Nothing to Fear But

Nothing to Fear But

Written by Ken Carman

What’s that feeling? As if I have to ask: I’m frightened.

Phone rings. Phone rings again.

I am not answering that phone. Who knows who is calling? Oh, it’s Dave. I can see the number on the call screener. Last time he called we got into an argument. We always seem to get into an argument as of late. So I’m not answering that phone.
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I stayed home yesterday. Just easier. I live on a busy street, cars whizzing by as if they’re bullets seeking human heart, human mind. A bullet to the brain? Now there’s a scary thought. Years of memories, lessons learned, feelings treasured; jumbled up by a small, supersonic metallic mixer as it merrily rips through tissue… changing shape almost like an ever expanding universe shredding what was there before. And the din of the horns. The smell of the poison pumped into the air. The stench of people who dip themselves in disgusting smelling perfumes and colognes, mixed with cigarette smoke curling around their clothes like skunk spray… all topped, like a rancid, moldy, cherry, with alcohol spewing from their every breath: in, out, in out…

So I am NOT going out.

It’s DIS-GUS-TING. And worse, what if I get use to it? What if it becomes familiar, becomes my friend, and I go back to being like… them? Would I eagerly go back to polluting my lungs? Kill off even more brain cells?

Not happening. No, not to me. Guess I’ll stay home today too.
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There’s that damn phone again. After more than a week you’d think they’d figure, “No one home.” Oh, it’s the boss. No, I’m NOT coming to work. Haven’t you figured that out yet? If I answer it he’ll just fire me. No, I won’t even give you the pleasure of proving what a fool you thought I was, what a screw up. I swear you would sneak up behind me. I’d hear you laugh coarsely as touched your lips to my ear, whispering foul, perverse, things… Then I’d look back as you sternly said my name: standing far behind me… at the door to my office. No, I won’t go through that. Keep all it to yourself. Let it all rot YOUR brain.

I know I left so much undone. What was I supposed to do, take a chance you’d criticize me more?

Knock, knock.

Don’t say anything.

I’m not here.

Knock, knock.

Don’t say anything.

I’m not here.

Knock, knock.

Don’t say anything.

I AM NOT HERE.

Patter of feet fade down the hall outside my door.
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That feeling. Like rats chewing on my innards. Hunger?

I look in the fridge, but it’s all been there so long. And what about the pesticides they use? What about when the meat imported from China that had e-coli? Cholesterol? Fructose? Sodium? Fat? Razor blades in apples?

I should just throw that all stuff out, but what if I get hungry?

Oh, I am.

But taking a chance? No, I’m not ready for THAT.
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I hurt.

Knock, knock.

Don’t say anything.

I hurt.

Knock, knock.

Don’t say anything.

I hurt.

Footsteps fade again.

What if it’s not just hunger? Is my liver failing me? Appendix swelling? I hear if it bursts you only have moments to live. Cancer? Oh, God not CANCER. My wife died of cancer. Day after day taking her to the bathroom: she rarely made it. I had to clean up. I had to feed her as the smell of her rotting flesh, her swelling feet that were turning a deep, obsidian, shade of black.

Oh, GOD, no, NO… NOT CANCER.
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Door explodes open like a mini Hiroshima hit it.

“Who the HELL are you? Get out of my apartment!”

Why can’t I hear what they’re saying?

They’ve tied me down to a gurney.

They all have masks on, dressed like ambulance attendants. FBI agents on a stake out, watching me, decided to make their move? NSA? Secret agencies run by the Left or the Right? TERRORISTS??? Will they torture me? God, please don’t TORTURE ME! Whoever they are… didn’t fool me. I thought I was being watched.

What’s in the needle? Truth serum? What they use to put down dogs and cats?

I can’t move, but now I don’t want to because I feel so bad. REALLY BAD. I feel weak. I’m fading. They’ve poisoned me. Why are you all in such a rush now? Another needle? What the first poison isn’t working fast enough? BASTARDS!!!

What’s that? I can hardly feel it, oh, you’re pushing on my chest. Why are you pushing in my chest?

Everything is fading. Are you death? No, you can’t have me. NO. Get away from me.

OK, what happens now?

I am so, so frightened.
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©Copyright 2012
Ken Carman
all rights reserved

Picture courtesy lukeromyn.com