Amazing Kids! Magazine

Are you Afraid of the Dark?

By Samyuktha Kumar, Contributing Writer

 

Once again James woke up from his broken sleep dazed by the revelation of his fear for the darkness at the Halloween party last night. Every year his Halloween would be more terrifying and he thoroughly loathed the masks, the costume frequents, the Jack o’ lanterns and above all, his intimidating brother Shane. Each time Mom would undauntedly preach them the do’s and don’ts when they leave for trick or treating. But without any mistake they did their roles perfectly- Shane deliberately scaring James and him jumping out of his skin and clambering up the nearest tree all the time.

James mulled over last week’s incident when both of them were coming back from their soccer practice in the evening. It started to become dark and they were near the dark narrow lane close to their house. There was absolute silence and the lane was deserted. Everything was quiet and still as they slowly trudged down the lane with their heavy kit bags.

“Race you home!” yelled Shane.

James was too tired to reply. Shane began to run down the path, picking up speed after he passed every block. In a few minutes James couldn’t see him anymore. His heart raced faster than his legs. He just dropped the bag and scuttled off home. Finally he dashed on to the porch and slammed on the door.

Shane unabashedly stood there smirking in spite of being grounded for a week with an additional bonus of doing all of James’ chores for the whole of next week. To James, his brother looked just perfect as a devil without any costumes.

“When you can’t see anything in the dark, whoever is haunting you in the dark also can’t see anything to harm you. Think about what specifically scares you and actively challenge those thoughts,” Mom told sobbing James for the nth time stroking his hair gently.

Few days later on a sunny Sunday afternoon he accompanied his mom to the market square. Mom was busy buying her groceries and he was equally busy slurping his sour stick candy. Somebody bumped into him as he bent down to tie his shoelaces. He looked up holding the candy between his teeth. There stood a old man with dark sunglasses and a stick in his hand.

“Sorry.” James mumbled. “It’s okay,” he replied in a gruff voice.

As he watched to his horror he was groping on the floor to pick up the stick that slipped from his hands. Startled James couldn’t realize that he was blind until then. He swiftly picked up the stick and handed
over to him.

“Sir…you…can’t see?” asked James feeling aghast.

With a prudent smile the old man said, “Yes! I’m blind. But I can feel and look what lies deep in your heart. I never get deceived by the looks. You know I can also hear and understand a lot of sounds which you get to miss. Can you hear the beautiful call of the humming bird now?”

“Nope” said James perturbed.

“Close your eyes and try and imagine the world that is hidden inside. You’ll understand what I’m saying,” said the man.

Before James could utter a word he walked away slowly but sanguinely. The semi sucked sour candy didn’t really interest him anymore. He just walked back home contemplating. The next day evening there was a sudden swift summer storm that hit their town. A flash of lightning briefly illuminated the garden outside. The oak tree that looked majestic in the morning looked spooky in the purply dark sky. Suddenly there was a deafening loud thunder with a blinding sparkle that hit the nearby building, leaving the entire town into darkness. Now his heart started to race out of fear.

The old man flashed in front of him. James gently closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down. Amidst the intermittent thunders he could hear pitter patter sound of the water droplets on his window pane. The quick puddles began plinking as the rainfall became heavier. His feet started to tap to the melodious tune. From nowhere a meek croaking of a frog was fighting a losing battle with the sound of the rain drops.

Now he could hear his anxious mom running up the stairs calling out for him. He felt the warmth in her voice. It meant a lot to him. There is definitely a magical world lie in the darkness which he realized that he had missed so long. There was another ominous thunder, and this time it was somewhere closer to the house followed by a bloodcurdling scream from inside the house. It was none other than his brother Shane’s. James burst out into laughing. Poor mom stood puzzled at the door step holding a lamp, trying hard to solve the mystery of his missing fear.

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence…”- Hellen Keller

The End