, this entire area was under water,” my geology instructor said.
I looked at the sun bleached sands and asked, “How did a place this dry end up underwater?”
“Eighty million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, this was swampland.”
“My mental movie of dinosaurs frolicking in sea mist is ruined,” I sighed. “Why did the climate change?”
“Humans will never do as much damage to the Earth as the volcanic eruptions and asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.”
He laughed at my reply, “And I thought the Pacific garbage patch was bad!”
Behemoth? by JulesPaige
I just wanted to hurl at humanity and strike them all dead. My breastbone was fraught with fantods. I really wished the newsfeed would downgrade the Occam’s Razors they were slinging and really glance into my eyes. Perhaps if I just concentrated I could crash the video feed or even the whole system. And then in the darkness of everything absorb all the passivity of those who wished me no harm so I could extend my wings and fly away, into the sea mist.
I really wasn’t a monster. “They” only portrayed me that way… Mommy still loves me.
The Legendary Sea Mist Bite by Marjorie Mallon
Misha pushed her glasses up on her nose and wiped them with a tissue but it made no difference. Sea mist doesn’t wait. Sea mist consumes everything.
She didn’t know whether to move ahead or to turn back. A chill crept through her.
She felt something near her. She imagined jaws, and sharp teeth.
‘Look where you’re going, you idiot!’ said a crab, grabbing her ankle.
‘Something threatened to bite me!’
‘No, the mist did. Aren’t you wearing your mist specs?’
‘What are they?
‘They’re magical spectacles to protect you from the mist.
‘I don’t need protecting, I’m dead.’
Another Way by Jo Hawk
I’ve seen them walk into the sea. You know the ones, plagued by constant misery. Their eyes cast down, always looking at the ground. The sea mists rise, reaching for cloudy skies. All around, the grey days bring despair, and in the mist, I could surely drown.
I want something else as I stand here with the sand between my toes, struggling to survive. I’m amazed I’m still alive. But I won’t say goodbye.
They say there is another way. So even on the cloudy day, even in the misty grey, I keep my eyes looking for the sun.
A Turn of Event by Ruchira Khanna
“I hate my life!” Jaya kept growling with anger teary-eyed as she walked with stern steps towards a mid-sized wall that faced the ocean.
She climbed the wall and eyed her home with a sulk; then looked towards the ocean.
“I do not belong here!” she closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath to take the plunge.
Just then her face got wet by the sea mist. That made her freeze on her drastic step.
She was in tears.
This time for good since memories of Love, Care, Play and Laughter with family changed her mind.
Sea Mist by Kay Kingsley
I thought he was joking when he asked me to join him at the beach for a swim. “It’s minus degrees… in January!” He looked at me with a mischievous smile. His charm. Sigh. “Alright.”
We arrived at the beach to see the ocean violent and churning. It looked like it was at war with itself. We approached the shore as I shivered, chilled to the bone. Mark had already stripped down and was smiling ear to ear. “Three words… Polar. Bear. Club.” Yelling, “YeeHaw!” he ran into the surf as I watched the sea mist swallow him whole.
Mountain Passage (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli MIlls
At the top of the pass, Ike pulled over. Danni radioed the lead forester to verify any logging trucks. The Forest Service road tapered to one-way traffic. For the next five miles, loggers used the narrow switchbacks to haul loads from an active site. If they met a truck on the grade, there would be no way to pass. Danni surveyed the steep ravine, waiting for a reply. Morning fog obscured the forest and hid the road. Before an affirmative crackled over the radio, Danni heard grinding gears in the distance like a rumble of surf beneath sea mist.
Dry Breeze by The Dark Netizen
The dry breeze stings my face.
This sand, this air, are slowly choking the life out of me. I want to get back to my old life. I had power, I had purpose, but most importantly, I had freedom. Here, I feel trapped. My injuries did not kill me, merely forced me to retire. However, I wish I had died before I retired. I wish I was buried at the sea, like a true captain.
I long for the darkness to find me, as much as I long for the sea mist to caress my face, one last time…
Unclear Clearwater, FL (Late December 2018) by JulesPaige
This isn’t normal.
Windswept, double bent,
facing the wind head on.
Feeling like a cartoon character
being pelted by every single
grain of sand from the beach.
But we get there to what was
the beach a few days ago anyway.
The rain may have stopped
but the misty hurricane air
sucks at closed shop door,
where we finally have chosen
to take some relief.
The door rattles and is threatened
to be removed from its hinges.
We’re at least a block from the shore line,
where the tourist pier, for safety was shut down.
At least we’re together.
