The Stalking Fear
I was raised in the suburbs of the city, a place of peace, a cul-de sac no less, where there was never the roar of traffic, or the danger of the pressing crowds. We were close to the coast, and a sea breeze would often haul itself through the streets, and occasionally, if ever I were to clamber onto the roof of my house, I would see the masts of the ships as they passed, rising and falling with the hidden exhalations of the ocean. My dreams were often given life by the chiming of wind charms, hanging loosely from the branches of a tree across the road, and sometimes I wondered if they were not wind chimes at all, but dream catchers, and my night time fantasies were being held, somehow preserved. Mine was a peaceful childhood, but not one free from danger. My parents took me, one day, to the end of our cul-de-sac, where the larger, main road tore by, and pointed it out to me. Their hands on my shoulders, they pointed, whispering in hushed tones, and directed my eyes to The Fear. At first it did not see us, did not feel our gaze, and I stared intently, curious, afraid, perhaps even excited.“That is The Fear” they said, and there was indeed terror in their voices, too.After a few moments, the monster chanced to look up, caught my eye and began to advance, with all the awful intent of its shadowy gait, its hunched form sending such a stab of horror through my heart, that I fled of my own accord, without the need of any further warning. From that day onwards, though, my eyes would find The Fear, for it would lurk in crowds, slip between the domes, the cathedrals of our city and stalk my every step. Sometimes I would glimpse it through a throng of people, at other times it would appear alone on a deserted street, waiting, beckoning, and I would be forced to alter my path, find a detour to avoid it. Gradually, it came to haunt my dreams too and I began to hope that the wind chimes were not dream catchers after all, for I dreaded that they would render my nightmares real, and then The Fear would be all around, lurking ominously at every corner.In time I grew, aged, and moved away from my little house in the cul-de-sac. Life worked upon me all those influences which life does, and I took various jobs, occupied various houses and travelled to a number of different places in the world. Always, though, The Fear would stalk me. With every encounter, my absolute terror swelled, for there truly was no escape. I would encounter it in the mountains, standing tall, leering from the highest peaks, I would meet it whenever I moved into a new house, for it would be my neighbour, or standing across the road, its eyes burning into me. My life was unsettled, I could not remain in one place for long, as I was trapped in perpetual flight, doing my upmost to flee The Fear. Eventually it came even to anticipate my escape, for I would settle into the safety of an airship only to spot The Fear, seated a few seats in front of me, grinning its broken grin, its eyes rolling with their demonic, deranged motion. Truly, there was no escape, no haven, and I was driven close to insanity, the sheer energy required to maintain the state of perpetual dread was surely enough to overwhelm my feeble body, topple my frayed mind. There were even times when The Fear would make a play at disappearing. I would be liberated for a day, sometimes even a week. At first there was immense relief in such freedoms but then it would materialize afresh, more terrible for having been away, and, on future occasions, I would dread its absences even more than its physical presence, for I knew it would return, knew that it would always be with me. I could not even marry, I dare not grow close to anyone, for if ever I formed a relationship with another person, I would see The Fear lingering behind them, caressing their hair, their throat, with its claws, licking its lips, threatening. At this point I would always abandon my love, my brief romance, for I could not endanger the life of another person. The Fear wanted me, me and nobody else.Life was indeed a torment, a jumbled journey composed only of terror, until the day that I realized my flight could not go on. I was bankrupt, broken, an empty shell, hardly able to crawl from my bed, least of all crawl from the country. I would have to remain. I had purchased, with what little money I still possessed, a small, two storey house beside a beach. A stark departure from my childhood days, the beach was sparse, dead – the sound of the sea was a hoarse rasp, rather than a deep roar, and every morning I would discover all manner of flotsam washed up on the sand, presumably swept in from wrecks on the ocean. Dutifully, just as it always had, The Fear found my little sanctuary and, upon a still night, the stillest night I can ever recall, it arrived to claim me. Bolting all my doors, sealing all my windows, I scurried up to the second floor in the hope that it would leave, would abandon me. I could not flee. There was nowhere and nothing, and now it was scaling the wall of my house. Behind the curtains came the tapping. The tap tap tap rhythm of The Fear against the window. Paralyzed, I stumbled backwards, covered my ears, attempted to vacate my mind, but always the sound, the tap, tap, tap of The Fear, echoing in as explosions.I cowered for an entire night, but the sound did not abate. I wondered if perhaps it would smash the glass, force its way in to seize me, but all it did was tap, tap upon the window. Dawn cast tepid rays into the room, and I knew that I would have to face it, and die, because there was no life here, driven as I was to the brink of madness. Hauling myself to my feet, staggering, the weight of the tapping almost enough to crush my entire being, I dragged myself to the window, threw wide the curtains and faced it. There it was, The Fear. My stomach squirmed, my mind spun, but I did not retreat. I did not retreat, and the longer I remained facing it, that dreadful sight, the beak, the claws, the slobbering jaws, it began to tremble. The Fear began to tremble, and I noted its weakness. The Fear was afraid, and I advanced upon it. It let out some audible squeak, a terrified, tiny noise, and I discerned in its rolling eyes a wild, frenzied terror, far greater than my own, a horror which grew unspeakable as I approached it. Was there more in those eyes? I did not care. Opening the window, I gave The Fear the gentlest of pushes and it fell, crashing skull first, dead into the ground.
No, no, this is horrible. You see, the flag will go to the husband or wife of the deceased soldier as next of kin. This flag is going to the son.
Both of his parents are gone.
I have all the respect and admiration in the world for the United States military.
But this is absolutely heartbreaking.
One of the BEST ad campaigns about representation I have seen.
Everyone has a backbone. Use yours.
I just woke up from a dream about when I went to see Harry potter and the chamber of secrets in theater and I was soo creeped out by the spiders by brother had to carry me out if the theater. I miss those days. I miss being young and innocent. I miss Harry potter.