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Fear Itself

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What a funny thing, time is. The instant you hold plenty of it in full confidence, it disintegrates inside your clenched fist and blows away like ashes- dust to dust. Still, in a fleeting moment of panic, when you accept all is lost and offer up a prayer to whatever deity, your worst nightmares may just prove true.

Why is it that after the sun has set and every other living soul has gone to bed, long forgotten fears have a way of awakening and wrestling control over your mind? As worn-down street lamps cast a dim light in your path, every shadow becomes alive, plotting your untimely demise.

Eyeing a dark alley uneasily, you scuffle past, anxious to return home to your realm of safety. A second pair of footsteps faintly echoes your own.

You shove your hands into your coat pockets and force yourself to continue on your way, refusing to turn around. Of course it's a figment of your imagination. Nighttime enjoys playing tricks on your mind. And of course the hand that places itself firmly over your mouth and pulls you inside a car doesn't really exist.

A blindfold is tied around your head, denying you even the weakest sense of sight. That pesky time creeps by, freeing your thoughts to conceive every possible scenario that could follow in the hours to come.

When the car finally comes to a screeching halt, you are pulled out of your seat by the hood of your jacket and led down a short pathway. Gravel scrapes against the bottom of your shoes until you stumble onto three wooden steps, splintering your hands. These steps you climb, and a creaking door is opened before you. You are shoved inside and tied to a chair. A musty odor reaches your nose, making you have to fight the urge to sneeze.

The hot breath reaches your skin around the same time a cold knife is pressed against the back of your neck. The low, husky voice of a man says something to you, but the words come as a jumble to your petrified brain. You make some sort of desperate plea, shaking your head ridiculously as tears start to roll down your cheeks.

He's directly in front of you now, screaming in your face, the knife still secure against your bare flesh. You understand he's looking for something. You insist that you don't know what he's talking about, that he has the wrong person.

The blade slides silently around your neck to the bottom of your chin, ever so gently, bringing with it a trail of warm, sticky blood. The bonds securing you to your chair are loosened. You're lifted up by two muscular arms and carried back outside, through a different door than before. You're thrown inside a wooden box.

As the lid is closed, you can feel the air around you grow thicker. You're lowered into a hole while you scream and struggle against the confinements of your coffin with all your might. Though you start to feel woozy, you can still hear the scrape of the shovel and the chunks of dirt falling on top of you.

With every mound of dirt, mingled with clumps of torn up grass, hitting the surface of your wooden prison, you are dragged further and further away from this world. You pass out. Then, mercifully, time itself stops- at least for you.

My friend, I will avenge you. The man who did this to you will pay the price for his wicked deeds. I promise.

...Unless, of course, you still believe it's all a part of your imagination.




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