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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

a short story about fear and how it works.

Ravi ran, death and agony nipping at his feet. His face was as pale as the moon, stinging in the icy midnight breeze. His forehead was freckled with beads of sweat; his eyes bursting with fear. Tattered clothes, befitting a Bangladeshi urchin, clung to his body, frolicking frantically as he sprinted. The woods around him stretched their slender arms to the dark night sky. They stained the moonlit earth with their tangling shadows.

Ravi ran. Ravi had to keep running. He had to be faster. He had to be faster, otherwise, that bulging beast would consume him, and he would be lost in the darkness of its belly for eternity.

Ravi ran, the world around him blurring in a haze of fear. His bare feet thundered across the coarse forest floor. They throbbed with pain, and were slowing his pace. But the shadow was coming closer. Its horrid breath pervaded the air. Its snarling growls echoed in Ravi’s head. Those dripping jaws, lathered in red, grinned evilly in the back of his mind. His flesh tingled as he unwillingly imagined those fangs plunging into his leg, penetrating through it like soft butter.

Ravi ran. His fear shook him off balance, and he plummeted to the dirt. His head crashed into the trunk of a tree. It felt as though his skull had cracked open. Ringing pain screamed in his ears, as he clutched his forehead and flailed in the damp forest floor, desperately trying to find his footing.

A thick glob of stinking saliva dripped down Ravi’s spine. He froze, his hope shattering like a thousand pieces of glass. His mind whirled, unable to grasp the finality of this endless moment. He closed his eyes, awaiting the wrath of those vicious fangs, embracing his fate. But, after what seemed like eons, nothing happened.

Ravi twisted his head slowly to face his demon. As their eyes locked, an icy chill shivered down Ravi’s spine. 

It was a giant rippling mass of charred black flesh. Pink scars were etched across the length of its body. Its teeth were like ivory daggers, gleaming in the pale moonlight, and dripping with a putrid mixture of saliva and blood. But Ravi took little notice of its body. He was transfixed by its eyes.

Eyes that glowed with the fire of a thousand hells.

Eyes that were as red as a sea of blood.

Eyes that bore into Ravi’s skull, burying terror deep into his core.

Ravi’s scream was trapped in his throat, as though his very voice was afraid of the beast. Not that the scream would invite any assistance, Ravi thought bitterly. An orphan boy in Bangladesh did not possess that much importance. All Ravi could do was stare back at those haunting eyes, paralysed.

He saw the hatred that burned behind them. He saw the disgust that fuelled its fire. He felt the contempt radiating from its massive body. 

The same hatred that even the omnipotence that created Ravi felt for him. The same disgust he saw in the eyes of every high class snob that was poisoned by his presence. The same contempt he felt from all those apathetic monsters whose feet his forehead had kissed, as he begged for an ounce of compassion.

That was enough.

Ravi had been running his entire life. Slowly, never breaking eye-contact, Ravi rose from the dirt. It was time for him to stand. The edges of the beast’s mouth curled as an earth-trembling snarl rumbled from deep within its belly. Ravi took a deep breath, puffing out his chest. His veins still throbbed with terror, but he did not let a sliver of it show. He stood tall; taller than he had ever felt before. 

The creature’s eyes squinted in the face of this unexpected show of courage. 
Then, slowly, it backed away. 

Ravi ogled in awe. His nerves jingled with exhilaration. Though its bared teeth never retracted, it did not pounce. Though its rumbling growl never ceased, it retreated. It slinked off into the woods, swallowed by the dark shroud of the night.

Ravi’s lips curved into a satisfied smirk. He stared down the darkness into which the creature disappeared. The darkness stared back, with a hundred pairs of glowing red eyes. They watched the helpless Bangladeshi orphan die, and witnessed the birth of a new Ravi. They waited for him to run away, their bellies rumbling with their insatiable hunger for the hunt.

But Ravi had finally stopped running.


Submitted: July 22, 2016

© Copyright 2022 Erue. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Good story. You described Ravi's fear very well as he ran, and his transformation into someone much braver when he turned to face his terror. Well done.

Fri, July 22nd, 2016 5:25pm

Oleg Roschin

Very well-written! The symmetric, rhythmical, almost rhyming structure enhances the mounting tension. Well done!

Fri, July 22nd, 2016 7:48pm

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