Bright Falls

Fear? How do you deal with fear? Is there a way to fight something you can't touch, though it can touch you? Up until recently I genuinely thought so. I lectured people on the brain and how to cope with anxiety, phobias and fear in general. I've even written several books on the matter. Last year I even won a prize on my book "Bright Darkness – how to cope with your fear of the dark." I guess that is what they call irony, because right now it seems like the only thing I can't do. My name is Emmet Bright and I'm a psychologist and an author. And right now everything I've ever said and done, means nothing.

It all started three days ago. I was signing copies of my book in an "All Books" in Brooklyn, New York. I had done this several times before, but this particular time would lead to a nightmare. After 6 hours of signing books and meeting fans, I felt very tired. As I prepared to make my leave, I had to engage in one last conversation with yet another trusty reader. Only this man wasn't a fan. It was him. This last person. I merely assumed he wanted his book signed, but it seemed that he hadn't brought one. "So, it's nice to me..." is all that I got to say, before he began walking towards me, grabbed my hand and said "So you think you know fear? You think you know pain? I will show you darkness. Anubis will show you darkness." A searing pain started burning in my hand, along with the feeling of blood, running down to the end of my fingers only to drip down on the floor. The hired doormen quickly reacted to his so called threat, grabbed him and threw him out. As he was being dragged out, I noticed the bloodied pendant in his palm, realizing that he must've cut me with the edge. I took a facial tissue from my pocket, to press down on the wound in my hand with, but the pain had gone away. There was no cut, no bleeding. Could it be that he had caught himself? If so, then why would it have burned like it did? At that time, I mistook him for a crazy should-be patient at the local asylum. Little did I know that he had changed my life forever. I know now that what he told me is correct. I know nothing of fear. Or rather, I knew nothing of fear. To think that I merely went to my hotel room and had a good nice sleep that night, after gazing at the moon, whilst drinking my wine. The moon was full that night. I remember clearly, because I was so sure that it had only been a half-moon the night before. As the moon was a factor of fear for many, I used it as a reminder of my success. That aside, I had a conference the next day, and all the confidence in the world.

The conference in itself, started out great. It was at a woody mountainside resort in Washington. I met a lot of different brain doctors, all eager to speak their mind. It all began right before my speech. "Are you ready?" He asked. His name was Arthur D. Brown, a genius in psychology, and the head-speaker. "I was born ready!" Was my reply. The only reply I ever had to that question. He stood with his back turned, watching the stage as the previous speaker was about to make an exit. "Are you sure? You know how horrible it feels when a lot of people are staring at you, expecting the world from you. Wouldn't you just wish you were dead sometimes, when you're in the spotlight?" He was referring to some problems I had when I was a young man. I was once supposed to recite a poem at poetry night in college. It had massive stage fright back then. Ironic huh? Only thing is, I didn't meet Dr. Brown until years later in my career, so he couldn't possibly know that. "What are you talking about..." I replied. He cut me off, turned around, grabbed my sleeves and screamed with a resonant voice "We wouldn't want you dying, would we? That would be horrible wouldn't it? Are you afraid of DEATH, BRIGHT?" His face were dark, his teeth yellow and sharp like fang and his eyes were glowing red. Pure instinct caused me to close my eyes and count to 10. When I opened them, I was standing on stage, with my notes on the podium in front of me. I began my speech. What else should I have done? Anything else, it would seem. It was a mistake. "Fear is a natural reflex and one of our brains many functions..." I looked at my audience. I think this was the exact time that I officially became a hypocrite. Instead of rows of interested head, staring at me, I saw white, ghastly faces staring up on me. They looked unnatural. I looked to my right. A jackal was staring at me. Just staring at me. I ran off as quickly as I could. Jumped off the stage and headed straight for the door. Once outside, I ran to my car, followed by screaming. Evil yells of slander reached my ears and came closer and closer. They said "Running away, Bright? But the night is young and the darkness so soothing! You love staring at the moon don't you? Well, why not just stay here and stare forever after? After we sever your head, we'll be sure to impale it and stick in to the ground up in the hills. Give you a nice perspective!" As I looked back, at the end of the parking lot, the owner of the voices amassed. They looked wrong. As if consumed by darkness. It was sort of covering them. They ran towards me. "Fear is only an imagination! Why don't you come join us over here!" They had brought axes and knives. I reached for my car keys, but I couldn't zip down my jacket's zipper. The voices came closer. "We'll kill you, Bright. We'll kill you" We'll rip off your legs and chop you into bits!" They came closer! The streetlamps they passed each exploded with a big crash-like sound. Like when you break a window with rock. They came even closer. "Die, Bright!" and finally, I got the zipper down, grabbed they keys and unlocked the car, just in time to witness an axe flying right past my face and chopping down my side mirror. I jumped in and drove off, running over my pursuers.

This was two days ago, or so says my watch. I've been running ever since. It's all darkness. The full moon is still there. It doesn't change. It says full. My car ran out of gas, so I pushed it to the nearest gas station in a small abandoned town. The sign said "Bright Falls". There were no gas here, but I had to hide from my pursuers. They all want to kill me and they're everywhere I go. I've been hiding at the gas station for three hours now. I've tried calling for help, but all the lines are dead. I can hear them gathering outside. Talking. I can't leave for now. Are there any survivors out there? Am I the only one left? Am I... all alone?

"What's with him?" someone asked. That someone was a fellow named Jim Collins. "Who?" his colleague Pat Green asked him. "The new guy in that cell there. He's hiding under his bed. What's the matter with him?" Pat sighed. Jim apparently worked all day and night in the asylum, if he hadn't heard about it. "That fella' right there is Emmet Bright. The AUTHOR, Jim! Apparently he suddenly just started cutting himself in a bookstore. He stabbed the guys trying to take away whatever he used and ran off. When the police finally found him in Washington, he ran them over when they tried to apprehend him. He was just transferred in."

Pat was amazed that Jim didn't already know. "Hmm..." Jim said "He looks so afraid."