Clouded VisionbyBrandy Chase©
I had watched the same scene unfold at least three dozen times in the past two years, probably more. It always started out the same way, with a wispy, out of focus, image floating from the east wall of my bedroom. It looked like nothing more than a cloud of thin gray mist.
On the few occasions when the image would settle down in one place, it would come into better focus. When that happened, she would usually be standing near the foot of my bed.
You caught that, did you? Yes, I said, she. And a very lovely "she," she was indeed, or at least she would become, as the mist congealed to give the cloud form.
Let me take you back to the beginning of this whole affair. As they say, "Beginning at the beginning is usually the best place to begin telling a tale."
I inherited my home when my aging father passed away three years ago. My family had attended to the old place for several generations. I guess the average person would not find the idea of living in an old lighthouse to be particularly inviting, but being a writer, I found the solitude of its remote location quite appealing. Its mind-soothing serenity was only enhanced by the hypnotic rhythm of the huge breakers crashing against the base of the great stone cliffs far below. The haunting calls of the various feathered residents claiming the near-vertical rock face as their home added a splash of life to the otherwise-barren cliffs.
My grandfather and his father before him had spent their lives tending to the beacon atop the lighthouse. The beacon insured the safe passage of the many sailing vessels rounding the rocky point, by warning them to steer clear of the rock-laden waters near by. There were sharp jagged rocks out there, lurking just beneath the churning surface, some larger than a medieval castle. More than a few ships had gone down on those rocks attempting to take the short path around the point, taking many a sailor with them.
About the time my father was preparing to take over the job of attending the lighthouse from his father, a series of automated marker buoys were placed around the point with the latest high-tech equipment and navigational aids modern science had to offer. This event rendered the old lighthouse obsolete and put it out of service. I had dreamed of living in the lighthouse as a child, but without the job to go along with it, my father wouldn't even consider the notion, but he had been able to purchase the old thing for a song and dance. I mean, how many people can say they own a damn lighthouse. I think he only wanted it because of its ties into our family history.
When my father passed it on to me, I wasted little time having the old thing renovated and a year later moved into it as my permanent residence. Several months after moving in, the sightings began. They were infrequent at first, but their frequency grew as time went on.
I have to admit, the first few times I saw it, the mist scared the holy shit outta me. After a while, I got use to it and pretty much figured it was fairly harmless. But the first time I saw it coming through my bedroom wall, which was on the fourth floor of the lighthouse, it damn near caused me to kill myself trying to get the hell outta there, down three flights of the steep spiraling staircase, and out the friggin' front door. For several months afterwards, I slept on the sofa in the first-floor living room. I couldn't force myself to sleep upstairs.
Okay, I know what you're thinking; one of the prerequisites for being a fiction writer is that you must have an overactive imagination. True, but not the scenario in this particular instance. The only thing my imagination was overactive about at that time was trying to figure out how to get the hell away from that damn thing, that cloud, that whatever the hell it was, without having to give up my wonderful little lighthouse home. My imagination did give me a fit for a while though; I kept having visions of that old movie "The Fog."
The cloud of mist would gradually seep through the exterior stone wall of my bedroom like many tiny droplets of molasses oozing through several layers of cheesecloth, then join into a single cloud of mist once they were through the cold stone wall.
I had never seen the mist in any other part of the lighthouse, so I determined it would be safe if I just moved into a different room for my bedroom. That was when things got interesting. After spending nearly two hours disassembling, moving, and reassembling my bed in a third-story room, I decided to take a little catnap before beginning the evening's writing session. Much to my surprise, I discovered my bed had been moved back to its original room. It looked as though it had never been moved from the spot it was in.
Okay, perhaps that should have been the time to push the old panic button and get the hell outta the place. But I wasn't gonna give up my wonderful lighthouse without first having put up a pretty damn good fight.
I've never been known for having the best decision making capacity on planet Earth, well, not for making the right decisions, anyway. In my infinite wisdom, I decided I would sleep on that bed, in that room, that very night. If I were a man, I guess you could say I was gonna show that cloud just what a massive set of balls I actually possessed.
