Fear of the Dark

When he woke up, the young boy only recognized the growing sense of thirst from within his dehydrated body. He licked his parched lips and slipped out of the covers, his body suddenly hit by the cold air stitched into the seams of the oppressive darkness ahead. His body quivered as he reluctantly embraced the chill temperature and made his way to the door, jumping with each step as small creaks were produced from the weight of his foot being placed upon the oak floorboards. Although the noise was faint, it sounded deafeningly loud in contrast to the dead silence surrounding the petite child. Five fingers curled around the bronze colored door knob ahead, and they steadily turned it until a small click was heard. A tiny hand was then placed against the wooden door coated in a fine layer of white paint, and with a gentle push, the barrier between the safe haven of a child’s bedroom and whatever lay beyond was removed.

The young boy shivered as a new draft of icy air entered the room. A brand new wave of darkness seemed to rush through the doorway and engulf the area, its color resembling that of tar. Summoning all the courage he could, he placed both feet firmly on the beige carpet that embellished the ground. His eyes glared at the corridor before him. It appeared lengthier at night than during the day. He could imagine elongated arms melting from the walls on both sides, grasping at his clothing. He could envision dozens of spiders dropping from the ceiling, several landing in his hair, and others crawling on the surface of his body. Shaking his head, he banished such thoughts and proceeded down the hallway. The hair on the back of his neck stood up as the boy walked past the room where his parents soundly rested in their comfortable bed. There was no turning back, and even if he wanted to, his craving for a drink to sedate his ever growing dehydration only grew. He carried on still, finally reaching the end of the endless path and found himself in a clearing. By then, his eyes had grown somewhat accustomed to the dark, and he could make out a few pieces of furniture and a television set.

The boy slowed his pace and gulped nervously. A sense of peril entrenched the room. He found that shadows would dance in the corner of his eyes, only to disappear once he turned his head in their direction. The darkness seemed even more foreboding than it ever had now. He desperately wished to run to his parents like he had so many times before. Still, he remembered how they had always told him there was nothing to be afraid of. They explained numerous times that his young imagination would always come up with ways to scare him, but he had to learn to be brave and overcome the fear he would often encounter at the hands of his own mind. Thus, the boy’s mind was set on proving to his mother and father that he wasn’t afraid anymore, and he carried on. He confidently walked forward, repeating what his parents had said with each stride. After taking a few steps, he heard it. From behind him, the boy could make out the sound of footsteps, their rhythm conflicting with his own. As he stopped, so did they. His heart began beating faster than before. Had it been his mind playing tricks on him again? He resumed his steady pace, and this time, the only footsteps he could hear were his own.

As the boy neared the kitchen, he found himself standing completely still once more. Figures and shapes yet again found themselves located in the corners of his eyes. He attempted to take a few deep breaths in order to calm down. It was just his imagination, right? He tried his hardest to assure himself of that, but somewhere in the back of his mind, he doubted it, and that growing sense of fear showed as he walked even faster. He kept his eyes focused ahead, not daring to look behind him for even a second. The off-beat footsteps returned once more, and the child responded by going even faster. He felt the wind start to pick up and brush by his face as he realized how quickly he was moving. He was certain that his imagination was causing him to hear the footsteps on his trail and the forms appearing in the corner of his eyes. He was certain that his imagination was the reason behind his deepest, darkest fears, which were beginning to make their presence known within his soul. He knew for a fact that only his imagination could make his heart beat the way it did, and soak his palms in a thin layer of sweat. His parents would never lie to him, would they?

Regardless of what he knew to be true or not, he was close to arriving at his destination. He began a full sprint as he felt the darkness clutching his ankles and arms. He could hear the footsteps aimlessly walking around, and more illusions of figures accompanied them. The boy had one hell of an imagination, and he had one thought racing through his mind. He needed to find a light switch. He was desperate for light that would illuminate his surroundings, driving back the treacherous night and whatever creatures lived within it, their sole purpose in life to capture him and munch on his bones. He was so close, just a few feet away. The boy leaped forward and pushed a small lever upwards, soaking him and the area in a warm, much appreciated glow. He sighed deeply, relieved to be out of danger at last. However, before he could even move, his heart stopped, and his eyes widened.

Behind him, he heard a voice most unfamiliar. It was rough, guttural, and moist, and it echoed throughout the entire house.

“Finally… I can see you.”

  • JaneTheReader

    Oh, I loved the ending. I liked the vivid description, it helped to create more tension. Although I am not afraid of the dark, this story still sent shivers down my spine.