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Spring Death Week 4 – Phobias

A guide to Pantsing_Edited

Hey all, welcome to week 4 of Spring Death month (Wait… week 4? And next week is… week 5? Of one month. Right….. Well less deadline pressure so I’ll take it!) and although I haven’t posted any short stories or excerpts, I’m still writing. There’s just a lot happening all around and I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m not complaining or giving excuses, just informing you that the writing is going despite challenges. Also, I’ve written the 5th of 10 stories so in the next 8 days I’ll have to write 5 more.

Theme

This week’s theme (I know it’s Thursday, this week is practically over haha) is Phobias. Things you’re afraid of… or rather things I’m afraid of. Not that I’m afraid of red roses but did you know that Anthophobia is the fear of flowers. Imagine with me the poem Seeping Scarlet Screams from my Tuesday Poetry thing.

You’re lying in bed, staring at the ceiling because you can hear the quiet shuffle of vines against your wall. You’re sure they are moving but everyone insists it’s just the wind. Just the wind. Eventually fatigue drags you into the silent depths of sleep, dreamless quiet that encompasses your entire being. It blocks out the constant scratching sounds outside your window, the rasping of wood that seems to be coming from the inside. Until you awake to the shrill sound of crockery smashing onto the floor from beyond your shut door. Staring wide eyed at the ceiling, you wonder what has happened. Your mind tries to both persuade and dissuade you from investigating the sound.

Inner You 1: “It’s nothing. Just the wind.”

Inner You 2: “The wind inside the house? And can you hear that?”

Inner You 1: “It’s outside. Against the wall. That’s it. Just. Outside. We can go check. Open the door and check.”

Inner You 2: “It sounds closer. Outside the door. We should grab the tennis racquet? Maybe a pair of scissors too.”

Inner You 1: “Rubbish. It’s. Nothing. It’s nothing okay. Let’s just sleep until…”

The scratching noise is undoubtedly outside the door, then against the door, then past the door. You can hear the slithering scraping sounds. You imagine the thorns on the twisting emerald vines weaving their way to the bed. The riiiip of cloth you imagine to be your clothes strewn over the floor. You hope they hinder whatever it is. The sheet under you begins to shift slowly. The tearing sound rises from below the bed as more of the sheet slides out from you. By now you’re aware of what is climbing the side of the bed. You’re aware of the sound of your heart beating just below the ominous grating drawing closer. And then you feel the first set of pricks wrapping around your ankle like tiny teeth.

Dun dun dun *Cue music end ending credits


What phobias do you have? Have you ever had to battle against your particular phobia? How did you do it? How did you feel? What brought you to that situation? I would love to hear it.

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About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

7 responses »

  1. I did a project on phobias for health class when I was in middle school. I can’t remember too much of it now, but I did put on the most obscure phobias I could find. There’s a phobia for absolutely everything.

    Reply
  2. I’m claustrophobic. So much so that I can’t stand it if someone is close to me, and can’t sleep if there’s something on my nightstand. It’s getting out of hand dammit!

    Reply
  3. I really, really enjoyed this post. I have a fear of traveling over bridges (Wonder if there is a name for that?). I know where it came from. When my brother and I were small children, my Dad thought it was hilarious to swerve the wheel toward the edge and yell,”We’re going over the edge!” We kids would scream, partly in fright, partly in fun, but now as a driver, high bridges, especially, make me break out in a sweat until we’re across. Funny how childhood fears continue into old age.

    Reply

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