Vignettes,  Works

What is Fear

Fitful, he ponders its meaning.

John hasn’t moved it from his porch in three days, fear being his master. The package would seem normal to most people but our dear friend is rather terrified. Now this might be perplexing, unless you understood the horror this box causes dear John. He locks himself in his house for days. The food dwindles as apprehension rises.

“What can I do,” he thinks.

On the fourth day the answer seems as evasive as the rat he tried to catch last summer. He wearily sits down on his front doorstep, staring at his intruder with no less tension.

Finally, he dares a peak at the label. Oh, no. It’s true, the gift, if he may call it that, is from his mother. Hands shaking, he begins to disassemble the tape bindings of his fear as if this was some ticking bomb ready to enlarge his doorway along with other imaginative painful effects upon his physical well being. Taking a deep breath, he clenches his eyes from the enemy and attempts the well traveled, but bumpy road of control.

He gathers his wits, ready for the last step. The cardboard lid is lifted under his damp fingers. Again the demon sucks at his soul, like an unknown parasite, tapping away at his energy with self indulged delight.

How could he do this to himself? His mind races. Quick. He must act before he falls victim. With uncanny agility and speed for his extra girth, he leaps across the yard, around his finely pruned flowers, and almost trips over the lawn chair, until he reaches the gaping maw that will consume his fears. Sighing, he drops the contents into the trash.

Exhausted, he falls to the ground and pulls himself to the fence, sitting against it. He checks his watch. Damn. Three hours till the trash man arrives. Four minutes. He pinches his lips. Six minutes. He closes his eyes. Eight minutes. “Enough.”

With uncontrolled desire he lunges into the trash, tears falling across his stricken face. His hands grapple around the box of Twinkies and with devilish glee he skips into his home and his defeat.

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