Fandom: Phoenix Point
Note: An investigator looking into mysterious disappearances in coastal villages is starting to have strange dreams. Written for the Phoenix Point Writing Competition.
Yet another empty village at the coast. The strange mist that has been making the news lately is hanging just off the shore. Might be dangerous to be here, I agree, but I have a job to do. Something happened to these villages, something that left them empty like this, and it is up to me to find the cause.
From what I read before coming here, it all started with random disappearances. People were just gone without a word. This happens all the time around here, someone decides they have had enough of the village life and tries to find their luck in a big city, so at first not much attention was paid to the reports. Then another left. A few more. Questions became more pressing. Then the questions stopped as there was no one left to ask them.
The village looks peaceful enough at first glance, as if nothing suspicious could possibly have happened here. But something is definitely strange. No people can be seen, but the houses look as if they’d just stepped out for a moment, not planning to leave the place behind for good. Wardrobes full of clothes, enough food for days or weeks, toys strewn around where the kids have been playing with them. Wherever the residents have gone, they have taken nothing with them.
I decide to stay in a house at the edge of the village farthest to the shore. Better to keep as much distance to the ominous mist as possible, just in case. Is it a weapon, an entirely safe result of global warming, or something more sinister related to these disappearances? Whatever someone claims the mist to be, we still don’t have any actual evidence either way, so I am not taking any chances.
I remember her face.
It must have been a dream. There are no other details I can think of, no words I recall. But whenever I take a break from my investigation of the village, her face comes to my mind again. An unearthly beauty, unlike any of the faces I’ve seen in the photographs in the houses or anyone I’ve ever met before. But somehow thinking of her sets my mind at ease during these otherwise difficult days.
She’s calling out to me.
It’s my second day searching for clues that don’t exist and all that keeps me going is thinking of the mysterious beauty from my dreams. It feels like we had been talking all night, whispering sweet nothing to each other, and yet I can still only remember her face. But I can tell she’s waiting for me, and I’m eager to retire for the night once more.
The third day dawns and I know where to find her.
It’s still early in the morning as I make my way to the cliff just north of the village. I’ve left my useless tools and case notes behind at the house, there’s enough time to continue the investigation in the afternoon. Right now there’s something more important to do. Was it in the dream that she told me where to meet her? I still can’t quite recall her beautiful voice, even if it’s been singing to me throughout the nights, but I know with absolute certainty that she’s waiting for me in a cave in the cliffside, at the edge of the water. And now I’m finally going to meet her.
The cave is dark, darker than I expected it to be. Wisps of mist seem to be hanging in the air, but I pay them little attention. I make my way deeper, ever deeper into the cave, to where my heart is calling for me. Her face lighting the way in my mind, and soon I can see it there in front of me. The face I love so much is finally in my reach.
Her face in the mist draws me in, and I step closer. So does my wonderful siren. And what passes for her body comes into view at last...
I scream. Panic takes me, but I can’t move from the spot. I’m screaming, screaming, and the grotesque creature in front of me keeps coming closer until it takes me into its embrace.
And then I am screaming no more. Everything is fine. Everything is right. I’m going home now, home to the misty ocean outside.