if there's one thing about fear, it freezes the marrow.
if there's one thing about Fear, it's that Fear is its own creature. it sneaked up behind me from the darkness and hitched a ride upon my own shadow, keeping well out of the light. it crept up the backs of my thighs, gathered itself at the base of my spine and slithered its slow way up the crevice in the middle of my back, leaving a chill so deep i never thought i'd be warm again.
black and amorphous, Fear slinked to the nape of my neck and snaked tendrils like arms around my throat. "i have you," it whispered into my soul. the chill frosted my spine until i huddled there, trying to get warm and failing.
"can you hear me, my love?" it rasped, and by those words conquered my hearing. thus would any words spoken to me be tainted by Fear's whisper. laughter seemed dull then, and friendly words sparked insecurity and defensive rages.
it laughed, a low and throaty rattle like an angered raven.
it spread its hands down my chest and across my belly, its long fingers disjointed and uneven. its touch was wet and filthy, like the bottom of some deep and polluted river, the mud slimy with the bodies of things long dead and rotten and chilled with its eons of secrets. it spread across my belly and sank beneath my skin. i would have gagged in revulsion at the intimately filthy violation as i felt it spread within me, but the touch froze my stomach and stopped my heart.
"can you feel me?" the words scratched like dry leaves over stone, and i felt the reverberations in my whole body. "me, and only me?" thus and thus it numbed me, for i could feel no touch made in warmth or friendship. i longed for something to break through the numbness, but Fear had my spine, my heart and my gut, and i was paralyzed to anything save what it wanted me to feel. it posessed my ears as well, and could hear no thing but that it was tainted by Fear.
those chilling fingers crept inexorably upwards within me and took possession of my voice and tongue. no words would be enough save that they cut and chilled the way Fear cut the heart and chilled the marrow.
the chilling embrace was complete then, spreading upward into my thoughts and outward to my limbs. it caressed me from without and within, and like the puppet i now was, i could not even shudder in my sickened revulsion unless it wished me to. oh, wise and clever Fear, how genius you are!
how clever. how wise. in war, the first maneuver in disabling your enemy is to cut off all communication. why else would you send chills up and down the spine first? it is, after all, the information superhighway of the body. body frozen, the mind may race as wildly as it pleases, while you have all the time you wish to take to devour your prey piece by mortified piece.
oh wise Fear, it is too unfortunate for you that you are so vulnerable, for all your vaunted strength and cunning. for by one thought, one realization, one drop of Love, your spell is broken.
i will not say i have vanquished you. oh no. you and i have faced one another upon this battlefield far too many times for me to believe you conquered for good. for you, this is merely setback. for me, it is freedom.
until the next time i must face you...