A small gust of wind passed my still body. In the distance, I heard the small ringing of chimes from one of the small, blackened houses. I heard a small shuffling of feet as a woman scurried past me. One glance at her, and her face changed from that of simple carelessness, to a sense of urgency and fear. Not surprised. I'm not in the slightest surprised. Yet, I stood there silently, taking in the landscape. I simply blinked once, and I heard the patter of feet as the woman picked up in a run. I made no movement in response, as I had no desire to.

The air was cold tonight… colder than I thought it would be. I rubbed my hands silently in the dark, dreary night. The fog slowly descended from the Heavens above and landed on the ground. Slowly, it crept towards me, a force of warning. It screamed of fear and terror on a level beyond the subconscious mind. I didn't need the Heavens to remind me though. I understood the message loud and clear and simply began to walk away from the creeping fog.

I heard more patter of feet as I took my leave. There were two different types of footsteps. One kind was softer, and seemed to be of children, while the other was louder, similar to that of a mother or father. I slowly turned my head to the left and noticed a woman and two children, hand in hand with their mother. She slowly reared her head, noticed me, and began to pick up the pace. The children attempted to adjust to keep pace with her.

"Mommy, why are we walking faster?" I heard one child say. The voice of the woman quivered for a moment and finally found its words.

"That man over there is a bad man. Keep away from him children." I sighed and continued to walk, the woman's pace never slowing down for a second after. Once again, I was the bad man… no surprises to be seen or heard.

"But Mommy, he doesn't seem like a bad man." The little girl cried out in response. That voice… it sounded like… I blinked and stopped in place. I whipped around, but they had disappeared. Only the fog remained. I stared into the thickness of its gray shadowy form, with apprehension. It distorted reality, rendering me completely unable to see into its deepest depths. Slowly, the fog circled around me, distorting any other way for me to go. I stood there, unsure of where to go and how to handle this matter. I heard two shrieks of fear…

And then silence.

I fell to my knees and looked at whatever I could of my hands. Cruel fate. How could you do such a thing? How could you remind me? The Heavens seek to merely punish me for eternity, and truly assure me of my inability to do any form of good. I understood this all however. Much like the fogs of this cold and dreary night, pain and cruelty hung over my head, following me to my eternity. Wherever I go, whomever I meet, whatever I do to bring joy… it always ends in the same pain and torture for me and them. I believe I am cursed. Perhaps I am doomed to walk an eternity alone. This must be my punishment for abandoning her, and leaving her to that witch of a mother… if only I went back and saved her. Instead, I left her to be sacrificed, so I could live instead. I allowed greed to rule over me, and now, I am to suffer. I promised her we would go down together… but in the end, I sacrificed her life for my own. Now, I pay my price for the rest of existence.

But why then… why do others have to suffer? Is it because the Fates want to ensure no one ever enjoys my company? Is it to forever ensure my loneliness and torture? I could never find out… no one would ever answer for me. I looked up at what I thought could be the sky and kept still.

I begged for forgiveness. Every day, I continue to do so, not for my sake, but for that of others. I am guilty… those that have died by my hand, by the unfortunate accident of having met me and spoke of me… they are innocent. I truly wish I could arise from this Hell and be able to atone, to be able to finally rejoin society as a normal being.

Deep down, I knew I would never have that chance. I am doomed to be surrounded by the grayness of this brutal fog. I am doomed to inflict pain… it is all I can ever truly do anymore. All I could hope is that no other people had the misfortune of having anything to do with me, meeting me, or even speaking of me… but I know deep down, that this is a futile wish as well. Even still, I wish that someone would have the courage to fight through the fog, to defeat it and finish me. In the end I know this will never happen either. I will continue to serve my sentence and walk through these unwritten worlds...

And I will never be able to escape.