Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mist Magic part 5

The story begins here.
"What do you think causes the red streak?" the man asked. I declined to answer.

"You think it has something to do with refraction, or with particles in the air filtering the sun's light?" he persisted.

"Of course," I answered finally.

"The sun is gone now," he observed, "yet look behind you." I kept looking right at him.

"I'll step back," the man offered with a chuckle, and he took three long steps back, offering me a buffer of safety. "Look behind you where the red streak was."

Soon curiosity got the better of me and I looked back toward where I had seen the crimson fan glowing in the last rays of the sun, expecting now to see nothing more remarkable than a grey bank of fog. Yet there it was, a crimson fan still glowing faintly in the dusk as though lit by an invisible sun.

Startled, I looked to the west, and there was nothing left in the sky but the faintest residue of a withering sunset. The sun itself was long gone and there was not enough light to illuminate anything. I looked back toward the glowing fan which was noticeably brighter than the sky, and far too large to be the result of man-made lights. Then as I watched, the fan began to fade suddenly as though the sun were setting again, long after it had already set. In a moment it was nothing but a subtly darker smear in the sea of dark grey fog.

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