Chapter 1 - Fear (Part 1)Mature

"Fear?" I said, feeling nothing but pain. "Fear is something that proves we have a reason to live for. I lost this the moment they died."

I gripped the crossbow tighter and keenly watched out into the endless darkness of night. All that separated the void from myself was a window. That window also separated me from THEM. I shivered and licked my lips, feeling for that emotion I was so unused to. It was something I knew now, though I could not fathom a few weeks prior.

Fear.

I recognized this emotion the first time I saw them. I had been fearless for so very long. Ever since I could walk, nothing could make me stop. Not the laws of the land nor the people whom I had done wrong. It had been a time of absolute freedom and absolute loneliness. I hadn't the faintest idea of the thoughts of a normal man.

Now, I have been chained to the ideal known as family. My beautiful Shayleen changed me into a husband, two daughters have labelled me a father, and a massive expanse of crops have made me a farmer. These things hold me down, but they also gave me importance in this existence. It was them who also introduced me to my fear.

They came in the night. They always came in the night. Maybe it was their black demon hearts or maybe it was simply a nocturnal nature, I hadn't a clue. All I knew was that they never showed in the daylight. I only wished it were daylight now. Perhaps then I wouldn't be standing here watching.

I remembered the first night one of the beasts had attacked. It was almost time for bed for the girls. They had complained, of course, but did as told. I was telling Shayleen how happy I was for them turning out so well-behaved. God above knew how, with my background. It was only after we shared a laugh that the door flew inward.

At first, I thought it a traveler who was ill on his luck - I try to stay positive for Shayleen - but I only needed one look to realize what sort of... thing... this creature was. I remember the way it stood there. Then again, how would I forget?

The beast stood taller than the doorway. I consider myself quite sizable, but this beast was nearly two heads taller. That had been my first observation. My second was the eyes. It was an old habit of my old life, but you could always tell a man by his size and eyes. This creature had a deep yellow bulb in each socket. Both seemed to glow, telling me that it knew of killing. I think I just had time to notice the expanse of black fur and the canine head on top of the thing before it leaped toward me.

I had barely won that day. After grabbing my belt knife, I managed to move Shayleen out of harms way. I somehow got the idea to throw the blade. Throw it! I should have kept in on hand and did my best to drive the beast away. Ah, but God grants blessings from time to time. My knife struck the beast in the eye, making it run with a tail between the legs. After that, however, I realized something was stirring inside of me. The fear.

This night was different than that first night. Tonight, I was prepared. I had spears at the ready, blades made for throwing attached to my leg, and both my crossbows loaded. I still felt the sensation of fear even now, but it did nothing against my eagerness to make it through the night alive. Nothing could. I had to keep my family safe.

The End

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