I turn the corners at night expecting to run into something nasty and vicious and inescapable. I hug my husband tightly because I don’t want to let myself be dragged off in the night without him at least feeling me tug at him. It’s an irrational fear, the fear of the dark. We no longer have to worry of the wild, the creatures that are physically stronger, faster, more cunning than ourselves. There are no beasts in my home, only dark corners and superstitions.
Perhaps that’s why the fear is so strong. The unknown is the most terrifying thing in existence, or non-existence. It is bred through real world encounters, twisted and made into something we hold up to legends. The ghosts that run through my home are not real, the demons under my bed fabricated, the shadows in the dark on spots where light doesn’t touch and nothing more.
But still I fear the dark. I fear the possibilities it holds, the lack of sight and dulling of my senses sending me into a primal state of fight or flight curling my hands into fists and breathing heavily with my eyes shut tightly hoping if I don’t see the things that live in it’s abyss that they won’t find me if they truly do exist.
I fear the dark, I fear the worlds mysteries like I fear becoming sick beyond cure. I fear the things that may come for me if I stand in the center of my room in the dark and look too hard at the shadows. It’s irrational but it’s something I can’t deny lives within me, most likely a remnant of that time when we needed to be wary of the darkness and the very real threat of the creatures who lived there and could see when we could not. Either way — whether the darkness holds real threats or it’s all in my head — I fear it and respect it and hope to never be trapped in it with no way back to the light.