The Thing in the Fog

San Diego is a beautiful place, don’t you think? The sweet and salty aroma of the Pacific Ocean drifting on a cool breeze as the warmth of the sun caresses your skin is a luxurious experience you can only enjoy on the Californian coast. However, San Diego has its share of dark dealings. The most well-known by far is the Whaley House. The list of documented hauntings is growing every day. However, it is not the biggest danger here.

It started a few months ago on a chilly and overcast night. My dog escaped from the backyard again and I went out to search for her. I walked along the sidewalk, calling her name in an attempt to get her to return.

“Lindsay! Come here girl!” I yelled, and then gave an ear-piercing whistle. I didn’t care whether or not I was disturbing the neighborhood. My priorities dictated my pet was more important than whether or not someone got 39 rather than 40 winks of sleep. ‘Why do we say 40 winks anyway?’ I thought. ‘Does it have to do with rapid eye movement?’ My train of thought rambled along for a good 2 minutes before it was interrupted by the yelp of a dog followed by a faint, distant and constant whining. My heart skipped a beat and my stomach dropped. “No.” My breath came in short bursts as I ran in the direction it came from.

The public playground.

I could only pray and hope that Lindsay wasn’t hurt. Or worse.

I slammed open the chain link fence.

Then suddenly, the whining stopped.

There wasn’t a sound in the air except for the chirp of crickets and the rustle of the trees.

My eyes darted from place to place, looking for any sign of my dog. I stumbled around, my heart rate the highest it has it has ever been and tears welling in my eyes.

I looked under benches and in bushes. I checked everywhere I could for at least an hour before I finally gave up hope. I raised my head and stared into the sky, tears running down my cheeks, my throat burning, and my trust in God shaken. I turned back towards home with a hung head and heavy heart. I was about to leave the playground when I saw a band of purple dangling from the lock of the gate. For the second time that night, my heart skipped a beat.
It was my dog’s collar, only it was frayed far more than it was the last time I saw her. I picked it up and glanced to my left, towards the town, then right, towards the playground and surveyed the area for the last time.

I can’t believe I almost didn’t notice it.

I was starting to look away when something in my brain clicked.

I slowly, anxiously, looked back.

There was a figure standing on the other side of the playground. Despite the bright yellow streetlamps illuminating us, its skin was as dark as night. It must have been at least 7 feet tall if not bigger. Its chest was wide and its lower abdomen tapered down to nothing; it had no legs. The arms narrowed down to almost non-existent wrists. It had large hands with long spindly fingers. It was bald, it seems, and had a sharp chin.

Its eyes-Oh God its eyes-were nothing more than white specks in obsidian caverns that could be called sockets.

I stared at it for a few seconds. I took a tentative step away, ready to run if the need arose.

I didn’t think it could look any more terrifying.

I was wrong.

It grinned, exposing small, pointy yellow teeth.

A feeling of absolute dread shot through me and my hair stood up on end.

I dropped Lindsay’s collar.

I didn’t need any more incentive than that.

I turned and ran as fast as my legs could carry me, making sure to not look back.

It seemed like ages before I finally reached my house. I burst through the door and slammed it shut behind me. I locked it, bolted upstairs to my room, and collapsed on my bed.

I sobbed.

I sobbed for my dog.

I sobbed for me.

I sobbed for anyone that encountered that thing.

I sobbed until I fell asleep.

I woke up the next day at around noon. I felt absolutely exhausted. My legs and feet ached something fierce. I got up from bed and went to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, I saw my eyes were red and puffy. I had almost forgotten why. I splashed some cold water on my face and dried it off with a towel. I went downstairs and to the kitchen for a bite to eat. After eating a hearty meal of biscuits and gravy, I went to my computer.

I asked on every forum I knew and searched on every site having to do with myths, legends, and the supernatural. I could not find a single report or article of any kind about anything that even remotely resembled what I saw last night.

I was racking my brain for any other way I could go about this when I heard tapping and jingling sounds coming from my front door. My curiosity got the best of me. I went and opened it.

No one was there.

I looked up and down the street, trying to see anyone, or anything, suspicious. Nothing caught my eye until looked down to see if my mail was here.
There, on ground, was my dog’s collar.

It was shredded to bits.

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