Saturday, August 24, 2013

What scares you?

You walk outside late at night. A dim glow from a distant street light casts a twilight glow into your yard. You pass under trees to your driveway where your parked car waits. Something lightly touches your face. Must be spider webs. Something tickles the side of your neck. You remember the special on the news about some South American spider invading the area and being quite deadly. Your back itches.  A tingle. Then a sharp pain and you scream.

You’re away on a trip and happy that you found an out-of-the-way motel with dirt-cheap rates, just outside of town. The desk clerk told you the area was so secluded you could scream and no one would hear you. The night had been quiet, your sleep peaceful. But something awakes. A sound like keys jingling or coins rustling in someone’s pocket. A thump follows. You open your eyes. The only light comes from a flickering neon sign outside, bleeding in around the edges of the window curtains, pulsing like a heartbeat. A shadow looms in the corner of the room. A scratching like someone dragging the tip of a knife blade across the wall puts you into a cold sweat and you scream.

The neighbor pounds at your door. You answer and she tells you someone had been peeking in her window. Outside a heavy snow falls. You walk with her to the side of the house and note not a single track in the snow where someone would have stood to look inside. But she argues that the falling snow could have covered it up. You tell her you’ll stop by later and check on her. Later you go back out and find trampled snow around the same window. You spot an overturned lamp on the floor, a broken glass on the floor and red pool of liquid that looks like blood. You turn to run home and call the police. A dark figure looms in your path and you scream.  

Fear is born out of imagination. The spider webs may be real, but the spider a trick of the mind. A strange room, someone checking in next room over and a floor lamp causes heart palpitations. A scaredy-cat neighbor, a spilt glass of wine and a table lamp knocked over while running to get a towel elicits images of foul play. But everything can be explained. And the dark figure?

Maybe it is the boogie man coming to get you.

 Ron D. Voigts is the author of Claws of the Griffin, a dark cozy, available on Kindle.

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