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What Comes

by Will Stinson

Those who write of “dark and stormy nights” do not know terror

 

Terror is not in bluster

Terror is not in howling gale

It is not in cacophonous downpour, rivulets of water snaking along your window

 

It is not the icy peaks, or the abyssal depths. It is not lakes of fire, or streams of tears. It is not raven call, or rotted, twitching corpse.

 

No, those are far too natural, and we are creatures of nature.

 

Terror is a shadow that whispers words your mind cannot contain as you walk by

It is when your hair stands on end, and you feel an unseen gaze upon you

It is the figure you see when you close your eyes, knowing that nothing is there

Terror thrives when something is WRONG

when you feel your soul grow cold despite the heated room

when logic and shape twist and warp in ways too deep for human minds to ponder

 

That is terror.

 

Terror is that which is unknown and unknowable, but approaching.

It is its own harbinger.

 

It comes, and you can do naught but wait and hope that it will not notice you

Or if it does, that the end will come quickly.

For terror regards us, and it is not pleased