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The Fear of Knowing

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I opened my eyes.


I began to blink, looking around for anything in the immense darkness that surrounded me.


A small shiver went spiraling down my spine. Where was I? The cold air loomed upon me, as I slowly descended in to a panic. The revelation washed upon me, an incredible horror realized.

I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know who I was. I began to think of the past, but only ended up drawing a blank. My memory was fuzzy, and I could only vaguely remember anything. I began to look for any kind of explanation in the back of my mind. I attempted to think of my personality. Would anyone I know want to put me in this situation? What manner of a guy was I before this?

I attempted to scream, yelling out for anyone who may have been in distance, but only a whimper managed to escape my throat. I coughed, but my throat was incredibly dry, and only a tiny, raspy voice managed to speak.

Feeling around, I only managed to hit some dirt and something metal… something… sharp. I could only feel one wall, covered in moss, but it seemed to be all the other walls were out of my grasp.

In my attempt to stand up, I discovered I was shackled to something… perhaps a wooden pole? It didn’t matter anyway, as I appeared to be too weak for standing. I dropped down on my knees, resting in the dirt and stone.

I was stuck.

As I lay in the dirt, I began to realize that I was going to be trapped here longer than I thought. I was alone, in a room with my own thoughts. My thoughts seemed to be my worst enemy in the moment. My imagination was running wild with new ideas, each on worse than the last. What a painful life it was.

I began to search for new ideas in the back of my brain, but gave up, and went for a much simpler thing to think about.

Where the hell was I?

The first answer to pop in my head was not a pleasant one. What if I was dead? Was this the afterlife? Alone in a room, for eternity? Just to sit here, until your own thoughts tore you apart? Or perhaps, this was Hell. Then the question came back to me, what kind of person was I before this? I began look at myself, thinking. Was I a person deserving of this? What if I was? Could I have been that ungrateful, that I my fate was to be stuck in a box?

What if a maniac was holding me here? While it seemed unlikely, my thoughts jumped to conclusion after conclusion on why I was stuck. My worst fear was realized when I put my hand on my chest.


I started to panic, my eyes widening as I realized the blood was mine. It was emitting from my stomach. I had an incredibly large wound. A stab wound.

It was a clean cut into my lower stomach. The blood wasn’t coming out fast, but it was just enough to soak my shirt. It was recent.

Suddenly, both theories started to make sense.

Suddenly, it seemed like the truth was dawning upon me.

Suddenly… I didn’t want to know the truth.

If I truly was dead, would I just have to sit here for eternity? What kind of life was that? What if a murderer was holding me here, waiting for the right moment to strike me? What if I was insane, and this was their method of curing me?!

If I was insane, why would I be in this kind of condition? In the moment, anything seemed possible.

I sure felt like I was going insane. It began to feel cramped, despite all the room around me. I couldn’t breathe, like my panic was clasping at my throat.

This truly was an endless torment. I knew in the moment that this would end up being my fate. It was the ultimate punishment. I was going to turn on myself. Our own mind will always be our worst enemy.

I stuck my head down on the stone.

Now, all that really mattered was that I was going to die here.

I started crying, a whimper echoing through the hall.

I tried my hardest to think about my life. Was it a good life? To me, it seemed like I had lived my entire life unknown to the fact that death was lurking around every corner. I never truly appreciated what I had. I just ignored all the good things in my life, and always wanted more. I wonder if I was truly successful, or if anyone loved me, or if I had a family.

I tried not to think about the rest. If I did have a family, they would be worried sick. A sharp pain began to form in my stomach. In my mind, I knew I had someone to come back to. I couldn’t give up; people were worried about me, right? Someone out there had to be looking for me. I needed to get out of here. I needed to make it back. In this moment, it didn’t matter if I was dead or insane, or even being held captive, I just needed to get out. I had a life to live, a life to complete. Death was my worst fear, and I wasn’t going to let it grab a hold of me.

I began to tug at my chain, trying to pull forward, but it proved to be pointless. I didn’t care about the truth, and wasn’t afraid of it. The truth is something we can never avoid, and we are going to have to live with, no matter how horrible it is.

I wasn’t ignoring the horrible truth in my life. At the time, it seemed like in my past life, I did ignore the truth. I cut corners, trying to avoid that big black blob of horror that was hiding in front of me the whole time. I enjoyed staying in a fantasy land, where all the problems would just vanish as I continued my life. I think we all did that. It was an idea that worked. An idea that continued to push us forward until the very day it didn’t work. The day were the truth confronted us. Today was that day for me. I was going to escape, and confront the truth on my own terms.

Even if this was Hell, or a psycho’s basement, there had to be a way out. Even if it was to some more torment, anything was better than this.

