We fear what we do not understand, and most of all, we fear the unknown, the intangible.
A bright summer’s day and I’m standing on a mountain. From the very peak, I can see below and there are rivers and trees and hills and sunlight. I feel content, and am just about to sit down cross legged, when I hear shuffling footsteps approaching the peak. I stand up, believing it to be my puppy, for some strange reason. Instead, no one appears. I sit down again, the wind mussing my hair, making me smile. And then I feel a fingernail, an actual sharp fingernail shearing down my back.
I panic and stand, look wildly around and there’s still nothing. The sun hasn’t gone in, the breeze hasn’t stopped whispering, but my heart’s racing. A while passes, an hour or two, or three. Dream time is malleable. And then I start to hear metallic clicks, as if someone were kicking at stones and loose pebbles with a hard toed shoe. And again, there’s no one I can see but the warm day.
This time, I hear breathing, right next to me. It gets louder as my tears start falling. And then I fall.
This nightmare had no pitch black darkness or ghouls or witches. It simply had something I couldn’t see, or fathom. Something that frightened me, but did it on a perfect summer day.
I can’t stop looking over my shoulder now.