Better Be Worth It by Teresa Grabs
The frigid sea mist stung as it slapped his face. At midnight, under normal circumstances, he would be in bed watching the late-night movie. Today had been anything but normal. He would not be standing by the lake in sub-zero temperatures had it not been for Meredith. She was the most beautiful woman who ever paid a moment’s attention to him. He just couldn’t say no. “No one can ever know,” she said, handing him the bag. He hoped getting hypothermia and frostbite was worth it. Seemed like a lot of effort just for disposal duty of teenage diary.
Sea Mist by quiall
Angelina and Edward walked hand in hand down the beach. Their feet gently sinking into the still damp sand as a soft mist enveloped them. They could hear a pod of whales singing just off shore. The day was still young, the sun had yet to burn off the swirling miasma of water laced air.
“Is it true? Have the scientists proven it beyond any doubt?”
“Yes, my love they have.”
“Edward, how can we tell people the truth? They will avoid the beach, our economy will collapse!”
“It’s the mist Angelina, they need to know: It’s whale farts!”
PART II (10-minute read)
Mist Agin by D. Avery
“Ah, Jeez, Kid, you writin’ agin?”
“Why not? I’m likin’ this prompt. Jist cain’t decide on my topic. Might write about the mornin’ mist in the river valley. Or the clouds that don’t clear the mountaintop an’ leave it sparklin’ with frost. Mebbe the steam waftin’ off the water trough or even the warm breath of the cattle like fog in the crisp air as they chew their hay.”
“Kid, you cain’t write about none a thet.”
“Why not? Jist goin’ where the prompt leads.”
“The prompt specifically said sea mist.”
“Yeah? Ever’ where I look I see mist.”
The Shoreline by Joanne Fisher
Aalen’s path took her northwards. As she went further the forest became more sparse until she came to the shoreline of a wide sea. She had never seen the ocean before and although her sight was partially obscured by the sea-mist hanging around the shore it looked as though it went on forever. She began to realise the world was far larger than she had ever dreamed. Where there other distant shores? Her heart yearned for revenge, but also to explore this world she barely knew. She watched the tumultuous waves and then turned away following the tracks eastward.
Not Here But There by Carol J Forrester
It reminded her of home. The sea mist rolling in onto the shingles.
Of course, it wasn’t quite the same.
Peat mist rises different. The earth sort of oozes tendrils that simmer and thicken on the low lands. Stretches of green that look beautiful and safe but turn to bog at the first hint of rain.
It’s similar enough though. When the mist rolls in and she’s standing inside it, condensation on her cheeks, damp in her hair… she can pretend it’s England. Pretend she’s inland, back where she belongs.
It never takes long for someone to wake her.
Avalon by Anita Dawes
Two weeks holidaying on top of the cliffs,
overlooking the sea and ragged rocks of Cornwall.
Sea mist rolling in, invisible hands unfurling a white carpet across the bay
between the cliffs either side. Nature’s magic moment.
This morning, the mist cleared quickly, there between the sky and the edge of the sea sat an island that didn’t belong there.
How can the mist have carried an island into view like something from Gulliver’s Travels.
No, wait. I believe I am looking at Avalon, the island where Arthur was carried
by the blind ferryman to heal, while Merlin watched.
Scylla and Charybdis by Violet Lentz
we remain rootedly positioned
between scylla and charybdis*
the chasm that separates us
to your truth, or mine.
clash- two worlds colliding
yours a rock and mine a hard face
your forlorn forced inflections
emanating from the belly of your god.
my belligerent brawling outbursts
clutching tight the hand-
of absolution sure demise.
just once, can’t we beg off?
let hoar fog obscure our fracas
cleanse us both in salt sea brine
cast off weighted chain and anchor
just once, let dead dogs lie??
foundation built of rock, on hard place
just this once- oh mother mine?
Sea Mist Dreams by Colleen M. Chesebro
I walk along the sandy path strewn with starfish and seashells which seems to beckon me toward the sea. Pearls and aquamarine crystals dot the trail. The salt water scent of the sea mist wafts over me as the sound of stormy waves crashing against stony cliffs draws me closer to my goal.
I imagine the mer-people, undines, water nymphs, and sirens who assist with the flow of life, balancing emotions with healing, cleansing, love, and beauty. I can’t help but wonder how I got here.
Childish dreams bring hope—
as past and present conspire
to present new paths.
Lookout by TN Kerr
Roger stood in the bow and watched the fog roll in. He hunched in his Pea Jacket to stave off the weather. His hands were in his pockets where he clutched a silver flask of brown whisky.
He felt it before he saw it. He watched it emerge from the haar that obscured visibility to the north. It was an old Soviet boat, running on the surface, twin screws churning the water.
