That night, she was woken up by – something. She could not tell what or how. She got out of bed and looked around. Nothing. The house was quiet as before. When she looked out of a window, she noticed it was very foggy outside. Must be this nearness to the sea, she thought. She returned to bed and slept on, undisturbed.
She continued cutting away the ivy during the next morning and then took the car to drive into town. Although she hated to admit, she did need things she could not find in the village, like a big strong torch and batteries to feed it. It would come in handy when there would be more fog, she thought. Last night she could not even see the shed anymore!
That evening, the fog drifted in gradually, but by the time she went to bed, it was thickening. Although it was only September, Marion felt a chill in the air. Winter must be coming soon, she predicted. Must remember to find some wood to burn into the fire-place.
The evening the Holts came over the mist was gone. But as she mentioned it, Martha gave her a strange look.
“Mist? We did not see any mist the last evenings. Did you, Harry?”
“No, but we’re farther away from the coast. Can be very local, you know.” For just one moment, Marion thought this was strange, but in the course of the conversation she let it go. It proved to be a very agreeable evening, and she had to admit she liked the Holts more and more. The question of the firewood naturally came up and Harry promised to have his gardener bring over some kindling for the hearth.
“We have too much already, so you have to accept it,” he told Marion.
By eleven o’clock the Holts left. Marion cleaned up and went to bed. That night she had to go to the bathroom-probably all that drink! And she noticed that the mist had returned. The temperature had dropped considerably as well. She put the heating on, but it did not seem to be working. Have to call Mr. Benson tomorrow, she thought, before returning to bed and putting on an extra blanket.
She made the call first thing the next morning.
“Benson real estate. Jim speaking,” she heard.
“Oh hello, Jimmy. Marion Lacey here. Is Mr. Benson around?”
“No, he isn’t, but can I help you?”
“Well, it appears the heating system is not working properly. I wanted to turn it on yesterday, but to no avail.”
“Right. I’ll contact our man. Would this afternoon be ok for you?”
“That’s fine with me. I’ll be expecting him.”
Jim was as good as his word. Around three p.m. a man walked up the path to the cottage, carrying a toolkit.
“I’m from the real estate agency,” he announced. “You have a problem with the heating system?”
“That’s right,” Marion answered. “I’ll show you where.”
“No problem, I know my way around here,” the guy said. He walked straight to the cabinet with its built-in heater and started to check everything. After a while, he told her:
“There seems to be nothing wrong with it, Miss. Can you switch on the thermostat for me?”
She did, and indeed, after a while, the radiators became warm.
“Probably a bad contact,” the man concluded. “Should work fine now.”
When evening fell, she set the thermostat on 70 degrees. After an hour the room still was not warm. She rose from the sofa and laid her hands on the radiators. They felt warm, but why then could she not feel their effect?
The following days repeated the same pattern. Thick fog in the evenings and cold in the house. Marion had armed herself against it. She had made another trip to the city and bought an electric blanket to use in the bedroom and thick plaids to cover her up when relaxing on the sofa. That way, the cold did not bother her. She soon found out that the strange symptoms only happened at night and not in the presence of others.