I figured the cloud would just havta settle for a nice set of boobs instead. I hoisted up my bra straps a notch or two and marched right into the bedroom. I was ready to kick some cloud butt! I mean hell, I wasn't gonna put up with that kinda crap. It was my damn lighthouse. That stinkin' cloud didn't have any rights to the place, and I was just the woman who was gonna convince it of that very fact.
"Okay, listen up! You can stop the shit right now, 'cause I ain't goin' a damn place! This is my lighthouse and you're not welcome here! I'm gonna sleep in here tonight and you better leave my ass alone! You got that shit straight?" I roared, before marching out of the room, secure in the knowledge that I had just set that stupid cloud straight on a few points.
By bedtime my courage had waned somewhat. I checked my boobs, they both were still just as big as ever, but I was finding it most difficult to actually carry out my promise to myself, and the cloud, to sleep in the room that night.
After a nice, relaxing hot bath, I felt a bit more positive about myself and decided to go for it. What the hell, what could a cloud do to you besides cloud up and rain all over you, anyway? The rather large shaker full of Vodka Martinis I drank, while in the tub, might have helped to boost my courage a little too. But I'm not really too sure about that. That's me, instant asshole, just add alcohol. Damn, my boobs even looked bigger after the first drink or two.
It took me a while to get to sleep, and once I had accomplished that major feat, I spent most of the night trying too recover from a series of seriously scary nightmares.
At 4:15 a.m. I was awakened by a strange feeling, like someone was staring at me. Standing at the foot of my bed was the image of a tall, slender woman, dressed in what I can only describe as a negligee, circa 1800. From what I could see of her, which was quite a lot actually because the negligee was very transparent, she was a very attractive woman, or at least, she had been a very attractive woman at one time.
At first, she scared the holy crap outta me. My mind tried desperately to come up with a new game plan. It appeared now that I was going to actually be doing battle with a real, genuine ghost type individual, it was no longer just a mysterious cloud of mist.
She stood there for several moments, just looking at me. I could do little more myself. I couldn't make up my feeble little mind whether I should speak to her or make a break for the door. How fast can ghosts run?
Discretion being the better part of valor, I opted to bolt. I had made less than four fast strides toward the door before she appeared right between me and the door. I hit full-reverse thrusters, did a quick about-face, and literally dove back into the bed. She quietly returned to her vigilance at the foot of the bed. Walking without moving her feet was a pretty neat trick I thought. Now there's a move Michael Jackson hasn't mastered. Eat your heart out, Michael.
She seemed benevolent enough, showing no signs of wanting to harm me. I got brave, stepped slowly from the bed and began easing my way toward the door. I made it halfway before I froze in my tracks.
"Please stay," a soft, non-existent voice spoke inside my head.
I turned toward my visitor. "Can you give me just a couple good reasons why I shouldn't already be out the front door?" I said, trying not to let my fear show in my voice. Yeah, right, fat chance of that happening.
"Please stay," the voice repeated. It wasn't a real voice, just something inside my head.
"Not a chance! I'm outta here!" I yelled as I bolted through the door, slamming it tight behind me.
I spent the rest of the night sitting on my sofa downstairs. I didn't see her again that night. I also didn't get any more sleep; I was too busy talking to the big photo of my dad on the fireplace mantel. I figured he owed me some kind of reasonable explanation as to why he had ever bought the damn lighthouse in the first place. Naturally, I got no answers from him. He just sat there on the mantel with that silly-ass smirk on his face.
It took several weeks before I acquired enough courage to reenter the bedroom, but I finally tightened up my bra straps and gave it a try. Everything looked normal when I eased the door open and pulled my best imitation of a housecat sneaking into the room. Maybe an afternoon nap would be a smart thing to do to regain my confidence in the room. Ghosts don't roam around during the day; they're night people, right?
Wrong, I had been asleep only a short while when I felt something moving in the bed, and it wasn't me. I bolted up in the bed, but there was nothing there. After five minutes of heart pounding, breath-robbing anxiety, I was finally able to lie back down, deciding it had all just been in my head.
