I've always been the scaredy type. Ever since I have remembered, I've been afraid of the dark. I think there are two types of fear, rational and irrational, and fear of the dark has always looked like the later.
I guess it's just that fear of the unknown and the primal memories of our ancestors hiding in caves so they wouldn't be hunted by bigger animals that made me afraid of it. But if there's something I fear more than dark,and it's long, empty hallways.
My house (or apartment to be more precise) is not very special, I've lived here for my whole life, been in every single nook and cranny, played in every corner, and looked upon every square meter of it. And yet, after all those years, there is one part of it I still can't help but avoid at late hours at night ... the main hallway. I won't dwell too much in details, but to help you picture it, it's a couple meters long passage that connects two rooms, and on one end the bathroom, on the other the living room.
I can remember when I was a little kid trying my damn hardest to sleep in my huge, lonely room, covered head to toes with my blanket, remaining static (You know, so the Boogeyman couldn't see me). Sometimes however, I felt the need to use the bathroom, a need I resisted with all my willpower, but many times I gave up, stood up, and sneaked there.
I gently pushed down the covers and quickly scanned the room for those invisible demons that always stalked me, opened the door and cursed the loud creak it made, afraid it would awaken the terrors that rested beneath my bed. I closed my eyes, passed through the portal, and found myself standing in the middle of the hallway, besieged from every side by shifting shadows and tons upon tons of mental unease ...
What was only a couple meters, looked liked a hundred miles, there wasn't a single light, because of the lack of windows and lightbulbs (it was an old apartment after all), but the worst part of it (if I had to choose) was the mirror resting on the bathroom wall, the one single visible object when all lights were off.
One day, as I faced the usual odyssey, as terribly cold breeze blew behind me, as if the breath of the undying telling me to go back to bed. I paralyzed, my legs shooked wildly, my throat dried, and the mirror nested upon the bathroom wall cracked. My parents found me sleeping on that same spot, in a puddle of piss and tears that same morning, the kind of response expected from a young, naive boy when exposed to dread he can't even comprenhend.
Even now as an adult, right now as I write this very page on my laptop, sitting on the toilet in the bathroom, I can't help but notice the lightbulb is blinking madly, my toes are freezing, and the door is making that annoying creak.
My heart begins to beat beyond what's normal as a barely visible black limb crawls into the room. My instincts take control over my weak, sleepy body as I collide against the door, in a futile effort to keep whatever's hunting me from the Hallway to get inside. Eventually, the lightbulb gives up, just as my hope of sleeping calmly back in bed does. And here I am, trying in vain to protect myself from unknown, staring at the one single object I can focus on, the mirror.
My already out of control heart completely flips out at what I see, even through the door is closed, the mirror is reflecting the empty hallway I despise so much, as if the door was translucent. Confusion begins to boil as I feel that very same cold gust, but this time, coming from the mirror. I can't think logically anymore, I just want to escape.
I shift my weight from my back (hold against the door) to my feet, allowing to sprint over the toilet and crashing heads-first into the mirror, or so I though would happen. As I hear the damned old wooden door crack behind me, my whole body is absorbed by the piece of glass, I close my eyes to make the process easier to assimilate. After minutes of denial, I manage to open my eyes, much to my chagrin ...
I find myself in the middle of the hallway, besieged from every side by shifting shadows and tons upon tons of mental unease ...