Fragrant Fog – Room 101

These things tend to be short pieces that may or may not be the beginning of something else. Originally they were 101 words but this month I will allow myself more.  M’s prompt was ‘Fragrant Fog’.


James pulled his coat collar high up around his ears as he left the tube station and crossed the road towards the bus terminal.  It was cold for the time of year and the night was still, unusually so. 

 “God I can’t wait for spring” he mumbled to himself as a thick fog wound it’s way across the Thames and crawled through the cold wet streets.  He looked at his watch as the white blanket muffled the noise of the traffic and the distant chimes of St Clements as they struck ten.

 “Shit” he said angrily realising he’d just missed his bus.  He would have to wait another half an hour for the next one.

 “Hey mate” came a voice as he crossed into the bus station.  “Can you spare any change?”

 He rummaged in his pockets.

 “Sorry no, got nothing pal” he said looking down at the dishevelled man sat next to the terminal entrance.

 “What about brains?  Got any of them?”

 James stopped in his tracks cocking his head, a quizzical look on his face. 

 “Brains?  What you on about mate?  You might want to stay off the booze.”

 “Not sure really, just fancied some brains you know.”  He got to his feet slowly and took a step towards where he stood.  “Go on, just a little.”

 “Jesus, no” James shouted stepping back.  “Back off man or I’ll call the police.”

 “Please mate, I’m gagging” the man continued, his arms outstretched and blood shot eyes wide and wild.  He licked his lips, eyes fixed on James.  “I’ll only eat a little, I’m just so hungry.”

 Panicked by the look on the man’s face he darted past him and raced into the main concourse of the station.  A few people were huddled from the cold and the fog  and buses stood parked up for the night.

 “Mate please” came a desperate shout.  “Don’t run it’ll be okay I promise and all over in no time.”

 James Turned to see the man shuffling towards him as the for swirled around his feet, arms outstretched and teeth bared.   

 “Shit, shit, shit” he shouted and turned to run, his heart pounding and his heart racing.

 As he ran across the road towards the main ticket office he heard another voice call out to him.

 “Hey pal is everything alright?”

 James looked around frantically, picking out a figure stood in the doorway to what looked to be an admin block.  

 “Please, I need your help” he exclaimed pointing across to where the beggar was slowly shuffling through the fog.  “That crazy bugger is after me and says he wants my brains.”

 The man laughed and emerged slowly from the fog that now filled the air about them.  “Brains you say?  Have you been drinking?”

 James suddenly felt less panicked as he picked out the familiar uniform of the transport police.

 “ No I swear” he insisted, “reckons he wants to eat them.”

 The officer smiled and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

 “You know, I could go for some brains myself…”