I see you all. All the different people. Running around like ants in a farm that has been shaken too hard. You get angry at the little things — your coffee when the barista gets the order wrong, the weather because it always seems to be raining, and the jammed printer in the back of the office that never seems to work. I see you. But you don’t always see me.

I am a cloud hovering over everyone, waiting for the right moment to let all hell break loose. To let the lighting surge through your heart and the thunder burst in your eardrums. I start with a drizzle, small warnings that I am close, but you put up an umbrella and curse the gods. Oh, but you are so wrong. I am no god, wait till you see the eye of the storm. But you never look up to see my raging clouds.

I am the monster hidden under the bed, the one you always get a glimpse of but can never catch. I have fangs and long hair that drips to the ground like a willow tree. My eyes are black and inky and always watching. You see the glimmer of light in my fangs as I scowl. I slowly crawl back under the bed but you never go further than to pull your covers back over your eyes.

I am that one guy waiting in the wings. I watch the show as you sing and dance and run around the stage. You look so happy, so naive. I stare at the production lights through my thick glasses. No one notices me. I am the theater geek who can ruin the show with a push of a button. I see the makeup plastered onto your faces and and your mouths frozen in smiles, but your eyes don’t match the scene. You look to your left as you gallop across the platform, only to watch me close the curtains one final time. You see me, but you don’t stop my actions. You don’t even bow for the wonderful show you put on. Honestly, you fooled us all.

I am the cat waiting to pounce on the mouse. Licking my jet black paws, I imagine devouring the small creature. The mouse doesn’t notice me. It scampers back and forth, creating some sense of order in its life. And when it finally glances at my sleek fur and long whiskers, it does nothing more than wait eagerly for its demise.

I am confused. Why don’t you run? I predict it is because you know that I am only a part of you. A mere shadow, changing shape every day. You created me. With every one of your actions, you give energy to my storms and you pump blood into my veins. You give me life, only to have me destroy yours. You see me in the scariest of your nightmares and in the shadows where no one bothers to look.

I create tornadoes that wreaked havoc through your neighborhood, tossing your life into a pile waiting at the garbage dump. I take your bed sheets, the ones you used to cover your eyes, and I wrap them around your fragile neck. I take the air out of your lungs and you lie limp in my arms. I close the curtains and break the props, smiling as I go. I eat the mouse, its tiny bones crunching on my sharpened pearly teeth. I am made to be remembered. And yet I am still the forgotten piece of your soul, the memories you chose to leave behind. I am your worst enemy. I am you.                       

I am fear.


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