A Dark Fear

1984      (You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear.)

An autumn leaf, very crisp, falls  somewhere in the dark. It is the last saturday in one October. Just after midnight I return home. Framed through the hall door, I see the familiar stage where my father is sitting on  the sofa  holding a newspaper but reading the empty spaces, close to him is my mother flips through a magazine and hums like a tea-kettle. Mostly it happens if I come late. There is a strict rule for the house is that you have to return home before midnight. And tonight I have broken that rule and anxious for the consequences. As I tiptoe into the room and cross it, my father hears either my footsteps or the clinking sounds of my glass bangles, he turns his head. He lifts a gray, slightly worried gazt through his eyeglass. “ You are home! Do you know the time? It is after midnight. You are supposed to return before twelve.”

My eyes float uncomfortably not knowing where to look and I reply in a nervous tone. “ I went to the haunted house with my friends and forgot to check the time. Sorry dad.”

My voice fades away towards the end of the sentence. Immediately my mother opens a knowing smile like a lightening. “Today is Halloween and all the children are having fun.”

My father’s voice deep like a Congo drum booms. “ No it is not right, go to your room and stay there until morning.”

My mom’s tries to convince my dad with the voice like water-bright Soprano in a choir. “Do not be so harsh, she is just a teenager!”  My mother walks with me to the hall. She looks at me with sympathy and says warmly. “Go eat something before you go to your room. We will talk in the morning. Good night.”

I am not hungry so I drag my feet to my room and go straight to bed.

The night around is chill. It is vibrant with tension and fear.

In the middle of the night, I hear a rustle, like a Japanese paper lantern drops in the dust. I open my eyes to see but it is pitch dark. I sit up on the bed, switch on the small lamp that sits right to my bed. I look around. There on the floor It is crawling with its long spiny hairy legs. It is coming towards me. Its wings are licorice black with small bright eyes.My eyes flexed wide as from blasts of photographhic powder, sits staring at itwith mouth half-open. It comes a little closer to the bedpost. My heart beat is super fast, then slow, incredibly fast like I am in a roller coaster, then again slow as the moon going down the sky on a winter night.I close my eyes and suck my breath like iron popsicle. The room is cold as a caveron the one I visited with my parents, on our way to New Mexico. I sink back towards the wall biting my lips. After a few second I open my eyes slowly and look down. It is rustling with its long antennas and slowly opening its wings. Fear overtakes me. I turn and bury my face in the pillow. My eyes are mummified shut, long nose is collapsed, mouth is like thin wax.

Inside my brain flashes the brave stories of princess that I heard from my grandmother when I was a small child. Do not let fear take over you, always be brave and fight back. Yes, sure I can do it. I am brave. I opens my eyes slowly and look down. It is now on the bed post. I take a big gulp of air and held it to push back at the fear. Then  I scream.

The bedroom door opens. My dad walks in. “Are you Ok?’’

I jump from the bed, leap forward and  run towards him as fast as I can. “ ….Yes…” I answer in a whisper.

My father hits switch, looks around and sighs. “ It is cockroach! You should not be afraid to this little cockroaches. Be brave.”

“But dad, it is almost 15mm long! I will try my best to be brave, but not today.” I leave quickly to my parent’s bedroom.

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