Mystery in the Fog

After+passengers+start+mysterious+disappearing%2C+Brynn+Foundling+discovers+a+spooky+entity.+

Mattie McConnell

After passengers start mysterious disappearing, Brynn Foundling discovers a spooky entity.

Brynn Foundling’s feet pound against the deck of the ship as she jogs along the outer walkway. It’s a cool morning on the cruise ship. 

As she reaches the back end of the ship, she stops. She takes a deep breath as she stares into the horizon. 

Someone runs into her from behind. She lurches forward, nearly stumbling. One of her earbuds falls out. 

“Hey, watch where you’re going!’ She yells after the man, who doesn’t stop. “Hello?!” She says. 

The man turns to her with a scowl on his face. He is a large man with a menacing manner. He doesn’t say anything, only turns and leaves. 

“Jerk…” Brynn says under her breath. She puts her earbud back in, and music floods her ears. She jogs back the way she came. 

Upon reaching her suite, she opens the door to find her older brother, Jack, eating food from room service. 

“How was the run?” Jack asks, his mouth full of potato chips. 

“Good. How’s uh–” she eyes the bag of Potato chips Jack is holding. “Breakfast?” 

An alarm sounds over the ship’s intercom system, informing the passengers that there is an announcement. Jack walks back into the main room. 

Attention. A woman’s voice, the captain’s, says. Would Elijah Cole please report to the nearest information center? Again, would Elijah Cole please report to the nearest information center? 

“Come on, let’s go get something to eat. I’m starving.” Jack says, pulling a hoodie over his head. 

By the time Brynn and Jack reach the dining hall, the same announcement has boomed through the intercom speakers. 

“That’s a bit concerning, don’t you think?” Brynn asks. 

“Yeah, no kidding.” Jack answers. 

‘What’s with that guy?”

“Maybe he, you know,” Jack walks to the railing on the end of the deck and feigns falling over. 

“Jack, don’t say that.” Brynn stifles a laugh as she glances around them. She pulls Jack by the arm away from the railing and toward the buffet. 

The two jump in line and begin piling food on their plates. Jack asks the attendant if they are still serving pancakes. Something catches Brynn’s eye. 

The Gruff Man that ran into her is standing outside the buffet, partially concealed by the smokestack. Brynn catches his eye, and he stares back at her. The sound of the announcement warning startles her, and she drops her gaze. When she looks back, the man is gone. 

Attention all passengers. Attention all passengers. Brynn and Jack look at each other. As of now, we are asking that all passengers be aware of the present situation. Elijah Cole has still not been located. If you see any sign of him, please report to a cruise employee immediately. Elijah is 17 years old. He has medium-fair skin, brown eyes, and red hair. The announcement continues. 

Brynn stares at Jack. “Oh my God, Jack. He might’ve actually…” She nods her head to the railing. 

Jack laughs nervously. 

Brynn is sitting on the balcony of her family’s suite, working on an article for her Journalism Club. 

Have you heard from Jack?

Yes, he’s at the basketball courts. Brynn replies. 

The announcement warning sounds. Brynn pulls the door open to hear. 

Attention, attention. Alexander Loftis, please report to the nearest information center. Alexander Loftis…

“What is up?” Brynn says softly. She stands, throws a light jacket on; it’s a cool day for the Pacific. She throws her book, camera, phone, and notebook in a bag and heads out the door. 

Reaching the lower deck, she spots Jack on the basketball courts. She heads to the back of the ship. Heading down a hallway, she spots something strange. Standing at the end of a shady hallway are two people in white sailor’s uniforms. One is the captain. They are whispering fiercely to one another. Brynn keeps walking, though curiosity gnaws at her. 

Not 30 minutes later, the announcement signal sounds again. 

Attention all passengers. The Loftis family asks that any passengers with information about Alexander’s whereabouts please approach an employee immediately. Alexander has medium skin, dark hair, brown eyes, and is of medium-tall height. 

“What the…” Brynn asks herself. She pulls out her phone and calls Jack. 

“Yeah?’ he says. 

“Weren’t you friends with that guy? Alexander?” Brynn asks, pulling her notebook from her bag. 

“I wouldn’t say friends, but he was supposed to play basketball with us today. He never showed up.” 

“Hey!” A man’s voice booms from behind her. “You can’t be in here!”

Brynn decides to investigate around the suite halls. She finds a stairwell. Opening the door, a rush of cold air hits her. She gets shivers and walks inside. On the lower flights of stairs, a thick fog has enveloped each step. Brynn raises an eyebrow and pulls out her camera. She takes a few shots and approaches the fog. She reaches her hand out. The fog is cool and thick. She wants to walk into the fog, but intuition tells her otherwise. Quickly pulling her hand back, Brynn quickly turns and jogs up the stairs. 

Brynn reaches her room and grabs her laptop. 

Fog on a cruise ship, she types into a search engine. 

She finds a four-year-old article from a local Nassau paper. FISHERMEN LOST AT SEA IN FOG STORM, the title reads. The one below it: MISSING SWIMMERS “DISAPPEARED IN THE FOG”

“No way,” Brynn whispers, “No way!” 

Her phone chimes. It’s her mother. 

You seen Jack? 

No.

Ok.

The emergency announcement alarm sounds. Brynn’s heart skips a beat. Attention all passengers. This is a drill. Please report to your emergency stations for a mandatory evacuation drill. This is a drill. 

Brynn lets out a sigh and heads to the hallway. Other passengers are walking to the deck, and Brynn follows in suit. 

