Smokey Tuesday | FlasH Fiction | Melissa Grant – Jacana Books
Arts and Culture

Smokey Tuesday | FlasH Fiction | Melissa Grant

Edmonton, Alberta had been experiencing apocalyptic weather of late. On Tuesday morning, a mother woke up and assumed the fogginess was because it wanted to rain.  A phone call and a quick Google investigation later revealed that it was not going to rain, the apocalyptic weather was the smoke from British Columbia wildfires. Tuesday morning felt like Netflix ’s action thriller film How It Ends directed by David M. Rosenthal.  The only missing items were widespread panic and a massive city evacuation.  Perhaps, the world was coming to an end. Perhaps, the world was not coming to an end. How was it going to end? Would it start with forest fires? Would there be an invasion of planet Earth by alien people? Would people suddenly disappear one after the other? Would bridges collapse? Would there be fire and brimstone burning everywhere? That is another question for another day. At the moment, the sun was orangey red, you could barely see the next car ahead of you. Employers were warned by the City of Edmonton to keep workers who normally work outside indoors as the fog also contained deadly toxins which could make you really sick. 

Simon Buchou|Thick fog|

The girls and their mother had to go for their piano lessons which could not be cancelled or postponed.  In spite of the weather, like everyone else, they had to engage with the weather.  The best thing about Edmonton is that life does not stop because of extreme weather conditions.  Even when the weather is minus forty degrees, people still move up and about. About twelve hours away, in England, schools have been known to close for days because of snow conditions. Edmontonians will call the British weather mild in comparison to what they experience here.

The mother decided to drive through a back road in the Chappelle Vault area which looked remotely like they were driving through a perfectly orchestrated horror movie. There was a lake on the right and what looked like construction workers from ahead, they drove rather slowly to match the speed restrictions. All of a sudden from the side of the road, the mother and her girls began to notice things that scared them. The mother nearly had a panic attack when she saw a giant spider. But she held on. One of the daughters fainted at the sight of the ugly, bubbly, opaque massive object with millions and millions of tiny curly strands rolled by the side of the car. She was terrified of wigs. The mother noticed that the massive black object was darkest, evil looking wig she had ever seen. The wig appeared to be grinning.  The toddler started to cry as next to him was a picture of him in green slime.  He hated slime. 

Dense Fog. Photo credit: Derek Story/

The lake next to them appeared boiling and busting on its banks. The car suddenly stopped as the engine had developed complications and other cars began to overtake.  The wind became noisy and the car got hot and very cold all at once.  It felt like it was raining outside the car. Huge raindrops beat against the car moving it forward and backwards in the hot boiling flood water. Hot water began to steam and seep through the vehicle and the children started to cry. There was no mobile network. The construction workers had suddenly disappeared and it was just the mother and her children in the middle of the road, in the middle of nowhere. A crowd of grey like creatures began to gather around the car chewing what could have been bubble gum. There were thousands of them croaking. They looked like frogs but their colour was blue.

The mum decided they needed to evacuate from the car as the steam from the hot water made it uncomfortable to remain in the car. She encouraged the girls to lift themselves onto the roof of the car.  It was quite easy for her children, but the mother was heavy. Her body could not fit through the car roof. Her head could, but the rest of her body could not squeeze through it.  The girls tried to pull their mother out but she could not be pulled.  Suddenly, they heard the noise of a stampede. The car started to shake and the ground as well. They heard a beat, a sound, noise they could not discern coming from all around them. The noise was not celebratory or party like. It was the sound of people running, people screaming, crying, shouting and running. No one could tell what they were running from or the language they spoke. Mum tried to ask them to help. But they could not even hear mum's voice amidst of stampede. 

It was as though they were in the worst type of dream.  A little old lady stopped by to help.  She did not look kind, but she was frail and her nose was very long. She looked miserable as she talked with the mother. Suddenly, she grabbed one of the kids and developed wings to fly away. This was when the story ended. No one could take the mother's kid away. She was not having that type of horror story!

They got to the piano lesson and the girls woke up not knowing why their mum was sweating and shaky. The journey back home was less eventful. The mother avoided the back road as she ventured on Anthony Henday Motorway home.




If you would like to send your horror stories (or any other genre) to us, we would be very happy to publish it. Send to

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