The wind is loud & whiney, causing a chill run down my spine as I cover my head with the covers. A dog howls somewhere & I hear a scurrying noise in the bushes just behind my house. A part of me knows that there is no monster under my bed nor in my closet… but as the banging noise continues, I warily peep out of my covers to see if the closet door would close on its own if i gave it a long, hard look. It doesn’t. With a false spurt of courage, egged by resignation, I get up off the bed and walk quickly towards the closet and close it a tad bit too fiercely. I go ahead to the main door and bolt all the 4 locks. “Hah!” I think. “Now it will take 4 times as much effort for a strange creature to get in”… And then almost immediately, I realize that if someone is already hiding in the house, it would take me 4 times more time to get out. I shudder at the thought. The night is chilly and wet and my feet are cold. I quickly unbolt 2 locks and slip into bed and cover my head with the sheet. The windows rattle and I hear faint knocking. I’m sure I’m imagining it. Or am I?

The window hinge is broken, so that not only can I not close the window, but the squeaky noise is magnified, tonight. The curtains dance in the wind reaching up to me, patting me to join them. I fiercely try to ignore it all. I won’t get up again. But the long flaps of cloth don’t relent. I remove the covers with a sigh, call myself an idiot for such irrelevant fear after years of living alone and take the two steps towards the window to knot the curtains. That is when I see it… a silhouette. I blink and it’s gone. I always had an overactive imagination. But that knowledge does not bring any relief. I look up at the sky. The moon is full & golden and nearer than I had ever seen it… the entire sky was bathed in a surreal red tint, the wind raged, the trees bent as much as they could, so that they wouldn’t break…. I hear the scurrying again… and quickly peer out the window to ensure there is no creature crawling up the wall to enter my home through my broken window. But I couldn’t see. This was futile. I commanded by heart to slow down its pace. I called myself an idiot once again. I finally slipped under the covers, one last time and thought of the kitchen knife under my pillow, a bit worried that I may cut myself in my sleep. But I don’t wonder for long. I slowly fall into sleep… disturbed, almost awake sleep… but sleep, nonetheless.

Outside, the silhouette reappears.


2 thoughts on “Fear.

  1. Anoushka says:

    I have similar experiences of fear. My hyper-active imagination causes ordinary sounds to transform into soundtracks of Schizophrenia.
    I remember in the 10th grade, I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of violins. I reluctantly got out from my bed and searched around my room for the source, in vain. After a few moments the music sounded less like violins and I realized it was just a window flapping to and fro.

    In Pune, my troublesome bladder would awaken me at odd hours, and I would resist getting out of my bed, walking down the eerie corridor to the bathroom, which always had a soundscape of dripping water drops that aroused my fear evermore. I would eventually have to wake up my boyfriend Riju, and ask him to escort me to the bathroom, he was sweet enough to understand my irrational fear and would groggily wait outside as I gave way to the calls of my bladder.

    I just wonder why we live in fear that mostly comes to light in the dark?
    My bladder is my first enemy, at night. As a child I was afraid of the sound of the flush, and my mother had to keep saying my name while I peed and walked out without flushing.


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