Just Keep Walking by patricia51

(Note: Spoiler Alert! One of the most ironic parts of the movie "The Mist" is the woman who leaves the supermarket to walk home to her young children. Now everybody in the picture who goes out of the store meets a terrible end so we assume that the same must have happened to her. In fact I sat there watching her vanish and waited with bated breath for, well, whatever. The fireworks to start I guess. And nothing seemed to happen but along with everyone else I assumed "Wow is she TOAST".

Imagine my surprise when David is standing by his car at the end watching the military convoy roll by with survivors from the town and lo and behold; there she is with two young children, obviously hers. Well, how did she make it home? What did it feel like? What did she see and think about? So here are my thoughts.

By the way, her name is never given and she's listed in the credits as "The Woman with Kids at Home" so I've made up a name for her.)

She tells herself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. It's only six blocks. And she has to get there. No matter what is out here. She told them she'd only be gone a few minutes. She didn't even drive, just walked.

Damn them. Damn them for just turning away when she asked for help. But she shouldn't say that, she shouldn't even think that. Somehow she thinks that those people will need all the help they can get. This is not time to be calling curses down on anyone else.

Oh GOD! What was that? Don't look around Amanda, don't look. Just keep walking. If you look you'll stop. If you look you'll run. If you look you'll die.

She remembers how that man screamed when the mist overtook him as he tried to get in his car. It was horrible. The things she catches little glimpses out of the corner of her eyes are horrible too. But she just keeps walking. It's only five blocks now.

It's so quiet, as though the mist is smothering sound as well as vision. Her shoes tap gently on the concrete. She cringes at every step. She wonders if she should stop and take them off. She knows the mist is hiding terrible things but if she's very quiet it might hide her as well. But to take her shoes off she would have to stop walking. And she can't do that. Because if she does stop she might see something. What that something might be she has no idea except that it freezes her blood. So she keeps walking, her eyes fixed on the pavement in front of her. It's only four blocks now.

Mister Miller had tried to stop her. She had seen him run across the parking lot, his nose bleeding. She had heard him babbling about something in the mist and how it had taken John Lee. It wasn't that she didn't believe him. It was just that nothing was more important than getting home. Wanda and little Victor would be there, waiting for her. If she was frightened they must be nearly out of their minds.

Her gaze caught something. Something lying across the sidewalk. She nearly broke stride when she saw what that something was. It was an arm. A human arm and it wasn't attached to anything. A trail of blood led somewhere but she refused to stop and look.

She wanted to throw up but if she did she would have to stop walking. And that was all that was going to get her home. She had to keep walking. She couldn't run because if she did she might never be able to stop. And Wanda and Victor are counting on her. She turned the corner and she keeps walking. It's only three blocks now.

There's something crossing her path. She can't tell what it is. It's nothing more than a dark shape moving across her line of sight from left to right. She doesn't slow down but she steps lightly, so very lightly. She holds her breath, praying that whatever it might be it's not looking her way. Then it fades and it's gone.

What was that? It's so hard to hear anything. It sounded like fingernails clicking on a blackboard. A skittering noise like something is running on a lot of legs, more legs than anything normal has a right to have when the sounds promise something big.

For an instant an image of something like a giant spider rears up in her mind and she nearly screams. But she firmly puts it out of her mind. She does that by bringing up the images of her children. She fixes sweet eight year old Wanda's face and Victor's five year old face in her mind and lets them lead her on. She keeps walking. It's only two blocks now.

She crosses the street without looking either way. The children would scold her for that. She always insists they look both ways before crossing the street. But there's not going to be any traffic. Not today. The streets are silent. If she didn't know better she would think they were deserted. But they're only deserted by the people who live here. Lived here.

The ground shook and then shook again. Something was walking nearby. Something huge. Something that towers up out of sight. She catches a glimpse of it somewhere to her right and her heart goes into her throat as it seems to be turning her way. Then she's across the street and it turns behind her. A wild thought goes through her mind as she wonders if it just walks the streets.

She nearly giggles and realizes that her nerves are at the breaking point. She stares ahead again, keeping her eyes lowered to the sidewalk. If she doesn't look around then nothing will look at her. She keeps walking. Only a block now.

The hair on the back of her neck stands up. Oh God. There's something behind her. She can sense it. She doesn't look around. That way lays madness. She trembles but keeps walking. Just keep walking Amanda. Just keep walking. Don't run, don't look. You'll only draw their attention if you do that. If you can't see the bad things then they can't see you. She keeps her legs going although they threaten to collapse.

A thought strikes her that nearly makes her start running. What if Wanda went out? She does sometimes when she's not supposed to. She could get lost in this. She could get...

Her mind refuses to process that thought. It refuses to acknowledge that whatever is behind her is closer now. She turns up the walkway to the apartment building. She fumbles for her keys. Did she lock the door? Will there be time to unlock it before, before whatever is closing on her reaches her?

The apartment building looms and now she's walking along the front, counting the doors. Their apartment is the fifth one. The skittering sound is louder now. Don't look Amanda, don't look. She has to make herself not look. Her neck muscles keep trying to turn her head, as though something was taking control of her. She keeps walking. Almost there.

There's the door. She reaches it, one hand grasping the doorknob as the other guides the key into the lock. The click of the tumblers sounds louder than a scream, a scream she smothers as she senses the creature behind her is rushing towards her.

One quick push of the door and a sideways step through it that lets her slam it behind her. Her fingers fumble at the lock and she sags against the door, quite happy now that it's a solid door. She had fussed about having one with glass in the center. Who's glad you have a slow responding landlord now Amanda?

She doesn't turn on a light. Being sandwiched in the middle of the apartment building there aren't many windows but there's no sense in drawing any attention to them.

To them. Where are they? She wants to scream their names but she doesn't. But now she can run and she runs up the stairs to the bedrooms.

"Wanda? Victor?" she whispers as loud as she dares. There's no answer and her heart threatens to stop. She opens Wanda's bedroom door and whispers their names again. Nothing. She crosses the hall to Victor's room and slips through the door. She holds her breath. If they aren't here she won't breathe again.

What was that? A muffled whimper from the closet. She staggers across the room and puts her hand on the door.



The closet door opens to her touch and she crawls in to the corner where Wanda is holding Victor. She takes them both in her arms and holds them, wiping away their tears.

Exhaustion takes them all and they fall asleep. Hours later they jerk awake to the sound of engines and gunfire. A voice on a loudspeaker is calling for all survivors to show themselves but wait for the troops to come to them. She crawls across the room and flips on the light.

Very soon booted feet pound up the stairs and a muffled voice calls out. "We're here!" she cries. The bedroom door opens and two soldiers in gas masks with their rifles ready enter. They help her up and help her get the children. One leads and the other follows, both scanning every inch of the apartment before they lead her outside and boost her and Wanda and Victor into a truck filled with other people. It roars to life and takes its place in a procession behind what looks to her like a tank of some sort. They go and after a while the mist thins and then it's gone.

As the mist clears away she sees a man standing by the side of the road. She recognizes him from the grocery store. He was the one man she asked for help who had given a reason for not walking her home and it was one she understood.

"I have my own boy to look after," he had said.

Amanda hopes his boy is alright. But he must be or the man wouldn't be here.

The truck rolls on and she rests her hands on her children's shoulders. She can't seem to stop touching them.

(The End)

(Not what I usually write but the idea came to me and wouldn't let go.)