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Finding Phobias

By @joynicolewrite

phobias

I get home from school a little later than usual. When I go to unlock the front door, it won’t budge. I figure it’s just broken and walk around to the back door. When I go to grab the key that’s normally hidden under the mat there’s nothing there. I look around in the nearby plants, maybe it just got put in the wrong spot. After a good five minutes of searching I finally find it hidden under a nearby bush. I insert the key in the lock, open the door, step through it, and then suddenly something slams into my face and I blackout. 

When I wake up I’m in a large, empty white room with a mirror on one wall. I feel something wet on my face and look down to see a puddle of crimson blood. I glance at my reflection in the mirror and see my nose is bleeding. I try to think back and remember why I’m bleeding, but I can’t remember anything from after school. Before I can even form another thought a loud clunk erupts, and suddenly the walls are moving. All four sides of the room come at an alarming speed towards me. I glance around completely unsure what to do. As the walls close in I begin to feel as if I’m being lifted up and I realize the floor and ceiling are coming together as well. My heart starts pounding as the walls continue to come at me with a steady pace. My heart is beating out my chest and I feel my breathing become heavy. My hands start to shake, as I gasp for air. It feels as though someone is clutching my windpipe within their fist and slowly closing off all air. The back wall jams into my back and I double over on the ground. Coughing, crying, gasping for air, as blood drips down my face intreminglinging with my tears. The side walls slam into my shoulders as the ceiling drops low and then stops, not even half an inch above my head. I sit there, surrounded on all sides by bare white walls. I’m crouched over, my head in between my legs. I can’t move, and my neck begins to ache. It’s almost as if I can feel the air slowly being drawn out of my area of confinement. 

I’m confused, I’m exhausted, and most of all I’m terrified. 

I gasp for air, my heart feels like it’s literally going to explode. I can’t breathe. I can’t take it anymore. Who’s doing this to me? I let out a muffled scream and then it’s over. I’m alive. I’m no longer in the white room. I’m laying in a stiff bed, with wires attached all over my body, and a scratchy blue blanket on top of me. I go to call out for someone but then I’m at the beach, with my mom and dad. I rush over to them and give them a huge hug. My dad grabs my hand and leads me into the water. We swim and splash around in the salty waves, until the roll of thunder warns the lifeguards. They call us out of the water and I swim towards shore, but I can’t leave the dark water. Everytime I go to get out I get pulled back in, further and further. Suddenly I’m in the middle of the ocean. The sky grows dark, and gray clouds cover the sky. I look up and the sky turns a weird color, it looks as if it glitches, and behind the cloud is a bright fluorescent light like the ones at the dentist. Then as quickly as it came, it was gone. My attention returns to my predicament. The water becomes frigid. I begin to shake, and I feel my legs become heavy. They feel like lead, dragging me down to the dark depths of the ocean. I look around me and see there’s nothing for miles. I’m surrounded entirely by nothingness of dark water. Suddenly the waves begin. Slowly at first, but gradually they become larger and larger. A wave crashes over my head, the saltwater stings my eyes and my throat burns. I gasp for air through the choppy waves. Another wave crashes over me. My head momentarily suspended under the icy waves. My head aches and my throat burns. I try to swim back to the surface but my legs weigh me down. I sink deeper and deeper. I’m encased in dark, empty, water. The ocean weighs down like a heavy blanket pinning me down.  It feels like it pins my lungs down, releasing any air left in with me. I can’t breathe. My head feels dizzy, and everything goes blank. 

I open my eyes to the silhouette of a man, looming over me. My eyes focus and he smiles a wicked smile. “Good, you’re awake,” he says in a deep raspy voice, “You probably have a lot of questions and we have some things to tell you.” I close my eyes as a piercing ache creeps behind my eyes. He presses a button and suddenly the back of the stiff bed I lay on begins to raise. I’m now sitting up, facing him. I’m in a small, cramped room. The room is entirely black, with nothing except a bedside table covered in needles and weird colored liquids in small glass bottles. A window sits directly in front of me, and on the other side I see an older  man and women in crisp lab coats. A blue blanket lays on top of me. I try to move my arm, but realize I am strapped down to the bed. The man clears his throat and begins speaking, “We  brought you here to test something. You are our guinea pig, per say. You should feel honored really, that you are a part of such an important experiment. You have been injected with a serum which targets your worst fears, or phobias. It puts you through a life-like simulation, from which there is no escape until you are released by someone from outside the simulation. You have experienced two of three of these simulations, You will now enter the final simulation.” I’m so confused. I try to say something but my voice is scratchy from screaming and Who is this man? How did I get here? I try to process this new information. Each experience has targeted one of my worst fears. There is only one left, and I dread the oncoming experience. My eyes become heavy and I struggle against the serum for as long as I can, until it gets the best of me and my eyes shut. 

My scenery has changed once again. I am now surrounded by nothingness. There is only a void encompassing me. I feel a pit within me. A feeling of emptiness and hopelessness. There’s no escape from these constant nightmares. My worst fear is the fear of being alone. Some call it autophobia or monophobia. But my fear is different. It’s not simply that I don’t like to be alone. It’s the idea of nothingness surrounding me that frightens me. The idea that I am alone with my thoughts. With a void of space to be filled by endless thoughts and questions. I sit there. My thoughts come, one after another. Why am I here? How do I escape? Is it hopeless? I’m so tired of it all. I just want to go home. Why can’t life return to the way it was? Am I going to die here? Each thought adds one more layer to the weight atop of me. I begin to feel suffocated. I can no longer breathe. There is too much weighing down upon me. It crushed my chest, and I crumble into a ball. Tears begin to stream down my face. I let out a sob. Sobs rack through my body. My hands are shaky and my breaths are shallow. I feel as if I sink into the void, and suddenly I’m awake. Once again the fluorescent light looms above me. Everything is blurry. I close my eyes, and let out a shaky sigh. The nightmares are over. Or are they? What comes next? What will these people do to me? They’ve already put me through my worst fears. Can they really do something worse than that? 

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