I like fog, however, last night as a few hundred people claimed their spot at the Emeryville shoreline park at about 6:00, a thin layer of fog threatened to block the sunset and promised to become thicker.
Our friends from Sacramento who own a boat docked at the Emeryville harbor invited us to join them for the holiday. The four of us arrived in Alameda at 10:30 to watch the seven mile parade, had lunch with friends of our friends on their patio overlooking a lagoon, returned to the harbor, and read for a couple hours on the boat while the strong wind helped to blow the fog inland.
We arrived at the park and positioned our fold-up chairs to see fireworks from several cities across the bay. The spectators continued to be hopeful that the brilliant sparkles would pierce the layers of invisibility for our enjoyment. Determined to overcome the cold, people, including us, were wrapped up in blankets, extra jackets, hoods, and one group set up a tent to protect them from the non-stop wind. By 9:00, the fog was thicker than in the picture above. A few circles of colored lights flashed from the peninsula, but we could see nothing from San Francisco.
We turned our chairs to watch Berkeley’s show and joined the oohs and ahhs, but the fog gobbled up that faint spectacle as well. Half of the audience left by then, but we stuck it out even when the fog completely covered the top of each blast. I wanted the finale to be next but it took a long time to get there, and only a final spiral reminded us we had come to see fireworks. As we followed the crowd out of the park, one young woman said, “That’s the weirdest fireworks I ever saw.”
As we write our stories, a setting like the one I described could do well for a mystery. People coming to see the holiday event are interesting characters, some could disappear in the crowd and the cold. I remember several visuals of Sherlock Holmes walking in the fog. It creates an effective cloak of invisibility. Although my novel, Hada’s Fog, is not a mystery, I used fog as a motif because Hada grumbled about it frequently and it repersented her inability to see a situation clearly.
Can you use the 4th of July and/or fog in your story?