What is fear? A reaction from the ancient times, meant to protect us from danger? Poison, sharp objects, killers, death. What about the other things we fear. A fear for fear, all the way down, an endless decent. Is it my mind that I fear, or the things that my mind fears? And then you fear when something can sense the danger, the fear, is taken away, and you defend further. Fear, terror, dread, panic.
I call it my demon, or rather, my demons. Following me everywhere, are they trapped in me or am I trapped in them? Is there even a difference? The steam from the shower collects on the two glass walls in front of me and settling on the darker tiles that complete the shower I am standing in. And so, slowly, the world seems to be separated by a misty border. There is nothing to hear but my breath and my hands
smoothing over my hair as water escapes from it to the floor, to the drain as more droplets cling on. Until there is, or at least, so I think. The slightest shift, something that could be anything or even nothing, something that I simply imaged. And yet, just with that little sound, the glass walls with steam and racing droplets suddenly makes me feel so vulnerable, stopping me from seeing the growing abyss in front of me.
My eyes dart to the side a little and see the shadow line created by the wall and bathroom door gripping each other, and with that shadow is an eye, not human or animal and impossible because I know this place well enough to no on the other side of the shadow is just a wall, so a shadow. As it stares the world seems cold and lifeless yet so filled with the in-between of such and I see her; the shadowy lady. I know who she is now,
just from her eye. We had met a night or two ago, the greasiness of her hair is less visible being built from just shadows, but somehow I know its there with her bloodied, torn, and not quite dead self. My hand reaches out, cold from its deprivation of the warm rain, and drags the fogginess away from the glass surface, and she seems to disappear, made only by past traces on the glass, shadows, and my mind. I know my guests are here, as always.
shift uneasily to the mirror where I can see the big window. Confirming its safety, I shift back the shadowy door area and see that nothing has changed other than the replaced condensation. I look back and the mirror, then the door, and then again. And again. And again, and then I realize I’m now spiraling, fueled by little glimpses of my demons. I fear the soap that's slowly drying into my hair through this attack, terrified of looking away from a place for too long. The short hallway seems blank but not empty. I begin almost pacing around the small space. Checking every angle I cam, my eyes unblinking from all the shadows.
I feel the tingling in spine and out of paranoia a take a second to look above me and at the ceiling covering the bathroom that has never seemed so big. But that second is wasted and I continue to watch my surroundings. My breath seems to no longer exist as my chest becomes immensely tight, almost as if it trying to completely cut off my air supply. I stumble back a little, trying to distance myself as much as I can from the world outside the half glass shower. I look behind me to see if the demons were there and whip back to continuously scan the room, even if I had no reason to.
I half saw the demons, watching me, waiting for attack, even though I knew they weren’t there. I wanted to escape, but I was trapped nowhere, both outside and inside seemed threatening. There was the overwhelming panic; chest so tight I could barely breathe, eyes wanting to escape and look away but unable to…
I heard the little noises again, each from different places. The feeling of terror so strong with images of them flashing through my mind that for a second I felt I’d rather not exist than experience what I was. This feeling of frozenness, panic, and just wanting the half-nightmare to end. So with that wish enough courage was summoned to turn off the shower, open and close the daringly misty barrier to get the innocent and fluffy white towel, and dry.
The steam faded away from the walls as the humidity spread out to the rest of the room. There is nothing to hear but my breath and my hands smoothing over my hair as water escapes from it to the floor, to the bath mat where I can no longer see it. I open the door and turn off the bathroom light and soon the only lights are the dim ones along the hallway and the glow that night gives off through the window. Everything else is dark.
I don’t have to look back and check. I call it my demon, or rather, my demons. Following me everywhere, are they trapped in me or am I trapped in them? Is there even a difference? I know that they will follow me as I try to sleep and will form even more powerfully in my dreams. And then, it all