When I woke up the next time, I lay there for a few moments with my eyes closed. I was afraid to look; it felt like someone with a feather-light touch was stroking my forearm. It wasn't hurting me; it just felt like someone was sliding her fingertips up and down my arm. I said, "her," because I could detect a hint of a light sweet fragrance in the air.
I remained completely still for a long while, not letting on that I was awake. The soft stroking continued. It was actually starting to feel nice and relaxing, almost like the caring touch of a lover.
I opened my eyes just in time to see the misty cloud vanish. Maybe she is as afraid of me as I am of her, I thought to myself. She certainly didn't seem to be harmful in any way. But I had noticed one disturbing thing about her; I sensed a great loneliness in her while she was touching my arm. Don't ask, I don't know, I just felt it, okay? I also learned that ghosts are not necessarily just night people, or beings, or whatever you wanna call them. It had been broad daylight when all this happened. I guess, like writers, ghosts don't keep regular hours either.
There was one good thing that came out of that little afternoon nap, I now pretty much figured out that the ghost had no intention of harming me and I could go back to sleeping in my bedroom, in my own bed. If she was lonely and just wanted to touch my arm while I slept, that would be fine with me. I think she just wanted some company.
I know, I know; I'm a total idiot, right? Save it for later, it gets better.
I was hard at work later that evening laboring over my latest novel. For having been pounding away at the keyboard for hours I sure hadn't made much progress. My mind kept roaming back to my visitor, the cloudy mist that magically transforms into a beautiful woman. I no longer considered her a threat, but not knowing who she was or where she came from was playing havoc with my imagination, making concentration difficult, if not impossible. My work had actually been suffering over the last few weeks because of my inability to keep my mind off of her and on my work.
I hate it when I am trying to work and my brain refuses to cooperate; it makes for a long frustrating night. I finally decided to go to bed. A good eight hours rest might get the old think factory back in decent order. I sure as hell wasn't getting much accomplished by sitting and staring blankly at my computer screen. Besides, there just might be a fantastic story concealed within my mysterious newfound misty friend.
"Yeah, sure, like I'd have the gonads to intelligently interview a ghost. Not!" I said to the cute little teddy bears rolling by on my screensaver. Seems like I've been staring at those teddy bears a lot lately. My teddy bears and I have this love-hate relationship. I love to look at them, but I hate to see them, because when they're rolling by it means I'm not typing, which equates to I'm not getting any work done, which in turn translates into "I ain't making nooo money, honey."
It took me quite a while to fall off to sleep; I was too busy watching the east wall in case my visitor might return. I eventually managed to drift off, only to float right into one of the most erotic dreams I had ever had. In the dream, I was lying naked on a blanket atop one of the massive boulders jutting up out of the rolling ocean, several hundred yards from the safety of shore. How I got there, I haven't a clue.
I could feel the warm evening sun slowly toasting my skin to a golden brown. Occasionally, a cooling spray of fine mist would rain down on me after a big wave smashed full-force against the huge rock, sending the water showering skyward.
The setting sun had disappeared behind the great cliffs when a mermaid, riding the crest of a large wave, surfed right up on my rock. After the water had lifted her onto the rock, it cascaded back into the swirling water below, she slid up next to me, using her arms to slide along on her butt, or whatever you would call it on a mermaid.
She said nothing; just sat there with a big beautiful smile on her exquisite face. I didn't have too much to say either; I was in absolute awe of her beauty. I guess the fact there was a fish-lady sitting next to me, might have caused my brain to lockup just a bit too.
I know you've seen paintings of the mythical mermaids, and they are always magnificently gorgeous creatures with long flowing hair, large seashell-covered breasts, sweet innocent faces, and sleek curvy fish-like bodies. Well, let me tell you something; there's not an artist out there doing justice to those marvelous creatures. She was, without a doubt or fear of contradiction, the most lovely, sexy, erotic being I have ever seen. Sorry ladies, but I just don't believe a more alluring creature exists, not on this planet anyway.
