“And from the Fog they come, to find the souls of children to claim…”
The eldritch words of my grandfather, Ullus, which are part of a lullaby he often sang to me before I would fall asleep as a child still echo through my mind from time to time. I still find it hard to forget the story, that of which the lullaby tells; especially around a certain time of year. The particular part of the year in which the nights grow cold and the frost clings to the fallen leaves of trees. The time of year that the Fog rolls in and encloses around everything in your sight until you feel as if you are trapped in your own miniscule world; no matter where you go.
Though I am a man of over two score years today, I still remember in full sense what a haunting feeling the Fog would bring to me as a child each year. In fact, I don’t think any number of aging years would allow for this fear that I still retain to subside one bit. The Fog is still a horrific sight to me, and I still find it hard to get a good night’s sleep during the frigid winter months of each passing year.
I reside still in the house I was raised in. It is a farmhouse of three stories that sits in the center of the rural property of ten acres that has been passed down by my family through many generations since my ancestors’ immigration to this country. The house itself is connected to the nearest public road by a long, dusty gravel driveway.
Since I was a young lad, I have since noticed more and more that there is a strange ambiance about the acres of orchards that surround my home. Something eerily strange and utterly weird that I still have not yet come to understand about the nature of things around this place. The trees are the same as I was a child, as is the vegetation that grows throughout. Even the birds I see fluttering about, as well as the critters I see scurrying along the ground, are all strangely familiar in appearance to those of which I witnessed as a child. It is as if everything here is undying or is un-altered by time itself.
I wouldn’t expect anyone to believe such an unnatural concept such as this, and I have a hard time wrapping my head around it as well. Hell, if I hadn’t cared to research the place of my residence throughout my years of life here I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. What I’ve come to know about the grounds on which my house was built and the property surrounding is frightening. It does however give me some insight on the strange family lullaby Ullus used to sing to me.
It has been a family tradition (by a dozen generations past) that the grandfather of the eldest born son of his own son must sing to the child the lullaby so that the grandchild will then sing it for his siblings and eventually his own grandson. The tradition is an odd one to explain to others, yes, but I once remember Ullus telling me of the importance of the song. The lullaby itself is supposed to put the child to sleep (as most lullabies are intended to do) as well as protect the sleeping child’s dreams. The latter of course made no sense to me as a child, though its importance is clear to me now.
The song itself goes exactly like this:
“Little one. Fall Asleep,
If you want your soul to keep.
If not, then they will knock,
Not once but twice,
Softly in the foggy night.
For from the fog they come, to find the souls of children to claim.”
Those words, coupled with the melody is what makes the lullaby complete and the magic real. I say magic because it is truly a spell that enchants the children of my family and allows for them to fall into deep, peaceful slumbers; protecting their innocent souls. This song must be sung, lest their souls be stolen by the force of supernatural entities – daemons.
It does sound crazy, yes, but it has been learnt to me out of my free will to learn that the house in which I live today was erected atop an archaic burial ground of a primitive people of old. The acres surrounding housing the lost spirits of fallen warriors from battles old and forgotten to most recorded history. Though thanks to the globalizing phenomenon that is the internet, I was able to shed some light on the history of not only my own heritage, but of the lands on which my family has resided for generations!
This has given me answers of a great many questions I have pondered over the course of my life. It explains the trees that do not die, the shadows and shapes that sometimes seem to shift and obscure before my eyes as if I am a schizophrenic, and the two raspy knocks on my window I once heard as a child the night that Ullus had died, as no lullaby was sung to me that night. Daemons at my window that I dared not open at all that dreadful foggy night.
I have never nor will I ever speak to anyone of the knocks I once heard in my bed as a wee one. For I fear (though I do not know for certain of course) that doing so will break such a grounded tradition and shatter the ritual of my family that keeps our own children safe. For I wish not for any children of my family in the present or future to ever witness the horrible knocking on their windowpane. It was a traumatic experience for myself and has its effects to this day, as I accredit most blame for my insomnia during the winter months to that one uncanny occurrence.
I often find myself cursing such daemons in my mind as I lay in bed on cold nights. How much praying will it take to save my poor soul before I die. I will surely never know.
Credit: Dylan Rose