A bird startled her, screeching a warning as she stepped on a brittle twig, which scrunched under her foot.  She stepped backwards in alarm and brown leaves rustled as she disturbed them.  The bird flew off, wings humming against the silence.

She raised her ungloved hands and pulled on her collar, trying to cover her ears.  But it was too short.  She stuck her hands deep into her pockets which just dragged the coat further off her neck.  Sighing, she walked forwards to the edge of the hill path.

Looking out across the meadow beyond, she saw the mists, obscuring the grass and the tree bases.  She stood there for several minutes watching it rise, become more substantial.  Covering more of the field and the large mill beyond.  Soon people would not see what was underneath.  Soon it would be hidden and all that will be viewed will be grey white cloud.  Like memory, she thought.  After a while it is all you have and then, it fails you.  What’s his name?  Where are my keys?  What was the name of that book?  Who am I?  When you realised you were not remembering what you’d done that morning.  How did that happen?  Sometimes she remembered everything.  Suddenly births, deaths, her current situation in the hospice… Everything hit her at once and she cried out in disarray.  Pain filled her being and the faces flashed before her and faded.  Other faces then appeared.  Ones she didn’t know.  Furniture she did not know surrounded her.  Words spilled over her, around her, not touching her.

She shuddered as the cold permeated through the coat.  Her shoulders felt uncovered.  Her ears were now burning.   Her toes felt almost disjointed.  Her hands were warm, snug and safe in the woollen confines of her pockets…. She smiled as she looked down at her two dogs sitting beside her, confused as they disappeared when she put out her hands to stroke their silken ears.

She looked around panicking for a moment until it was forgotten again.  She looked back over the meadow

“I see the rising fog”, she whispered, and headed towards it