"The challenge this time is to write about fear. What is it like to be afraid? Feel fee to approach it from any angle - essay, story, poem. Only two stipulations:
1) You may not use the word "fear".
2) You may only write for fifteen minutes. Be honest and time yourself - no cheating!
Have fun...if you dare!"
I suppose it all started when my mother sent me down to the cellar to get some potatoes. It was a wooden door, old and time worn. So I entered the cellar leaving the door open for some light as we had no windows. Sally the cat came with me for company, but she saw something move and dived out of the cellar, the door closing with the vibrations. I was only a kid at the time. The door was shut, completely, immovable, no chance with my weak pushing to open it again. Eventually mum came looking for me, but she had a telephone call, one of those long calls that never seem to end. I think it was her best friend Elsie. Oh, how I hated Elsie afterwards. It is not fun being locked in a room with no light for an hour, knowing that the cellar also has other inhabitants which can be heard, although thankfully not seen. So, the result of this little “accident” was my hang to claustrophobia.
Many years later, the scene changes and I am a working woman in one of those offices perched somewhere on the top floors of a tall building. I was doing some extra time on that evening, getting a report written for my boss and was the last to leave the office. Not wanting to walk twenty stories down to the exit, I took the lift. In this modern day and age, lifts are there for overcoming stairs, so I thought. I pressed the button and the lift arrived promptly. I was glad because I had some shopping to do after work. Pressed the button for ground floor and the lift started to descend. It stopped somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors I think. It is all a bit cloudy in my mind. I rang the alarm bell, I shouted I tried to open the lift hatch in the ceiling like Bruce Willis always seems to have success in the films. I am not Bruce Willis and the hatch was too high to reach. I decided not to believe anything I ever saw in the films any more. I think it was then that I fainted.
They got me out after the power cut. I suppose I reassured myself that I was not the only person forgotten in a lift on that evening in the city, but they do not all suffer from claustrophobia. They put me in the ambulance and drove straight to the local hospital. I was still breathing; otherwise it would probably have been something like Emergency Room with electro shocks and waking to look into the eyes of a George Clooney look alike. No George Clooney, it was a female doctor. They sent me home on the next day with the advice to avoid small enclosed places but they did not tell me how, I mean there is a small enclosed place in every home where you are alone.
I left the city afterwards and married a farmer. Now I live in the wide open spaces, the only small enclosed room I have is the bathroom.
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