She had a face that would cause any of the classic Greek goddesses to suffer from an extreme case of jealousy. Her eyes were large almond-shaped, deep dark-blue pools of emotion. They were of the same splendid blue as the waters she had risen from. Her smooth flawless skin was a pale shade of pink any breeder of rare roses would delight in finding among his prized blooms. The slight blush covering her high cheekbones was but a few shades of darker pink.
A fine spray of water filled the air when she jerked her head upward, tossing the long spiraling locks of hair back over her shoulders, revealing a pair of the nearest things to perfection one could possibly imagine. Her dark-peach tipped breasts were pure poetry in form. It's a good thing I'm a gentlewoman or I would've been on those puppies like a Hoover Carpet Master. They simply begged my attention. They had it, all right, but not the kind I wanted to give them.
I wished she hadn't done that just then though, I had almost regained the power of speech and was about to try making a little small talk with the lovely creature. That all went to hell the moment I caught sight of those beautiful breasts. My voice seized up in my lungs, along with most of the oxygen in the immediate vicinity and a considerable amount of seawater spray that had filled the air when she had tossed her hair back.
Something I couldn't understand; I don't know about you, but when I get out of the shower, my hair looks like holy crap until it's dried. But not this chick's, her hair looked like she had just been to the hairdresser. Wet or not, it didn't matter, her long deep-red tresses were gorgeous. That really pisses me off, why couldn't I have hair like that? She comes right outta the damn ocean with her hair looking like a movie star's. Mine gets a little damp and I look like Phyllis Diller on a bad-hair day.
Have you ever experienced one of those days when you wanted to appear cool, calm, and collected, but everything you did just confirmed the fact that you were a complete idiot? Well, that was me. I sat there on the big rock and started babbling like a fool the moment I was able to get words to come out of my mouth.
"Who, ah, what the hell, ah, hello," I stuttered.
She leaned forward giving me a light kiss on the mouth.
Well hell, that just locked my brain up again. I didn't know what to do. But I figured if a little kiss was their form of greeting, I couldn't very well buck the system, I was on her turf, or rock, whatever. I returned the kiss.
Talk about some soft lips; that lady really had 'em. When I pulled back from the second kiss, she followed me, placing her mouth back on mine. The kiss that followed was packed with such passion and desire; it actually took my breath away. I don't know, maybe she didn't need to breathe or something; after all, she was part fish. Her delicious tongue twirled around in my mouth like an eel on a hook.
I finally had to push her away so I could get some oxygen. "Damn, lady, you don't waste any time do you?" I asked.
A big bright smile spread across her face creating a pair of dimples so cute I just wanted to stick my finger in one of them. So I did. Her smile only got bigger and brighter. Her skin was very soft to the touch, like the feel of fine hand-woven silk.
Becoming a bit impatient, I reached for one of her magnificent breasts; I just had to touch one of them.
"What the hell?" I yelled, bolting upright in the bed. I sat there a few moments collecting my thoughts. "Wow! What a dream! Why do I always have to wake up just as things start to get interesting?"
I lay back down, trying desperately to go back to sleep. I wanted to get back into that dream before my beautiful mermaid slipped away into her watery undersea world. Needless to say, it didn't work, nor did I get back to sleep.
At long last, I began to nod off. That's when the mist-lady decided to make her entrance, flowing from the wall like water vapor. This time, she took form sitting on my bed beside me instead of standing at the foot of the bed.
"Oh my God! It's you!" I gasped, sitting up right.
She just smiled at me.
"You're the mermaid!" I exclaimed.
She leaned toward me, placing her lips to mine. Her tongue darted between my lips doing the same eel-like dance in my mouth the mermaid's tongue had done in my dream. Her kiss was so light. It was almost like she wasn't really there at all.
After she backed away from our feathery, but exciting kiss, I looked down toward her legs; halfway expecting to see fins and scales. But I found a pair of long slender legs covered by the thin white transparent material of the antique negligee instead.
I looked back at her face. It was the same beautiful face I had seen on the mermaid and the same gorgeous red hair. I hadn't actually ever gotten a good look at the mist-lady before, because she had never been in clear focus before now. That made it impossible for me to have placed her features on the fish-lady in my dream.