At dawn fog shrouds the shoreline. It softens the outlines of the ship behind me, its rigging reduced to scraps of spiderweb, the fo'castle latern dimmed by the approaching sun. The air is chill and the oars in my hands are slick with brine. Sounds are lost and warped in the salt air, the voices of the sailors left on the ship are murmers, whispers without meaning.
Through the fogbank, shapes loom, then fade away. Shadows, perhaps, of things to come. For a moment I am lost in a white world, wrapped in cotten, at an infinite remove from both my ship and the shore, then sand grits against the keel of my boat. Fear touches me then, and for one moment my heart tells me to flee, to return to the pitch and tar of my waiting ship, to give the order to raise sails and run for known waters.
I don't listen to it. The shock of the icy waters snaps me out of it. Knee deep in foamy brine I drag the boat onto the shore. My eyes, starved for color, scour the beach. No fottprints save my own mar the lone and level sand. Raising my gaze I see that the beach seems to rise up before me, leading to a ridge above the water line. A vague shadow-- a man, a tree, my own shadow? darkens the fogbank before me.
I can feel the wind lifting, bringing me scents from the interior, the smell of leaves replaces that of salt. To the east, gold has seeped into the white. The sun is rising. Soon the mist will burn away, and I will see this land I have voyaged so long to walk upon.