So today was foggy. Very foggy. Like "can't see ten feet in front of you" foggy.
Agnes has been quiet a lot this past week - I think telling that story took a lot out of her. She holds back a lot of things - but we still walk to my work together. Today, I tried engaging her in some conversation, but all she did was nod.
Halfway to work, Opus started barking at something. There was still construction going on, so I figured he was barking at some construction workers, but Agnes immediately pulled him to the side and stopped. I stopped with her. "Is everything okay?" I asked. (I know: dumb question.)
She shushed me and then leaned down to pet Opus, rubbing his head while she reached in her jacket pocket. She took out a small gun and suddenly I was way more nervous.
The fog seemed to thicken as we waited. Opus barked twice more and then started on a low growl.
"Doggy?" A voice called out. It was a strange voice - like the wind blowing through the opening of a plastic bottle. "Doggy doggy, where are you?" It make my skin crawl just listening to it.
A figure appeared in the fog. The shape of a small boy. The fog obscured his face. "There you are doggy," it said. "Nice doggy." Opus's growling grew louder. "Nice doggy with nice lady. Wanna treat, doggy?" The boy held out one hand and inside the hand was a bone. The hand itself looked blue and cold; the bone looked fresh, pieces of meat still clinging to the ends.
Agnes raised her gun and pointed it at the boy. "Go the fuck away," she said, her voice almost a whisper.
"Not nice lady," the boy said. "Just wanna pet the doggy."
I didn't know what to do. I didn't have a gun to point at it. Even if I did, the gun didn't seem to scare it or cause it any harm. Could I do what I did last time? I didn't even know how I did that or if it would do any good. But I could try.
"His eyes are closed and his mouth is open," I said. The boy's face turned to look at me. "And his arms are outstretched."
"He is near and he is far," the boy chanted. "Closest house and furthest star. No more sadness, no more fear. He is far and he is near." He giggled and my skin felt cold. "Bye bye now."
He turned and walked away. The fog seemed to lift and Agnes lowered her gun and put it back in her pocket.
We continued walking and when we finally came to my work, she said, "I know you have questions. I learned a while back that asking questions just leads to having more questions. I don't know why it left us alone - maybe because you were there. Maybe it just wasn't the right time." She shrugged. "But whatever happened...thanks."