The Black Fog is a scary story about a teenage girl who wakes up one morning to find her city covered in a thick blanket of mysterious dark fog.
This is the diary of Raisa Praveen.
Hi. If you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering who I am… or who I was. My name is Raisa and I am 14 years old. My parents came from India, but I was born in America. I grew up in a city called Detroit. You may have heard of it.
I was a pretty normal teenager. My life wasn’t all that boring, but it wasn’t all that interesting either. I was an only child. My parents loved me. I went to school. I played sports. I hung out with my friends. That was pretty much it.
Then, one day, something happened. That was the day I started keeping this diary.
When I woke up in the morning, I thought it was still night time. There was a thick black fog outside the windows, obscuring the sun. My parents were listening to the radio. They told me there had been an accident at a chemical plant. During the night, emissions from the plant had covered the entire city in a blanket of fog.
On the news, government officials were trying to reassure everyone that it was an accident, not a terrorist act. They said everything was under control and there was nothing to worry about. That didn’t calm me down. I had a strange sense of impending doom.
My parents told me I still had to go to school and they still had to go to work. As I left our apartment building and walked the six blocks to my school, I felt even more nervous. I could barely see the footpath in front of me. The fog was all around. It smelled noxious and putrid. It was the stench of death.
When I got to school, there were only 15 other kids in my class. The rest hadn’t shown up. The ones who did show up were sneezing and coughing. One of the boys covered his nose and sneezed. There was blood on his hand. One of the girls looked very sick. She raised her hand and asked for permission to go to the toilet. Before she reached the door, she collapsed on the floor and began foaming at the mouth. She was thrashing back and forth as if she was in agony. Everyone was terrified.
Over the speakers, the school principal made an announcement. He said that school was cancelled for the day and we were all supposed to leave and go directly home. In other classrooms, we could hear the sound of younger kids cheering. I didn’t feel like there was anything to cheer about. Before he shut off the microphone, we could hear the principal sneezing and coughing too.
When I got out onto the street, I couldn’t see anything. The fog was so thick, I could hardly even make out my hand in front of my face. The street was empty and there was an eerie silence. There were no cars. No traffic whatsoever. I took out my cellphone and tried to call my parents, but I couldn’t get any reception. I had no idea how I was going to find my way home.
Somewhere nearby, I heard the sound of breaking glass. As I walked past a shop, a man appeared climbing through the broken window carrying a brand new flat-screen TV. I pressed myself up against the wall, so the man did not see me. It gave me the creeps. There were no police around to stop him.
Luckily, I recognized the shop. My apartment building wasn’t far away and I knew how to get there. All of a sudden, there was a scream. I couldn’t tell which direction it was coming from, but it sounded like a woman. She was screaming hysterically for a long time. Then, the screaming faded out, swallowed up by the fog.
I eventually found myself outside our apartment building. The elevator was not working, so I had to climb the stairs. On the way up, I heard something rustling behind me on the darkened stairwell. There was the sound of creaking and heavy breathing. I hurried up the steps and when I got to my apartment, I rushed inside and slammed the door behind me.
I turned on the TV but there was nothing on. Just white noise. Maybe the reception was bad. Maybe the TV stations had stopped broadcasting. I looked out the window, but I couldn’t see a thing. I got some juice out of the fridge, made myself a sandwich, then sat down and waited for my parents to come home. As I waited, I took out a notebook and started writing this diary.
I must have dozed off. When I woke up, I was lying on the sofa and the sun was shining in my eyes. The black fog was gone. I shouted for my parents, “Mom? Dad?” but there was no answer. They didn’t come home last night. A feeling of fear overcame me. What if something happened to them? I didn’t want to think about it. I just hoped they were safe.
I ran to the window and looked out. The sky was a beautiful shade of blue, the sun was beating down and everything looked fine. Then, I noticed something that unnerved me. It was completely silent. All over the city, nothing was moving. There was not a soul in the streets. It was deserted.
I tried my cellphone, but there was still no reception. I went downstairs and ran out into the street. Everything was deathly silent. Walking along the road, I saw a dead cat, a dead dog and numerous dead birds. They lay there, scattered randomly in the steet and on the sidewalk. It was as if death had come suddenly and unexpectedly. There were also some abandoned cars. The doors were open, but the people were not inside. Where had they all gone?
I walked further down the street and as I passed by a supermarket, I saw someone lying in the gutter outside. Going closer, I realized it was the dead body of a man. I was so shocked and disgusted. His neck was torn out and his stomach was ripped open. His guts were missing. I had to cover my mouth to stop myself from vomitting. It was as if he had been attacked by a wild animal. I couldn’t look at the bloody spectacle any longer and hurried off down the street.
