It started with the fog. A thick, insidious fog that crept over the landscape like a spider crawling over its web. When we ventured out into it, to go to our lectures, our meetings, our cars and eventually to our homes, it crept into our bones. It was a chill down our spines, a cold dread, a sense of foreboding, a feeling of being watched, screams in the dark that sounded too close for comfort, but too far away to locate.
We had fewer and fewer meetings inside the administrative buildings and more and more inside the academic buildings. If everyone was already in one place, nobody had to step out into the fog. We began walking to our cars in groups, never alone. We didn’t know what we were protecting ourselves from, but we didn’t need to know. We just needed to know we were safe. Not that we were. But we didn’t know that at the time.
Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into years. The fog never left, and neither did we. If the terrain changed, we didn’t notice until it was already unrecognizable as the campus we knew before the fog. That school was lost. Even the name of the school was lost to the centuries. Now, it is Elsewhere. We are Elsewhere. And if the students have legends about us, about the faculty who have never aged, who have been here for as long as anyone can remember, well. Maybe they should.