Frozen in Fear
Paul stands outside the door, frozen in fear. His nightly dreams have held excitement, drama, fulfillment, but never this fear. There has never even been a Halloween which brought such fear. When his friends scoffed at him – “You’ll never last an hour!” “You’ll never even make it through the door!” – Paul had persisted.
The wind outside whips angrily around the building, moaning in solidarity with Paul’s feelings. The sun hides behind clouds, as a frightened child reluctantly disappears behind the back of a glowering parent.
Dark and gloom hold sway over all, the heaviness reflecting the heaviness of Paul’s heart.
His senses begin to overwhelm him. The sounds from behind the door – screeching, high-pitched, unearthly sounds, permeate his brain until his very being is chilled. The odors – not exactly offensive, yet reminiscent of long-buried childhood memories – assail him. Paul can taste fear on his tongue as his eyesight tries unsuccessfully to assure normalcy.
Nothing here is normal.
He knows in his heart that completing this task will not only raise his standing in his friends’ eyes but will bring him one step closer to conquering all other fears. If he can just do this . . .
Taking a deep breath, Paul places his sweaty, trembling hand on the doorknob, opens the door and tentatively enters the room.
“Good morning, students. Welcome to your first day of Middle School.”