-Ah, finally some fresh air! Feels good, doesn’t it?
George and Fabian had driven out into the Rocky Desert to get away from it all for the day. People rarely went out here. They were all alone, and it felt good.
-What’s that? George pointed towards a facility further ahead.
-It looks like some kind of factory…
The gate was closed, but there was a pile of barrels and wooden boxes stacked up the wall a bit to the left. They climbed up to have a look.
-They seem to have left in a hurry.
There were things thrown around, rubbish, tools. Some big silos at the far end. A greenish smoke emerged from one of them.
-Let’s go have a look! George jumped down from the wall on the other side.
-Damn! That stinks! Fabian held his nose, peering towards the silos. A red lamp was flashing on a panel. George pushed some buttons.
-I don’t know if that’s a good idea…
Something opened in the biggest silo. Green smoke came pouring out. George backed away, contemplating his work.
Fabian started coughing.
-Let’s get out of here!
They ran towards the car. The mist got denser.
-I can’t breath! George’s coughs were threatening to choke him.
-We need to get higher up! Run!
Behind them the smoke crept up the hillside like an animal.
There was something rising in the middle of the sea of green smoke, just where the factory were. A head. A face emerged.
-What the hell is that?
The smoke kept expanding.
-We need to get higher. Run!
They stopped and looked back on the creature rising. It seemed to be part of the cloud, to be made of the fog. It grew, looked towards the horizon. It lifted a hand towards the setting sun in a greeting, as if it had seen a long lost friend. The head grew. The neck stretched. Longer. Thinner.
It broke. The head fell down into the fog with a loud, soft thud, big clouds flew up in the air. The hands and body dissolved like ink in the sea.
-Damn. Some strange things has been going on out here. Fabian looked at the factory, once again visible through the mist.
George agreed in silence.
The fog lifted. The valley returned to normal. The stench stuck to George’s car for months.