Trio No. 3 is today’s daily prompt. It asks for an any genre piece that mentions: a dark night, your fridge and tears. This is my response, a short piece about those people who fear the dark.
You remember those nights when you were young. Those nights you woke screaming from your dreams and no matter how hard you tried you couldn’t go back to sleep. The darkness of the night was forever present so that every time you dared to close your eyes they snapped back open at some imagined terror. Those nights you were too afraid to even turn on the light in case the horror was real. So instead you sat in silence bundled up in your duvet a quivering wreck with tears streaming down your face. Until the sun finally penetrated your curtains telling you all was well, letting you curl up with tear streaks on your face and catch a few short hours of sleep.
Years later you still couldn’t really say that a bad dream was nothing to worry about. You still couldn’t just roll over and go back to sleep because that fear was still there. You just refused to admit it; refused to be seen as a child scared of the night. So you lied to yourself. You told yourself that you were hungry and you crept down to your fridge to steal some food. You slipped into the kitchen for a drink and then you curled up on the sofa to watch the TV. You’d fall asleep there and when the sun came rousing you from your slumber you’d slip back upstairs and into bed. No one would ever know that the dark night had scared you.
The thing is though; we’re all scared of the night. Of the terrors the night might hold. It’s a primal instinct wired into us to protect us from those very real horrors from aeons ago. It’s like the prickle on the back of your neck and there’s nothing you can do about it. So you push it away, hide it from yourself. The truth, though, is that you’re still scared of the blackness that comes at night.
It’s only children that dare to admit to being scared; that dare to admit they want someone to protect them from the darkness. As you grow older you start to see it as a weakness in yourself if that impenetrable blackness frightens you. How can it be a weakness if it’s a natural instinct that protects you? Are children really more human than you? They’re still in touch with their natural instincts; they haven’t pushed them away and buried them. Just who might you be if you dared to let them out.