Reaching the evacuation area, Brynn finds her family and stands with them. 

“Nice of you to join us.” Brynn’s dad says sarcastically. 

“Where you been?” Jack asks. 

“Uh…exploring.” Brynn answers. “Have they found those kids yet?”

“No. Can you believe it? I mean how could they just vanish? God, their poor mothers. I’d be worried sick if this happened to me.” Brynn’s mom keeps talking.

Brynn notices something strange. Captain Smith is urgently speaking to some crewmates. They are pointing to people and looking over clipboards. 

“They’re counting us,” Brynn says under her breath. “They’re seeing who’s missing.” 

“Another one?” Captain Smith fiercely whispers, though not very quietly. 

Brynn whips her head around. Captain Smith is pinching the bridge of her nose. 

“Find her.” She says, walking away. 

A few hours later, Brynn and Jack are walking to the ice cream parlor. 

“It doesn’t make any sense, Jack,” Brynn says. “How do you lose two kids? On a cruise ship?” 

“I don’t know, man. It’s definitely spooky, though.” Jack rubs his hands together. 

They reach the ice cream line. 

“You know, I did see something weird–” Brynn’s words are interrupted by someone yelling. 

“You mean you still haven’t found him? It’s been a day. What’s taking so long?” A short woman with strawberry blonde hair is speaking with a manager, a tissue clutched in her hand. 

“Mrs. Cole, I assure you we are doing everything we can.” The manager attempts to reassure her. 

“I’ll be back,” Brynn says to Jack. 

By the time Brynn reaches Mrs. Cole, the manager has left. Brynn places a hand on the woman’s arm. “You’re Elijah’s mother?” She asks. 

Mrs. Cole gives a forced smile, wiping her nose. “Yes, hi. I’m Mary. Do you know Elijah?”

“No, ma’am,” Brynn says regrettably. “I’m so sorry about what’s happening.” Brynn leads Mrs. Cole to a nearby table. 

“I just don’t understand how this could happen. I mean, he goes off on his own for just a little bit and then…” Mrs. Cole buries her face in her hands. 

“Mrs. Cole, when was the last time you saw your son?” Brynn asks softly. 

“It was yesterday evening. Our family was walking around the ship, waiting for our dinner time to start. He said he was going back to the room to get a jacket.” Mrs. Cole lets out a sob. “He never made it to dinner. When we got back to our suite, he wasn’t there. My husband looked for him for about an hour before we went to security. They wouldn’t make an announcement until the morning. Today.” She sobs, and Brynn puts an arm around her. 

The announcement alarm sounds again. Attention. Bella Hampton, please report to the nearest information center. Bella Hampton. Please report to the nearest information center. 

“What is going on?” Mrs. Cole cries. 

Chaos has ensued. Passengers are panicking, and so everyone is made to stay in their rooms until the cruise management has decided on what to do next. Brynn and her family return to their suite and relax for the next few hours. 

Brynn sits on the balcony, examining the pictures she took of the fog. 

“What a weird day.” She says softly. 

A cloud covers the sun. Brynn looks ahead. There are storm clouds ahead, and a thick, eerie fog floats above the surface of the water. 

“Brynn, come look at this.” Brynn’s mother hollers from inside. “I just got a text message from the cruise line. They’re anchoring the ship out here until they get things sorted out. They don’t want anyone to get off the boat, so we won’t go to our port until the morning.”

“Lovely,” Brynn says. “I’m gonna shower. I’m tired.” Brynn walks to the bathroom and turns on the water. She tries to clear her head. Poor Mrs. Cole, she thinks, poor everybody. 

She gets out of the shower. The bathroom is filled with steam. She gets dressed and opens the door. The same thick fog that was in the stairwell has filled their suite. 

“Mom? Dad?” Brynn says. “Jack, are you still out there?” Panic rises in her. The fog inches toward her. She looks around frantically. She grabs the hairdryer sitting next to the sink and switches it on. The fog dissipates. 

“Oh my God,” Brynn whispers. The suite is completely empty. Brynn looks to the balcony window. It is covered in fog. 

She bolts into the hallway and into the elevator. The fog is snaking up the hall. The doors close just in time. The elevator takes her to the upper deck. She runs out and takes in the ship. The fog snakes through the ship with a hiss. Brynn bolts away from it, toward the bridge. She starts waving her arms at the people inside. She flings open the door leading to the staircase and lumbers up. She reaches the door of the bridge and beats on the outside. 

“Let me in! Please! I have to talk to someone!” Brynn screams. 

A man in a white sailor uniform crosses the room and looks at her through the glass door. 

“Please!” Brynn yells. 

“If you need to report a missing person, please report to the nearest security center.” the man says flatly. 

“No, wait, please! Just listen to me! We can’t go into that fog!” Tears stream down Brynn’s face. “Please!” 

The man stares. “Come in.” 

The room is surprisingly calm. People are speaking with one another softly. 

“I think that…” Brynn stampers. “I think that the fog is the reason that people are disappearing.”

The man gives a disapproving glare.

“Believe me I know how stupid it sounds. But my family was in our room, the fog comes in, and now they’re…” she swallows. “…they’re gone.”

“Look, we’ve had a lot of people go missing. It’s strange, yes, but there’s nothing we can do about it.” The man starts to lead her outside. 

“Wait, please, just listen!” Brynn cries. The man pushes her out the door and locks it behind him. 

“No!” Brynn screams. 

The man presses a button and blinds conceal the windows of the bridge. 

Brynn crumples to the ground. 

Fog envelops the ship. And it is gone.