Tag Archives: fog

The rise and fall of Ssieth Anabuki

By Frampton Jones

I do not think Ssieth Anabuki ever intended to fly with those wings. They were, I thought, a rather charming creation – an act of colourful whimsy in defiance of this grey and doleful world. Seeing the wings flutter by whenever she passed me in the street always brightened my day a little.

I have not found any witnesses who know how the situation arose. The first any of us knew that strangeness was afoot, Sseith was already airborne. I assumed it was deliberate – and more likely some act of uncanny magic than of science, for there was nothing mechanical in the wings to suggest they might carry a person into the skies.

I have, over the years, watched many people try to leave the island. There have been many deliberate attempts at flying machines and wings. The best of them have barely managed a few feet in altitude or more than a few yards in distance. I feel that I have something of an eye for these things, and I say those wings were only ever ornamental and that something else occurred. Perhaps Ssieth invoked something, or attracted something, or had quietly taken up experimental occultism. If a boat can be persuaded to take to the skies, then why not such wings as these? Who can say what arcane rules govern the possibilities?

She flew, and for a while, it was glorious to behold. Surely, just for once in this miserable place we might be allowed a moment of beauty without disaster following close upon its heels? But no. As she rose, she disappeared into the clouds, and for an uneasy moment, it almost looked as though the fog had wrapped itself around her, forming into an impossible hand. It seemed, to my eye at least, as though she was thrown from the sky. I have been told that I have an over-active imagination and read too much into the shapes of clouds, but there it is. As a witness, this is my evidence.

Perspicacity Jones told me, by way of contrast “She went up, and then she went down. Like someone doing a really big jump.” So there’s a more prosaic take on the tragedy.

Reverend Davies said: “This is why I counsel people against the use of sorcery. It never ends well.” Which I’m sure will be a comfort to us all.

After viewing the remains, Doc Willoughby told me, “It appears that her appendix burst.” In fairness, it probably had.

We made a cairn where she fell. It seemed more dignified than the available alternatives.

The Fog Song

The fog by night is darker, deeper, shrouding everything,

No stars shine through, no moonlight glimmers,

All sounds are muted colours dim, there is no hope here,

No hope at all, only cold and damp malevolence.


Dawn comes queasy grey to light another joyless morning,

Cold light without colour lacks the power to warm my heart,

I’d dream of something better but I don’t know how to picture it,

There is no hope here, no hope at all.


The world is bleak with apathy, too willing to accept it all,

The empty listless life, the sunless mournful days and night terrors,

Fear becomes your companion, familiar and cruel,

There is no hope here, only poison in this world.


The chill within my bones has been with me most of my life,

If I ever knew true warmth I forgot about it long ago,

There is no salvation and no heroic rescue,

When the monsters are inside you, there’s no hope at all.


(The Hopeless Fog Song features in the opening to The Gathering. It does have a tune and I have sung it in public. The image is from Hopeless Maine Victims, out this summer.  Any conclusions you may wish to draw from the juxtaposition are entirely up to you… )