I like to read Ziggy Kinsella’s blog The Feckless Goblin. It’s pretty cool if you ask me. One day I received one of his tweets (you see, I follow him on Twitter), and I rushed over to said blog to read his latest post. It was a really good one.
I read his post Tough on the causes of fear… and for some reason, I was compelled to write. I was stoked to leave a comment, and wrote something I never dreamed I’d ever get down on paper. It terrified me at the time I wrote it. It terrifies me now as I sit here in the quiet of my house late at night, alone in my livingroom while my Youngling slumbers peacefully upstairs. They say writing is cathartic. It can be. This time, though, I’m not sure what to think. I still have no idea why I felt the need to write this experience on paper. Maybe it’s all a part of my “facing my fears mind set” thing I have going on these days. Anyways, take from it what you will. Whether to believe it or not, well, that’s up to you. But tell me, what are you afraid of?
Originally posted as a comment at The Feckless Goblin, author Ziggy Kinsella‘s blog, in response to his challenge, reproduced here at The Scribe’s Desk for your reading pleasure. I give you my comment, newly titled Terror. Much thanks to Ziggy Kinsella for the inspiration to write this. Enjoy!
What scares the hell out of me? Well, I’ll tell you.
When I was 15, I lay in the comfort of my cozy single bed. My room was small and every shape, silhouette and shadow was familiar to me. It was my safe place, my sanctuary. Then one night, for no apparent reason, a presence entered my room. I heard a growl right by my right ear. So close I could feel it’s breath. I was PETRIFIED with an incomprehensible fear. I could not move and every sense strained for reason — an explanation — though I knew there was no answer that would seem logical or believable. My breath stopped and held tight in my chest, my body so rigid, every muscle tensed, frozen.
I began to pray like I never prayed before in my life. Babbling bits and pieces of remembered prayers, warnings from my mother about spirits and what to do to protect yourself if ever you were unlucky enough to draw their attention. Then slowly I released my breath, listening to the darkness.
Just as I started to relax, thinking I had imagined it, there it was again, that low, deep, menacing growl at the foot of my bed. Feverishly I began to pray again, begging for protection and willing whatever it was come to terrify me to be banished from me, from my room.
The inky darkness retreated and vanished and the moon shone brightly in my window again; as if whatever it was that had visited me had obscured the moon’s pale, silvery, reassuring light.
I have never felt such terror. I was exhausted from it.
Immediately I turned on my excruciatingly bright reading lamp that was clamped to my headboard, and lay wide eyed and filled with dread in my little bed. I no longer felt safe, and from then on for many years later, I slept with the light on. Even now, I sleep in the safety of a little nightlight in my room and in the upstairs hallway.
I don’t like to think about what happened that night in the darkness for fear of drawing the notice of that terrible entity once more. I have never written it down like this before now. And even now, in the safety of daylight in my livingroom with my daughter playing on the floor, the TV on and the comfort of my laptop on my lap, I tremble. What will I unleash in the writing of this?
What did I do to come to the attention of the monster that lurks in the blackness? I don’t know. But everyday of my waking life, I am aware of the things that hover just beyond the light, waiting. Each night before I go to bed, I push away the memory of that night, refusing to think about it.
It scares me now, and I think it always will.
*Originally written Sunday, May 9, 2010, by Kyra Dawson as a comment on The Feckless Goblin, author Ziggy Kinsella’s blog.