Roger reached for the handset of the sound powered phone, “Bridge – Bow. Surface contact bearing tree fife zero, fife hundred yards, moving left to right slowly.”
Misty Majesty by calmkate
The roar of MiG jets draws our attention to the ocean out front. A majestic aircraft carrier peers through the mist billowing smoke appears ominous. But it’s a decoy as various aircraft chase one another with destroyers joining in from below. The earth vibrates as a few more bombs explode.
If all goes as planned nobody will die as four nations rehearse war games in our front yard. A regular feature for locals who grew up supplying refreshments to the chopper pilots training for Vietnam, their rotor blades had nominal clearance they had to master. Peace lovers abhor war!
Sea Mist by Faith A. Colburn
The waves looked soft as he peered through tropical rain. The island was only a ragged outline. Crawling down the rope netting into a landing craft, he watched it grow closer, more distinct. It would be his first combat. Would he stand up to it? Was he brave as he thought—hoped? Somehow he knew he would survive, but what about the others? Weeks earlier, in the middle of the ocean, he’d looked through a light mist silvered by soft by moonlight and realized survival wasn’t enough. Seeing the guy next to him fall—that’s what made him sick.
Sea Mist by Margaret G. Hanna
She stood on the pier, head cocked. Sea mist enclosed her in a shroud of impenetrable greyness, hiding the bay. Only sound existed. Unseen waves crashed against an unseen rocky headland. Unseen leaves rustled. Overheard, unseen gulls mewled. The sound she longed for – unheard.
Mist moistened her face, disguised the tears. Tears she had shed these past three days. Three days without sleep, three days of waiting, worrying, hoping. Three days with no news.
Behind her, in the house, a phone rang. A muffled conversation seeped through the mist. The screen door squealed open.
“Martha, they’ve found the boat.”
Out of the Mist – A Tale of Humanity in War by Gordon Le Pard
The privateer came out of the mist, the sailors had no chance, their ship was moored by the waveswept rock where the engineers were working.
The French captain laughed at their ridiculous tale, no one could build a lighthouse on a rock in the middle of sea, it must be a trick of the damnable English.
King Louis heard the tale, but he believed it, they could do such a wonderful thing. He released and rewarded the men saying;
“I am at war with the English, not humanity”
A year later the light shone from the Eddystone rock.
Figurehead by D. Avery
With Destiny tied to the bowsprit branch, Marlie took command of her tree fort. She steered the pitching ship into the roiling sea of fog-drenched backyard, the surf of snow rising underneath the plunging bow. Over the howling wind she barked orders at her frightened crew.
“Should they really be out there in this weather?”
“They’re dressed for it and they’re under cover in the tree fort. Tommy will let her know when he’s had enough.”
“Maybe. Oh, here he is now. Tommy. Are you okay?”
“I had to walk the plank.”
“There’s hot chocolate in the galley, Mate.”
Mist Opportunities by Bill Engleson
It rose out of the sea like a smack in the face.
“I can’t see the trail anymore,” I bellowed.
“Some leader!” came from behind.
“Oh, yeah. I suppose you can do better?”
I wasn’t in the mood to take guff, even if I couldn’t tell who my detractor was.
“I didn’t say that,” the voice said.
“I don’t know. Sounds mutinous to me.”
“What’s mootinus? You calling me a cow?”
“Hold your horses,” I said, complicating the emerging animal theme, “Mu…Tin…Knee.”
“Whatever! Hey guys, Old Tin Knee is lost.”
Street kids, I thought. You have gotta love ‘em.
Insult to Injury by Anurag Bakhshi
I could sense its presence much before it came into view, and the shiver that ran through my body had nothing to do with the ice-cold seawater. I knew the monster was coming for me.
I saw it now, piercing through the sea mist and looming ominously over me like a kraken. Very soon, it would attempt to hunt me down, and finally, vengeance would be mine.
I could forgive him the leathery taste of that rotten leg, but Captain Ahab deserved the tortures of the nine circles of hell for naming a majestic whale like me, Moby Dick!
Sea Mist by Joanne Fisher
Whenever the sea-mist came in the villagers knew to go inside their homes, lock their doors and ignore all sounds.
One afternoon Lilith had been away picking apples from the nearby orchard. When she returned she saw the sea-mist rolling in. In a panic she dropped the apples and ran to her house. She got to her door but couldn’t find her keys. Tendrils of mist were already snaking around her and she felt the chill. She started to frantically knock on the door when she suddenly felt the chill go through her. The other villagers heard her screams.
Sea Mist by Roberta Eaton Cheadle
“Come on,” Colin called, moving purposefully into the thick, swirling mist.
