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In my hometown, - a fishing town sitting on a large island, surrounded on all sides by deep, dark blue waters -
Foggy pier
there was a legend about a certain pier on the eastern side of the island that only appeared on certain, foggy nights when there were few people out on the streets. Legend has it that the pier goes on infinitely, or even that its ending isn't in this mortal world, but in the realm of spirits. I'd moved away from the island long ago and decided to pursue a career in business, but after a decade away from home, I thought I'd revisit my old home and attempt to debunk the ongoing mystery of the phantom pier.

It was a cold and foggy night that my plane landed back on my childhood island. I quickly exited the plane and took a look around. Nothing had changed at all, my childhood was perfectly intact, it seemed. Going by memory, I began to walk eastward. I didn't see a single other person on the streets. How odd, I thought. There were usually some people out and about. Brushing it off, I kept going until I reached Eastern Beach, where the phantom pier was said to appear. I paced back and forth along the beach, looking for any pier, only to find none. I was about to head back to my plane before it took off again when something new caught my eye. In front of my very eyes was a long wooden pier lined with lanterns heading far out into the water.

I shuddered before pinching myself to try to wake me up from what was surely a dream. Still, I stood on the empty beach, completely alone, except for the looming pier in front of me. I took a few steps forwards and touched the handrail. It was there, it was real. My feet seemed to move on their own as they carried me up the short ramp and up onto the mysterious pier that had appeared only moments ago. My mind was clouded and foggy, just as much as the air around me. I wasn't even aware of what was happening or where I was! Suddenly I snapped out of the haze and became aware of my surroundings. The pier! It was real! Excited that I had proven the legend, I turned around to walk back to the beach. In front of me was a deep ocean, no pier in sight. I gasped and turned back around, seeing the outstretched pier in front of me. How could that be?! It had trapped me here!

Seeing no other option, I moved more quickly down the pier, trying to make as little noise as possible. It was a weird superstition I'd always had. If you were alone, don't make noise! It meant nothing, I was sure, but it felt crucial at this moment. My feet eventually slowed down until I was at a complete halt, staring ahead at the endless mist. There was a figure moving towards me silently. I was unable to move as the black shadow passed right through me, chilling me to the bone. I turned back around to face the open ocean and watched in amazement as the figure walked down into the water as if it were nothing. Once again I pinched myself to assure myself that I wasn't dreaming.

As I kept walking, I acknowledged several translucent figures standing at the edge of the pier, their grey hands resting on the handrail. I must have irritated a few of them by passing too close to them, because more than one of them turned their head back quickly before leaping over the edge of the pier, making no sound as they hit the water. They didn't have faces... They all wore masks, all with varying patterns and expressions. Some happy, some sad. Some ecstatic with joy, others with faces full of hatred. It didn't seem real, and the further I moved along the pier, the more surreal my surroundings became. The lanterns on the pier gradually became... distorted. The beings around me were only vaguely human now, with extra limbs protruding from the oddest of places. Now every one of them that I passed turned to face me and only stared as I moved by. The only reason I kept moving was out of curiosity of this peculiar pier. That, and finding my way off of this haunted place.

One of the beings walked out in front of me and held out its hands. This one resembled a human more than anything, although it had an abnormal lump sticking out of the left side of its body. It still held its hands out to me, as if expecting something of me. I told it that I didn't understand, but it was undeterred and seemed determined to get something from me. It started making short gasping sounds as it moved closer to me, still holding its hands out.

"I-I don't know what you want!!" I shouted out in terror as the thing approached faster. The mask it wore was a blank white color, with no details whatsoever. The thing became more forceful, now trying to grab hold of me. I kept it at bay by moving backwards more quickly, but it still didn't stop. I pulled out my wallet and withdrew gold coins, which I threw into the thing's hands. The coins burst into flames and melted before dripping through the thing's hands. It now screamed terribly, still begging for something.

"Leave me alone!" I screamed. Suddenly two sets of misshapen arms wrapped around me and squeezed. I turned around to face my captor, and saw it was nowhere near human. It towered above me, and its body was covered in thick tumor-like lumps. There were dozens of wiry, tentacle-like limbs protruding from its horribly deformed body, but most of them appeared useless and broken as they dangled, dead. I turned my head back towards the approaching monster, its arms still stretched towards me. It finally reached me, and its hands passed through my chest and seemed to grasp my very soul as it pulled and pulled mercilessly. I screamed and screamed, struggling desperately to break free of the monsters holding me in place. There was a loud snapping sound before everything went black.

...

I stood at the edge of the pier with my hands on the handrail, not a thought in my mind. I stared into the deep water, feeling the cold mist on my grey skin. I moved my hand up to my new face, feeling the features. My uneven black eyes. My black smear of a mouth resembling an accusing frown. I giggled and put my hand back to the handrail.

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