From the quagmire a creature arose that defied everything we associate with a living, breathing organism. It was a faceless, shapeless blob, blind and deaf, feeding not on organic material but on fear. And through its ghastly, unfathomable appearance it assured there was plenty of angst to feast upon.
It first engulfed the countryside, sweeping up the life force of powerless peasants waving their pitchforks as they ran from the creature, not realizing this only made it stronger and faster. Then it decimated the densely populated banks of the river, growing in size and gloominess until it blocked out the low winter sun and casted a dark shadow over the kingdom.
The creature moved fast, but not swiftly enough to outrun the messengers on horseback who warned the inland cities of impending doom.
“Leave your houses and run,” the messengers howled. “For when the abomination reaches these walls, they will crumble under its might and you will perish with them.”
The citizens heeded the call, packed their goods and set off in a chaotic flurry as the creature appeared on the horizon, more voracious than ever.
Yet in the empty streets the lonely tapping of wood on stone was still audible. The sound of the blind and deaf old man making his way to the local pub as he did every Friday. In all the hubbub no-one had warned him of the destruction coming and he had neither seen nor heard the ruckus surrounding the citizens’ flight.
Though he felt the city trembling as the creature crushed it, he felt no fear. And as the abomination passed through him, it stumbled and shivered and finally shrank into an insignificant pool, gobbled up by the streets.
Fear, it seemed, can be defeated, if you hold a mirror to it.
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