We ran. The wind parted my maroon hair, but I did not care. With each jump the distance between us increased. Astonishingly it would not cease.
Yet he halted and lifted his head. Sniffing like a dog, he turned around and gazed into the distance. The process was repeated thrice.
"Why did you stop running?"
He made no reply.
Johannes regarded me, but turned around and stared elsewhere.
"Gotcha," I said while touching his shoulder. Not to my surprise but very well to my annoyance he moved not an inch. "Why aren't you talking to me?"
Silence descended upon us. We stood still, legs and arms tucked in like robots - enslaved to what couldn't be broken. Again we heard the hallow helloes. Now I knew why Johannes had been enchanted.
"Come on then. Aren't we going to look for him?"
"We will," he stated, "but how will we?"
I hadn't understood. Again he looked around and I did the same. How did I miss the fog? How were we to find our way back, let alone find the owner of the sacred voice?
"You can't stay here if you want, but I'm going to look for whoever that person is."
"Marie, don't! Please don't?"
Too late. The journey into the unknown commenced, far away from the midnight eyes, straight gait and curly hair of Johannes.
Often I had dismissed Johannes as less brave as I was, but there were times were his wisdom was perhaps best. And now, all alone and having no idea where to go, I wished I wasn't as headstrong.
"Don't think about such things Marie. You have more important things to do like finding the person."
"Hello?" I cried, "hello?"
I shouted each time I repeated the word. Why wasn't I getting a response?
"Is someone out there? Please... tell me you're there?"
What had become of the person? Had something happened to them? How could I rest knowing I potentially had the power to prevent something... something fatal happening?
I trudged. Each step my foot sank in the wet substance of the earth. When I would reach home, I'd have to wash my feet, lest I receive a scolding for looking so unladylike.
The angelic voice whispered, "Hello?" The wind carried it directly to my ears. "Can anyone hear me? Please? I don't want to be alone out here."
I reassured the person that I would help them. Their words were more audible. Once I ran in one direction, but the voice became harder to distinguish, so I went back and discerned which way to go.
"I'm coming. Don't fret or fear. Don't worry. I'm coming to help you."
Because of the fog, the rock where I tripped was invisible. My eyes were shut closed. Fear and shock strengthened its power. Had the person not kicked me over, I might've stayed there until Johannes or my parents or a stranger found me. It was necessary that someone come and help whoever was trying to lift my body. I heard their strains of pain, but considering my weight, this person was either feeble or idle.
But they laid their hands on my eyes and wiped away the mud. Then they cleansed my face.
"I'm sorry," they said, "I can't lift you up. You're too heavy."
The voice belonged to a young girl. We both wore dressed, but this girl had a coat and wore boots; I was simply barefoot. But she smiled, and I couldn't help but smile back too.
I sat up. "Don't be sorry," I told her, "it's not your fault. Besides, you tried, and trying is better than nothing."
I stood up myself. "Who are you?"
"I'm An - I can't say my name."
Frowning, I asked, "Why can't you say your name?"
"Because Mummy said I'm not supposed to talk to strangers. Plus the Boogie Man may take me away, and I don't want him to know my name. He could be spying on us and we don't even know it."
"Well, you don't have to say your name if you don't want to. I won't make you say it. But please do tell me what you were doing out here all alone?"
She said that her dog had ran away and she pursued it. But she lost track of it as the fog intruded.
"Don't worry. I'll help you fine your dog."
She reached for my hand; she tightened her wrist. I lead her away, further into the unknown.
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