I didn’t know where to go, so I walked to my school. The building was silent and there was nobody around. I went inside and walked down the halls until I came to the principal’s office. It was a mess. Everything was turned upside-down. It looked like there had been a fierce struggle. I noticed some blood on the wall and the ceiling, but there was no one around.
I was hungry and I needed something to eat. I went down the street to the local store. It was deserted, but the window in the front door was smashed, so I crawled through. I grabbed some donuts and a bottle of juice. Stealing things made me feel very guilty, but desperate times called for desperate measures.
When I glanced behind the counter, I saw a pair of legs sticking out. The shopkeeper was lying there in a pool of blood. The sight of his dead body made me feel sick. His neck was torn out and his stomach was ruptured. I was so horrified, I just ran out into the street. Where was everybody? Was I the only one who survived? I fell to my knees and began to cry.
Just then, I heard a low buzzing noise overhead. Looking up at the sky, I saw a plane, flying low over the tops of the buildings. A hatch opened in the undercarriage and some large packages fell out. They sailed down to earth on parachutes. There were also hundreds of small pieces of paper fluttering down. I ran down the street and managed to grab one of the pieces of paper as it floated down. There was a message printed on it. It read:
“There had been an accident at a chemical plant. A strange mixture of toxic chemicals were spewed across the city. The majority of people were killed and the others have contracted an unknown disease. An emergency has been declared and the city is under quarantine. Those who have survived are asked to stay in their homes, barricade themselves inside and wait for rescue parties to arrive. Do not go out at night for any reason.”
One of the large packages landed around the corner. I ran over to it. The package had split open and the contents were strewn across the street. There were cans of dried food, bottles of water, blankets and a small black case. When I opened the case, I was shocked to see there was a gun inside and two boxes of bullets. There was also a leaflet explaining how to load and shoot the weapon. Why are they giving me a weapon? I wondered. And what am I supposed to do with it?
I gathered up as much canned food and as many bottles of water as I could carry. I also took the gun and bullets, just in case. I brought everything back to my apartment and waited there. As I waited, I read the pamphlet that came with the gun. Following the instructions, I loaded it with bullets and left it on the coffee table. Better safe than sorry, as my mom always used to say.
That night, I heard noises in the hallway outside the front door of the apartment. It sounded like more than one person, moving and shuffling around. I was afraid to open the door, so I stood in front of it and yelled, “Who’s out there? What do you want?”
Immediately, everything went quiet. I stood there waiting, my heart beating fast. A moment later, the door started shaking and rattling. I heard horrible growling noises on the other side. Trembling with fear, I grabbed the gun and aimed it at the door.
“Go away or I’ll shoot!” I screamed. “I don’t want to hurt you! Just go away!”
The door started rattling even harder and I was afraid it would come off its hinges. I raised the gun, aimed at the door and pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang as a bullet ripped through the door. I heard a terrible shriek and a howling noise. Then, there were hurried footsteps, running away and the hallway was silent. That night, I slept on the floor beside the door with the gun beside me.
When I woke up, I opened the door cautiously, but the hallway was deserted. There was some blood on the floor and a bullet hole in the wall. Going down the stairs, I heard the distinct sound of a door opening and closing down below. Clutching the gun, I tip-toed down the stairs.
When I got down to the second floor, I saw something that shocked me. There was a young girl cowering in a corner of the hallway. She couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. Her clothes were streaked with blood and she was crying. When she saw me, her eyes grew wide. She let out a high-pitched scream and curled up into a ball.
“Don’t be scared,” I said, hiding the gun in my pocket. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
I gave her a hug and tried to comfort her. The girl said her name was Lera. Two days ago, her mother went to the store and never returned. I felt sorry for the poor thing. She was all alone in the world with no one to protect her. What could I do? I was only 14 years old. I didn’t know how to take care of a 5-year old girl.
I brought her back up to my apartment, fed her, gave her a bath and washed her clothes. She wanted to go to look for her mother. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her mother was probably dead. It wasn’t safe to stay in my apartment another night. The door was damaged and it wouldn’t withstand another attack. I told her we would have to find a way to get out of the city.
We gathered up some supplies, stuffed them in a backpack along with the gun and the bullets and then we went down to the street. It was still deathly silent. As we walked, we saw packages lying here and there by the side of the road. None of them had been opened. The sun was beating down and we kept walking and walking. When Lera got tired, I gave her a piggyback.
Along the way, we met no one. The streets were lined with abandoned cars. No more planes flew overhead. We passed the corpses of dead cats, dead dogs, dead birds and the occasional dead body.
“Everything is asleep,” Lera whispered in my ear.
“Yes,” I replied. “The whole city is sleeping.”
We had walked all day and finally, it was growing dark. We needed to find a safe place to stay before nightfall.
(to be continued…)
(I will update this as soon as I finish the next part, so check back soon…)