The Behemoth Made of Fear | Short Story

Nate was coming home with a bitter taste in his mouth. He felt rattled to the core. He searched the street for some signs of life, but no home had its lights on. He wanted to hear some banter that would, hopefully, shake him out of this trance, but his wishes were not heard. A cat dashed across the street of the barren boulevard where he lived.

He sauntered forward. He didn’t want to run. He knew that the moment when he rushes forward will be the moment he fully succumbs to his fears. He’s been through this already. He looked at the dwindling numbers above each and every home, as he walked ahead. Soon, it’ll be over, he told himself. He recalled why he was here and asked himself the meaning of his anxiety. He couldn’t find any. He remembered his previous day, but the last thing he could remember was going to bed.That’s when he froze still. Something bitterly blared, echoing thought the street, sending him inside his mind. His heart was beating, but he didn’t feel it. He was at the mercy of his imagination as his rational mind was tossed in the garbage. He tussled inside as if he wanted to escape a suffocating, claustrophobic cage.

His eyes were deadlocked, staring ahead, as a shadow enveloped him from behind. The towering behemoth loomed above him silently. Something resounded through his ears, and he realized it was his own heartbeat. Shaken alive, he turned around to face the creature.

Before him stood a shapeless entity. It didn’t have eyes, nor a face. It was lacking hands and feet. Its mere outline was somewhat oval, and it was sending undulating waves of smoke through the air. Its inside was onyx black and had the look of motionless water, reflecting anything and everything.

Nate stood floundered, trying to comprehend the creature that was before his eyes. The only thing that was keeping him from panicking was the stillness. The entity didn’t move, and the only thing that proved it was alive, was the smoke subtlety dissolving into the air around its edge. Nate shook, knelt down at another thunderous, harsh shriek that came from deep within the pool of black mud inside the beast.

The unmoving portal seemed to turn even darker. Enfeebled, Nate watched as a myriad of images zoomed before him. Inside, he saw dreams of forlorn tragedies, but also a few jubilant occasions. The pool was oozing with thousands of possibilities that Nate, instantly, knew were derived from within his mind. However many triumphant images he saw, it seemed that the tragedies were the ones that made the biggest impression. He was downcast.

A frightening din resounded through the air, shaking him awake. He looked at the inescapable creature that hounded him every single day. He realized the bleak truth that he can’t outrun it. No matter the outcome, the creature was bound to him, and every men on earth. What was shown to him was what he wanted to see, or rather what he seemed to be thinking about most often. He tried to stifle his defeated expression, but couldn’t.

He grew silent, thinking. He looked at the landscape once more. He gazed at the behemoth standing before him, but this time, he admired its monstrous power, no matter how frightening it was. He acknowledged his feeble nature, and the truth came over him. The blissful news that no matter what he saw, it doesn’t have to be that way made him come alive. What he has seen are possibilities that he himself crafted. The spells that the creature cast are mere reflections of his inside. The twisted dreams he saw came from nowhere else, but his heart and mind. Knowing that put him at ease, but he had to keep his guard up for the future quickly becomes the present.

Just as Nate thought he was safe, the entity shrieked. He fell on his back, and started sinking in the pool of mud. He shouted for help, but his voice wasn’t heard. He tried to grasp the edge, but the more he struggled, the faster he was destined to drown. The feeling of tranquility was fashioned into a trap. He drowned, without knowing more about the bizarre being that watched him die.

The man leaped out of his bed. It was midnight. He was sweating, his throat sore. Before him was a huge mirror enveloped in darkness.

“What am I afraid of?” He relaxed. “It’s only a dream.”

He stood up to get a glass of water. Standing at the sink, he became aware that his clothes are drenched in black mud.

The behemoth was behind him.



I hope you enjoyed the piece. This is one of those works where I started with a core idea, and it was later molded into something unexpected. I’d like to hear your thoughts on it, so if anything comes to mind, comment or make suggestions.
Thanks for reading.
Patrick Rain.

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