Fear & the Bogeyman
The nightmare may be over…but the real fear is yet to come…
Fear is an emotion like no other, a powerful sensation that relishes the chance play tricks with you, and will take every opportunity to do so. One of the more common times it takes advantage is directly after you awaken from a particularly troubling nightmare. While you’ve tossed and turned through the dream, fear was already on the job, harnessing and collecting, all your prior, abet dormant, frights. These may have been completely fictional, from book or film, or they may have been from horrifying life experiences, like when that friend jumped out at you wearing a hockey mask and waving a machete. Regardless, fear knows what scares you and as it lingers in the back recesses of your psyche while you traverse through the throes of that nightmare, it already has a plan.
Suddenly you awaken, gasping for breath and with beads of sweat forming. Maybe you’ve sat up; unaware of the surrounding darkness, awaiting the chill to subside and probably thinking the terror is over. And, it won’t simply be your eyes playing tricks. Your ears will now join in too, allowing those typically normal noises you’re accustomed to, such as the house settling or that alley cat meowing to the full moon, and amplify to the point of becoming deafening.
At precisely that point, while at your most vulnerable and just when you thought the terror was fading, fear will jump in with both feet and, regardless whether you want it to or not, your mind will contribute and fully aid with thoughts of the boogeyman.
That is when the sharp piercing stare into the room’s dark corner comes.
Of course, deep down, you know that those corner shadows are no different than any other night. But, tonight is different. Tonight, while fright is fresh in your mind, fear takes over and causes those shadows somehow appear oddly different, compiled and contributed to by the darkness. All of a sudden, the terror is back and your mind is filled with all sorts of ghastly ghoulies, waiting to pounce, rip, shred and tear. You look away, close your eyes tight, and look back. But, those shadows aren’t any different and you slink down, pull the blanket up over your head and try to think happy thoughts while secretly praying for safety.
But fear remains, keeping at the forefront of your mind and forcing a third glance from the seam you’ve allowed, between the blanket and the bed. But, fear still isn’t finished yet, and with that glance, you’re not so sure those shadows are the same anymore. Maybe there is something silently lurking. And, if there is, contrary to what your mind tells you, simply nestling down and hiding under those covers won’t save you from its wraith.
Maybe you’d better check that corner, just one more time…
Stay Scared, The Prof.