I live out in the country. There are no streetlights, just moonlight and starlight if it’s a clear night. If I get home at night, the walk from my car to the front door is always terrifying. I think there are monsters lurking in the shadows, as I’m heading for the door I can feel their presence creeping up behind me, and I rush to get the door open and closed behind me. Every night, it’s a close call, just inches away from being grabbed and dragged away.
Even sitting in my room, I have to tell myself there’s nothing behind me. Nothing in my closet, no monsters waiting in the bathroom or downstairs. Strangely, I feel safe in bed. I guess it goes back to childhood, thinking the monsters can’t get you if you’re in bed, under your covers. But anywhere else is scary, and outside is worst of all.
It’s not just monsters, I’m also afraid of bad people. Walking through town at night, I’m constantly worried that I’m about to be jumped. I guess that’s not that irrational, though, since it does happen to people all the time. I hold my keys like I was taught, to use them as a weapon if I’m attacked, even if there’s nobody nearby. Every alley, every dark corner could have somebody lurking, and I convince myself I can see them hiding in there, but I force myself to keep walking, not to show any fear, because if I run, if I try to avoid them, they’ll know I saw them and they’ll run at me. If I appear strong, they’ll leave me alone.