On January the 25th of this year, I wrote a blog called Summer of Fog:
I reminisced about running down the main street of a small Victorian town and finding James Herbert's The Fog at the local newsagency.
That town was called Marysville.
Last week, as shocking fires swept across Victoria and took almost 200 human lives, Marysville was destroyed.
This (above) is the street I described; the photo was taken after the fires swept through.
Ironically, the poetic illustration below (from a later paperback edition of the book), depicts dark clouds that also resemble smoke.
Totally co-incidental, yes, but eerie, nonetheless.
Now, a week later, residents of Marysville have voted to rebuild the town and restore it to its former glory.
I feel a close connection with Marysville. It was one of my favorite destinations for romantic getaways; my family spent many holidays there; and I shot a Super-8 zombie feature in the surrounding hills called Undead ('84) long before the Spierig Bros. made an Undead ('03) of their own with a chunkier budget.
It was, and will be again, a quaint, friendly, safe, spectacular town at the base of a massive mountain range boasting almost primeval scenery.
Marysville is often wrapped in morning fog that lends it a fantastique, ethereal quality. When it clears, the sun showers the town in brilliant, embracing light.
There is no mystery why it is a favored daytripper's destination.
My best wishes go out to my fellow Victorians and the people of Maryville and other towns who have suffered so much in the fiery clutches of this tragedy.
I look forward to visiting Marysville once again when it rises from the ashes.
And I'll be sure to check the newsagency for the new James Herbert book.