As I pulled forward one last time, I let out a shriek of pain. My leg began to burn of agony, and my chest started to explode of pain as well. The pain was a sudden wave of agony, and I couldn’t take it.

It began to dawn upon me that my ankle was twisted. It was pushed into a position of unimaginable pain. My own doing? Or perhaps the work of someone else?

The pain then started to become incredibly unbearable. Everything seemed like it was on fire. I couldn’t take it any longer, and I began to succumb to the torment.

‘No’, I began to think to myself.


Suddenly I began to feel dizzy, and rather light headed. I felt my vision get blurry, even if everything was darkness. I began to realize that I wasn’t going to make it. I had given up so easily in the moment. I rested on the floor one last time, and began to drift off. It felt like I was floating.

Floating through the darkness.

When I woke up, I coughed out blood. I didn’t know what was happening to me. Everything just seemed so… painful. I felt like a giant ball of agony drifting through darkness. I couldn’t even feel the floor, and it was right there.

At moments, I feel like I can see someone. A man opening a door, looking at me with a knife in his hand. I can no longer tell what my imagination is and what reality is. Everything just seems like a blur now.

I saw the balls of light in the corner of my eye. I knew they were there. I wasn’t going to pretend they were just my imagination. I could see them. I could hear them. They speak to me about death. They tell me that I’m going to die.

Don’t even get me started on the hands. The hands were agony. To feel them squirm on top of your face, and not even see them was torture. Some days, they are all over me. I can even hear the whispers. Horrible, indescribable whispers which sliver into my ear, planting ideas inside my head.

The snakes and bugs take some getting used do, but that’s not to say they aren’t annoying.

Time is impossible to keep track of. My mind tells me it’s been a couple of hours but it feels like months. Imagine staying in darkness for months. Just imagine. Think about how your thoughts can turn on you, and rip you apart. Think about. Just think about it.

It surprises me how quickly I’ve given up. What once seemed like the simple task now feels like an impossible dream.

I was right. My imagination was my worst enemy. Sometimes I lay here, wishing I would die, but deep down, I know that isn’t the truth. The truth really is that none of us really want to die. We all say we can accept it, but honestly, we all have the fear. We have the fear of knowing. We don’t want the truth, we don’t need the truth. We'd rather be happy, stuck in our own fantasy land. Only a couple of hours ago I thought there was nothing to be afraid of. Now I know that there are some things in the world that we need to ignore, to bury inside our subconscious and continue life without it.

The truth is terrifying. We should never know the truth.

Stuck down here, I should know.

‘I don’t want to die,’ I thought to myself.

‘I don’t want to die!’ I repeated in my head.

I took a deep breath as the tears rushed down my face.

I could see the light, I really could see it. A glowing red light at the end of a tunnel.

I closed my eyes and was ready to embrace death. Whatever happened, happened, whether it was to my liking or not.

I didn’t know who I originally was, but in the moment, it didn’t matter. It honestly didn’t matter.

I was going to have to face death, right then. We all are going to have to face death someday. No one can deny that. It’s just part of the truth.

It amazes me how much I’ve discovered in my agony. Even if I didn’t know who I originally was, I felt like I had learned something about myself.

I was ready to die.

My hands clenched, a rumbling happening around me, everything felt different, until it happened.


What was that?


I began to remember that I’ve heard that sound before… somewhere in the back of my mind.


Was that a… a…


A man sat down, grief upon his face. He hadn’t known what he had done.

A few hours ago, he had hit a man inside a train tunnel.

At first, he honestly didn’t realize what happened. He stopped the train, looked in to the tunnel, and dialed 911 as fast as he could.

When the cops arrived, the entire rail-way was shut down. After a thorough examination of the tunnel, they found the body. He had been run over by the train.

The train conductor realized tears were rushing to his eyes. He honestly didn’t mean to do it. He had no control. He was going to have to live with this grief the rest of his life.

The cops were confused. They didn’t understand how a man like this could end up in a train tunnel, or even stuck in a train tunnel. He was suffering a major wound to the chest, and a twisted ankle. They couldn’t draw any positive conclusion, but they did recognize the man.

The man was a part-time crook, who lived on the streets. He was kicked out of his house a couple of months back, and resorted to crime and drug use ever since. The cops didn’t know anyone who really knew him that much, so they didn’t have a lead on anything.

“Poor funeral this one’s gonna get,” said one of the cops as he wrote something down.

The conductor still couldn’t comprehend the events. The grief was too much. The horror of reality struck every bone in his body.

‘A terrible life and fate this one succumbed to,' he thought to himself.

Written by Tin77
Content is available under CC BY-SA

An alternate ending to the story can be found here:

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