General Fiction posted September 3, 2019

This work has reached the exceptional level
A story about a reoccuring dream of mine

Abc's of Fear

by the13thpoet

I don't remember exactly when it started, but I know it hasn't stopped and it's been over 30 years now.

It always starts the same, the room unusually dark.

I see the back of a small figure, a boy, frail and skinny. In the shadowed distance between the small boy and the back wall of this dark room there is a table with a tall dark figure sitting behind it. The room is too dark to make out any features on this person, but it is easy to tell it's a man of significant stature.

At first the air is so thick and palpable with a unknown tension that I don't realize that the fragile little boy is speaking, or trying to. As I continue to watch the scene the audio slowly fades in, I can hear the little boy speaking.

"A a a, B b b." I hear the little boy stuttering his words. I think he is trying to recite the Abc's. As I look closer I see the little boy's legs trembling; he is frightened of something. I scan the room thinking maybe there is something in the dark that the little boy senses and I can't see.

"C c c, D d d." the boy continues his nervous attempt at reciting the alaphabet. Though I only have a view of the boy's back I can tell by the movement of his elbows that he is doing something with his hands. If I was a betting man, I would probably say he's fidgeting with his fingers out of nervousness.

For the life of me I couldn't help but wonder what the little boy was so nervous about. Surely it couldn't be just reciting the alphabet. This little boy couldn't have been any older than two years old, some children are barely talking by the age, yet this child while nervous seemed determained to get through this.

Why? Why the obvious and painful nervousness? Why the strong determination to get this finished?

As the fragile little boy continued to struggle through the alphabet the trembling and obvious nervousness increased.

"L l l, M m m." the boy continued. What was a light nervousness to his voice turned into an outright tremble. It seems his voice was trembling more than his legs at this point.

"N n n." he continued. I was so focused on the boy that I failed to realize that as each letter shakily passed his quivering lips the room had gotten less and less dark.

As the room brightens or maybe just becomes less dark as my eyes becomes use to the room I slowly realize that I know the dark figure sitting at the table. The silhouette is unmistakable.

"O." The boy says clearly.
"Oh." I say in unison with the boy as I realize the source of his nervousness. I saw for the first time what he has been seeing this whole time. I can clearly see the face of the man at the table, suddenly it all makes sense, my questions are answered.

"P p." The boy forces out nervously. At the same time I hear the sound of trickling water and notice a wet spot between the boys feet. As he finally struggled his way to the letter P, he literally began to pee himself. If I hadn't felt so sorry for the boy I would have bust out laughing at the irony of it all.

As the few final drops of urine hit the floor after slowly trickling down the boys leg, my eyes snap open and I'm back in my bed. The palpable tension has followed me from my dream world and now is hovering over me like a dark cloud. I now know what this tension is, it's not tension at all but fear. A fear that I haven't felt in decades, yet it still haunts my dreams.

It always starts and ends the same. I never get to see the face of the little boy, just the tall dark figure behind the table. It's a face that terrified me for the first eight years of my life. It was a face that showed no compassion for this terrified boy, in fact it felt as if he was feeding of the fear of this child.

It was the face of my father.

That fragile, scared, skinny, boy was me.

Story of the Month contest entry


This is my first attempt at anything other than poetry on this site. This is a true story, my story. I've had this dream on and off for over the past 30 years. I like to think that I'm no longer that scared little boy, but he clearly still lives inside me. It's been nearly 30 years since I have seen my father in person and if I do I'm sure I will go through a bunch of different emotions, will fear still be one of them? I don't know.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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