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Lantern In The Mists

Annetta, Missouri, USA
September 2002

A year or so ago, I was at a friend's watching TV. I got a little bored so I decided to go outside to get some air. My friend lives in the country so I loved it there and went there as often as possible.

My friend lives in a large two story house and it is surrounded by large trees and is on a big hill. At night you can see the stars through the tree tops so clearly that it seems unreal.

While I was outside I walked to the clearing behind the house. Here you can see down the hill and over the tops of the trees. Early that morning it had rained and now it was very humid, so I was starting to sweat. This hill was surrounded by a series of other hills and they were now cover with mist. I saw down the slope I was on, and saw very thick fog. I was suddenly very curious about what it was hiding, though, I knew it was just like the rest of the woods around it.

I was suspicious of my sudden curiosity because normally, I am a very dull and uninteresting girl. For some reason or another I started to walk stiffly, as if I were being pushed, into the mist.

When I was a foot or two from the edge of the fog, I saw a light swinging back and forth. As it got closer, I heard a faint whistling sound. After a moment, I realized it was a song, probably made up because it had no repetition. Then the song stopped and in the illumination of the swinging light, I saw a very handsome boy about my age, which at the time was thirteen. He was holding a lantern. It immediately entered my mind that his name had to be Jason. I felt not a twinge of fear as I stepped up into the mist and smiled at him. His eyes were a vacant pink, and as he smiled back at me, his smile never reached them. Amazingly, I wanted to be with him. I reached out to hold his hand and his hand reached out too. But it passed through mine and I felt my blood go cold.

I distantly heard my name being called but I ignored it and stared at the boy, wonderingly. His mouth was moving and in my mind I heard him say, "Come with me. We can see the stars perfectly from where I am going." I nodded my consent and started to follow. Almost as soon as I lifted my foot, I felt a hand on my shoulder and an arm around my waist. I brought me back to reality and I screamed as they started to pull me away from my lantern boy.

I don't remember going inside the house or going to bed and sleeping, so I assume that I blacked out. I woke up, and saw my friend and her dad hovering over me. They immediately started questioning me and I answered as well as I could, but I was distracted. "Take me to where I was," I said.

They did and I just about fainted. I recognized where I was but I couldn't believe it. If I had taken one more step, I would have dropped off the side of the hill. I climbed down to the bottom of the cliff (there was a trail to the base of the hill that was used by deer.) I searched until I found what I was looking for. I brought up the broken and rusted remains of a lantern and a clean, but old skull.

I later learned that the skull belonged to my friend's dad's great uncle Jason. Apparently he was leading his girlfriend to a place where they could be alone, but he fell off the cliff since the fog had hidden it. He almost had taken the girl, Annie (which I am called from time to time by my boyfriend) but her hand had slipped out of his

with all the moisture. When I found out about this, I blacked out again. I still dream about him...and his lantern in the mists...

Annetta, Missouri, USA
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