Escalate To Heaven #FridayFictioneers

I stood before the escalator and was filled with fear. I had always believed there was a staircase to Heaven. Hadn’t Led Zeppelin sang so?

At least no one was pushing passed me as I had experienced in life. The people going up calm, none of them had any problems.

An angel appeared and ask, ‘what’s wrong?’

‘I can’t…I have a phobia!’ I cried.

‘Oh, you can take the elevator then.’

I shook my head, ‘I can’t bear them either.’

‘We shall go the original way; the golden stairs.’

I nodded and became more at ease.

‘You know, I prefer that way,’ the angel added, ‘I don’t why we stopped using it.’

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/02/05/7-february-2020/ with thanks).

Winter Sea

sea-on-a-stormy-weather-3010265.jpg

People loved the sea and they loved coming to see it but most of them didn’t stay so only a few knew what it was like to live on the coastline during winter. And it wasn’t all just ‘look at how the sea is raging and how flooded the harbour is!’

It was a dangerous time of year and I having spent my whole life in a Cornwall fishing town knew it well. We had been flooded, power failures, cliffs had fallen to the sea, people had drowned in riptides or huge waves, boats had been dashed like rotten wood on rocks and the harbour warning bells were always ringing.

From my attic bedroom as I lay in my bed trying to sleep, I didn’t need to look out of the wind to see that a storm was beginning. I could hear the wind like the blades of a helicopter whipping everything it could pull up into a tornado. What sounded like a tree branch bumped along the roof then was gone.

The rain hammered on the slates like men breaking stones in the quarry a few miles away. The windows rattled, dripping and water stained. There was a knocking as hailstones joined in, the ice chips bouncing away as they hit.

The sea was making the most noise as if in competition with everything else. All that separated my house from the sea was a road and a wall. I could clearly hear the waves bashing the flood defences and trying to climb the wall.

Wondering if we would be flooded, I rolled over and tried to sleep again. It wasn’t the storm keeping me awake, I was use to the weather. It wasn’t the night light casting multi-coloured stars on to the ceiling and wall, that was meant to help. No, it was my phobia of the dark.

Nyctophobia, it was called. I was on a never ending cycle of things to try and help me or cure me. It came and went, some months were easier, sometimes of the week were better then other but winter was the hardest to get through. It was dark for most of the day and my mind was never at rest from the fear of what might be waiting in that darkness.

Giving up sleeping, I turned the light and read my book. It was strange but I loved horror stories and true horror things. I liked reading about the supernatural, ghosts were one of my favourite subjects – fact or fiction. Tonight, though I was reading about true witches starting from the earliest historical records to now-ish.

Of course, I realise how ironic this is because loving horror and being afraid of the dark don’t go together! Some people said that reading and watching horror themed things was the cause of my problems but there was more to it then that. It wasn’t that I believed the things in the horror books and films could be waiting in the darkness to grab me, it was more that in the dark you didn’t know what was truly there.

The dark made you think something was something else, objects had hidden depths, people looked different and sounds were also changed. I knew there were no real monsters out there, just humans who became like them. Perhaps, there were ghosts but I believed they weren’t like the fiction stories said.

I read and read, sometimes dozing off then reading back a paragraph until it grew light outside.

Free at last, I wrapped up warm and went outside, despite the storm. Everything lashed around me; the wind, the rain, the sea, it was like a surge of nature at war with just me.

I went to the wall and looked down. The sea was high, over the rock breakers and every wave was splashing over the wall top. It wouldn’t be long till sea water was pooling across the road.

Salt stung my eyes and water coated me. The wind buffeted me and I couldn’t stay long. I walked along stopping when a wave came over, not that getting wet by it would make me any drier!

My head cleared, my fears left and I felt easier. Not much was open in town partly due to it being Sunday, not tourist season and the storm. I passed a few cafes, an arcade and bingo hall, shops who’s shutters rattled like teeth. I went to the harbour and watched the boats riding the sea like a roller coaster.

 

 

Coulrophobia #TwitteringTales

clown-365375_1280

Once again they cluttered the streets in their bright costumes, so Sally had no choice but to camp out in her attic and wait till the craze had passed.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2017/10/03/twittering-tales-52-3-october-2017/ with thanks).

Xenophobic

Finance, World, Accounting

Xenophobic: ‘A person who is fearful or contemptuous of that which is foreign, especially of strangers or of people from different countries or cultures.’ From thefreedictionary.com.

The girl making his coffee in the retirement village cafe wasn’t the normal one. Henry stopped suddenly and felt someone bump into the back of him. An angry snappy voice sounded in his ears, but he never heard what they said. He couldn’t take his eyes off the girl behind the counter. Her skin was dark, as dark as the night, he thought and her black purple hair was all twisted together in many braids finished off with plastic pony beads.

Someone, probably the man behind him, brushed hard passed Henry and up to the collection counter. He heard a low muttering and the other woman behind the counter taking the next order. He felt the urge to get out, but he still couldn’t take his eyes off the foreign girl. She turned and he saw her bright white eyes with a dark brown center staring at him. She was saying something, but he could not hear her.

She placed his cup of tea down and moved it across to him. Henry looked down at it, chewing his tongue with his remaining teeth.

‘Did I put too much milk in it?’ the girl asked with no trace of an accent.

‘I didn’t save this country for the likes of you,’ Henry growled.

The girl froze and Henry was aware that everyone else seemed to as well.

The girl opened her mouth and shut it again, her face crumpled like paper, but then she seemed to hold on and uncreased her expression.

‘I’m very grateful though,’ she muttered.

‘I don’t care,’ Henry snorted.

He turned and left, trying not to hobble so much. Behind him voices started whispering, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying. It didn’t matter, he didn’t care.

 

Phobia

Toby told himself not to be afraid. What is fear, but a cycle? If he broke the circle everything would be fine. He took a deep breath and tried to escape the growing anxiety. He told himself that this situation was easier to handle then it seemed. He just had to chip away at the problem and break it down like a stick of candy rock.

He felt the heavy chain of phobia wrapping around him. He selected one of the links and tried to separate the small metal rings. He believed if he could do this then he would be free. The rings were too strong, just like their neighbours on either side. He shook the links and felt panic rising in his stomach as the chain tightened.

Toby tried to think of happier times, calm places, or a funny joke. Anything that would take his mind off and away he tried to call towards him. Running from the fear didn’t help through. Everything became stronger, more intense. He saw colours swimming before him, the wind rushing in his ears. He felt as if he was on the highest mountain of the world looking down into a tie-dye coloured sea.

He thought about that scene from The Christmas Carol movie, where the ghost comes to visit and he was covered in chains. Toby felt like that. The chains were restraining him, locking him into the fear. He thought about an evil hand wrapping around his chest whilst mad laughter echoed in his ears. He tried to stop such thoughts, strongly aware that they would only get worse.

He breathed, shut his eyes and willed himself away for a moment, just so that he could have some space. Toby’s felt like his head had become as crowd as a circus tent on opening night. Escaping that, give him some time to re-collect himself. He relaxed as much as his rigid body would allow and thought of himself sailing away in a boat.

Oddly, the image began to work. He dreamed up the small white topped waves and the waving breeze. Alongside came, the pale blue sea stretching forever and himself at the front of the wooden boat looking ahead. He could hear the water lapping around him and smell the salty air. He breathed deeply, filling himself up with the ocean.

As he slowly opened his eyes, the image faded and felt the fear ebbing. The chain that had been holding him was at his ankles. He easily stepped over the loose links and walked away. The phobia can be controlled, he thought with the ghost of a grin on his lips, and all moments pass.