My husband and I were frolicking in the waves at the Jersey shore. The sky was blue; the air was calm. But suddenly–yes, this is my cheesy lead into a weird and eerie occurrence—a mist began floating over the water. The mist went from a light and transparent film to a thick and ominous fog in a matter of minutes. I looked back to the shoreline, and I could barely see the guard tower. The dunes and the houses behind them were completely hidden. I looked at my husband, and he motioned to go back to the blanket. As we were wading back to shore, the guards called the rest of the swimmers in too. We made our way to our beach chairs and along the way we heard other people say,
“I’ve never seen fog like this.” Or “This is so weird. It came out of nowhere.” Or “I bet if we make our way across the beach we can steal people’s wallets without anyone seeing us.” Yes, everyone was abuzz with the fog phenomenon.
When we finally got back to our blanket, chairs and the people we recognized as family, we all remarked on the odd weather. My very proper sister noted how the fog made her think of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and the English Moors. I countered that it was more like that horror movie The Fog starring the talented and very big-breasted Adrienne Barbeau where a group of zombie/ghosts hide in the fog and kill the residents of a New England fishing town. Yes, I am the classy sister. Anyway, whether you were a fan of The Fog or a fan of Wuthering Heights, you would deem the weather event weird.
The beach fog lasted most of the day although I am relieved to report that we saw no one killed by ghost/zombies. At 4 PM, the fog lifted. It didn’t slowly lift. If you blinked at 4 PM, you would have missed the fog leaving. Everyone who had stayed on the beach just shook their heads in bewilderment. Being the brazen soul I am, I headed back into the water. I was thrilled that the warm water had not suffered from the freak weather occurrence so I quickly made my way back into the surf. But then, I got a very weird feeling. What if the eerie mist was not hiding zombies but radioactive sea and animal life like those in the Stephen King story “The Mist”? What if the weird mist had hatched massive sharks or crabs that were lying in wait in the water ready to devour the first swimmer they saw? I looked around and realized that I was not only the lead swimmer in the water but the only swimmer. I was target food.
In a panic, I headed back to the beach again, but before I got too far, two somewhat bigger women and some skinny teenage boys slowly started to brave the waves. I positioned myself behind the bigger women thinking that if mega sharks were going to surface, they would take them first. The skinny boys offered no meal value to radioactive meat eaters and they would throw them away and head for me immediately. At least with the bigger women, I had a few extra seconds to escape.
As it turned out, no radioactive meat eaters surfaced. The water filled with swimmers again and everyone appeared to have a good time. The mist became an anomaly that faded from the beach and the swimmers’ memories. Did I forget about it? For now, but if any zombie/ghosts do show up on my beach blanket, I might offer them a copy of Wuthering Heights. Maybe a bit of English literature might calm their carnivorous souls.