Mary hung back. There was something about this mist that disturbed her. She could hear strange and distant noises like an animal feeding. The smacking and slurping sounds upset her.
“Come on,” came his voice again, already sounding some distance away.
Mary took a deep breath and plunged into the whiteness which immediately swallowed her.
“I’m coming,” she yelled loudly. “Wait for me.”
Her ears suddenly filled with terrible screams, followed by a loud crunch. A fine spray of blood splattered across her face and dress.
Help by Kerry E.B. Black
Mist floated above the water, ghostly aspirations undulating as the river swelled and dipped like lovers’ sighs. Transient by nature, it fettered fine tendrils around Erin’s poetic heart.
She plopped to the moist ground and beckoned the cloud. Perhaps within its obscuring she could find clarity.
Waves lapped the shore with the steadiness of a heartbeat. Erin’s own inner workings joined the pace as though engaging a dance. Delicate as dew, fog surrounded her until all she could see was the problem at hand.
Thoughts thick with worry, she stared into a luminous blank and surrendered.
“I need help.”
It’s All in the Packaging by Deborah Lee
Jane hesitates at the entrance to the marina, fighting impostor syndrome. But the Lake Union Dreamboats antique yacht show is free and open to anyone, and it’s something to do.
Sleek vessels line the piers, shining even under cloud cover, and her breath catches as she steps aboard the Sea Mist and takes in the tiny space. Efficiency kitchen only big enough for one, built-in bed and furniture, handmade throws, gleaming teak, fresh flowers. Do people really keep flowers in vases with water at sea?
It’s not much bigger than her own tent, but what a difference accoutrements make.
Yandeau Harbor by Saifun Hassam
The evening sea mist threaded its way into Yandeau Harbor. Sailboats and yachts rode gently at anchor. The day’s work was done along Fisherman’s Way.
Mist drifted past Trevor Pierre Yandeau. He was a biologist, and had been an ardent fisherman all his life. Fishing was part of The Yandeaus’ lives from the days in Marseilles, and still influenced their lives in the New World.
Trevor grew up exploring and fishing along numerous bays and coves of the Pacific. He loved to return to Yandeau Harbor: it had sparked a lifelong commitment to protecting and understanding vital natural habitats.
The Eyemouth Disaster by Lance Greenfield
Despite the warnings, despite the storm, they rolled out to sea from Eyemouth on that fateful day of October 1881.
For weeks, they had been unable to sail because of prevailing weather.
They were not greedy. It was their livelihood. They just wanted to earn enough to feed their families. 45 boats left harbour; only 26 returned. 189 men perished. 93 women were widowed. 267 children lost their fathers.
Two days later, out of the sea mist, Ariel Gazelle returned with all her crew. Out of the darkness of tragedy, shone a shaft of light and life.
Depressurized by Jody Kish
It comes like the mist, creeping its way to the depths of my soul.
The anguish bears down, consuming every fiber of who I am.
And just when I’m overwrought; I see a beacon of light in the distance.
The sun blinks through the heavy fog. It transforms the grey and dreary to a Monet painting of purples, pinks, and orange that dance together in a harmonious symphony.
Until the next storm comes like a percussion of drums.
But for now, the haze lifts.
Like a defeated monster it dissipates.
I’m content once more.
Deep Waters Run Still (Part I) by D. Avery
“Cat gotcher tongue Kid?”
“Ack. I’m a pony.”
“Yeah, a little hoarse. I ain’t spoke fer ages.”
“Bet thet bothered you.”
“Dang right it did. Jist ‘cause D. Avery wants ta turn tail and hunker down, why do I have ta? What d’ya s’pose she was up to anyway?
“Ain’t my business. But mebbe she was hopin’ ta quiet you down.”
“Hee hee. It didn’t work. I got bored an’ wriggled all aroun’ her head with nowhere ta go. You sure musta missed me, huh, Pal?”
“Sure, Kid. Like a headache when it stops hurtin’.”
Deep Waters Run Still (Part II) by D. Avery
“Ya know, Kid, it ain’t about you.”
“I know Pal. I jist love it here is all. Where were you all this time Pal?”
“Was visitin’ ol’ Ornery.”
“Ta have some a his whiskey.”
“Mebbe. But he’d busted up his still. An’ all his Mason jars— shards. I found him sittin’ an’ listenin’ ta the waterfall freeze, a whispery tinklin’ sound. An’ if ya listen up close ta the ice ya kin hear water inside, gigglin’ about spring a’comin’. Here, Kid, it’s a Mason jar Ornery glued back together outta 99 shards.”
“It says Moans.”
“It’ll hold water, Kid.”