The Phobos Chronicles: Claustrophobia
(klôs•trəˈ•fōb•ēə) n.; a type of situational phobia (fear of certain situations) where an individual experiences great fear of small or enclosed spaces. A person suffering from Claustrophobia might be afraid of going in elevators. Many claustrophobic individuals are also known to fear being inside tunnels, caves, mines, or airplanes. They typically report seeing images of being trapped or unable to escape from such places and are known to go to great lengths to avoid them.
“WHAT THE F**K DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!” I jump and look up to see my dad in my doorway. He’s already drunk. “I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO CLEAN THE GARAGE!” He spits as he yells.
“I’m doing my homework…” I mutter. He throws down his can of beer and storms towards me. I feel my body coil in on itself and brace for impact. He stops right in front of me and leans down so close I smell the alcohol on his breath.
“What’s that you were telling me yesterday? That thing you’re scared of? The closet?” He squints his blue eyes at me as I nod. The closet scares me because it’s so small. It feels confining and suffocating. He smiles then reaches for me and grabs my hair pulling me towards the closet door.
“What a p***y. My 16 year old son scared of a f*****g closet. Well, we will take care of that.” Then he swings open the door and shoves me inside. Before I can turn around and run, he slams the door shut and I hear the lock turn. “You’ll stay in there until you stop being such a pansy!” he yells.
As I slide down the walls and curl in a ball, I know there’s no telling how long I’ll be here. He might forget I’m in here. I might die of starvation or something. Tears roll down my cheeks as I cover my face trying to block out the situation I’m in once again. I hear dad start yelling at Mom and cry even harder giving myself a migraine.
I must have fallen asleep at some point because I wake up and there’s no yelling. I’m still in the closet. I hear footsteps and sit up a little. “Dad…” I whisper. No answer but the footsteps continue approaching. A shadow shows itself in the light from my doorway.
“I’m not your father even though I’d do a MUCH better job at it.” An unknown voice fills the room outside the door. More footsteps. A tall man is outside the closet. I can’t see any of his features. He’s surrounded by shadows.
“Who are you.” I mumble. A laugh resonates through my room. The house groans in response. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Phobos. Or fear. Or terror. Just whatever you prefer.” I start to shake again and my chest feels tight. “I’ll get straight to the point. You are going to die. No sense in keeping it a secret.”
“But doesn’t everyone die?” I manage to say clearly.
“Well of course! Maybe you misunderstood me.” As soon as he finishes his sentence the walls seem to move in. I can’t breathe. I put my palms against the walls and push. “You are going to die now. In that closet. Alone and afraid. I love it!” He speaks with evil joy. The walls groan again. Did the space just get smaller? Were my arms bent before? Wait…no…
The walls are actually moving.
Oh god. Please no.
“No! Wait! Don’t kill me please!” I scream.
“But why not? It’s so enjoyable to see you pass by your worst fears’ invisible hands. I can speed it up if you’re too afraid.” The walls move faster. My shoulders are touching the walls now. “Such resistance. Let me up to anti then.”
A crunch and I scream. My shoulder popped out of its socket and cracked. The other does the same and I scream again. Searing pain shoots through my torso. My legs are out in front of me when the door starts moving in as well. I try to hold it back but fail. My legs buckle and snap….backwards… My bones splinter and protrude from my skin. My vision blurs and fades in and out.
“Please…don’t kill me… I’ll do anything…”
“Oh, there’s nothing you can do. I guess you’ve been miserable enough. I’ll end it now.” Just as he says that, my ribs crack and break. My legs fold in and my arms as well. I’ve lost feeling in both. My back and neck start to bend.
“I’ll make sure your father pays for what he’s done. Don’t worry, I know all his fears. I gave them to him after all. He’s afraid of heights.” Another laugh. I give up. I know I’m going to die. I stop resisting. My spine snaps. It’s over….
1 hour later.
“FINE I’LL LET THE BABY OUT! NOW GO TO WORK AND GET OFF MY CASE!” Carter yells at his wife and walks into his son’s room. Something feels off as soon as he opens the door.
“Huh. He stopped whining.” He says as he opens the closet. Carter freezes as he takes in what he sees in the closet.
“OH MY GOD, DANNY!!”
Blood pools on the floor. A muddled bunch of bone and flesh sits on the floor. An eyeball rolls out and stops at Carter’s foot. Then a shove has him going towards the window. It opens on its own. Twenty stories down, the street noise floats up as the floor disappears from beneath him. Now he sees the street. Cars. People. It’s coming closer. He must be falling. Ten seconds. Five seconds.
“Authorities say Carter Heelman jumped from his twenty first floor apartment window today at 4 o’clock. Investigators say he murdered his 16 year old son Danny Heelman before he jumped. He landed on his wife leaving home for work. Both died. No motive or suicide note has been reported, however, neighbors claimed to hear sinister laughing at estimated time of death. Stay alert for updates on the Heelman family suicide murder case.”