It was one of those clear summer afternoons, the ones where nothing feels so good as the wind in your hair, the sand between your toes and the kiss of the saltwater against your skin. It was the kind of day where a person could get lost in it all. The kind of day that promises everything and nothing all at once.

   500,000 square miles. It seems so big when you’re out there in your boat or your plane, trying to find land against all odds. Compared to the nearly 200 million square miles of the Earth, though, it’s nothing.

   Not, of course, that any of that matters now. The sky around you isn’t clear anymore. That piercing summer sun is lost behind a bank of fog that came up out of nowhere. The instrumentation panel is going haywire, gauges and meters jumping and lights flashing. Even the compass can’t find north. The fog is gaining on you now, encircling your little plane. But there’s a chance. Before you, as the two ends of the fog bank converge, there’s a window directly in front of you. A tunnel. Hope. Surging forward, you fly as fast as your little plane can go. You can see the little sparks of electricity building up on the skin of the plane and try desperately to ignore it. Everything is fine. Everything is going to be fine. The sky is gone. All you can see now is fog.

   The memorial service was a small thing. Just some family and friends coming together to mourn another life claimed far too soon by the waters of the Triangle.


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