It’s a beautiful day, honestly. Barely a cloud in the sky, and it can’t be hotter than eighty degrees out here. The trees are beginning to change colors, signaling the inevitable transition to autumn. Climbing up the tallest hill, the woods open up and I see the structure in the distance. It looks perfectly innocuous, perhaps even pretty, nestled into the farther tree line. But I know that it’s anything but the walk in the meadow that leads up to it.
I’m pretty sure curiosity is the reason I’m here, and to be honest it’s probably also the reason I came alone. You see, rumor has it this little cabin has a room in it that shows you your greatest fear. Being the skeptic I am, I don’t really believe it, but I’ve heard stories. Oh I’ve heard stories.
One of my graduate school classmates claimed that she was attacked by thousands of spiders. I told her that’s not really surprising since you did, in fact, enter an abandoned cabin in the middle of the countryside. Another said that somebody tried to shoot her. Again, probably because you’re in a cabin. In the woods. On somebody’s property. But it was the claim of one of my close friends that really got my attention. He said that he didn’t see anything… he just felt abandoned. He said that everyone that ever loved him just left him, leaving him completely alone. I didn’t immediately shut him down because it’s the first story I heard that didn’t just sound like something out of a stupid horror movie. His fear was more emotional, and seemed to have affected him on a very personal level.
So I gave in, and that’s why I’m here. I’m curious, because I know what my greatest fear is. It’s not bees or torture or being kidnapped or whatever. My greatest fear is non-existence. Oblivion. It’s the idea that everything I believe about eternity is simply untrue and that when I die I simply cease to exist. I mean, I know with all my heart that’s not true, I’m just scared. And curious. Curious to see if there’s a room that can actually show me how that fear actually feels.
Now standing at the door, I find myself hesitant. I’m torn between the laughable idea that this whole thing is stupid and the slight anxiety of knowing what it feels like to no longer be alive in any capacity. As I turn the door knob I find another emotion welling up inside of me. Courage. The thought passes through my head that if I can confront a fear this strong, my courage must be stronger that these scary doubts. So I press on, opening the door and quickly closing it behind me.
Inside it’s dark. Pitch black except for a few yellow glittering light beams from the small windows. I fumble around in my backpack until I find my flashlight, and shine it around what turns out to be a large room. The walls are bare, and there’s only a few stray cans of paint and a couple of antique lanterns littering the floor. Walking on, there’s a small hallway with four doors, and by now I’m sorely underwhelmed. Opening the doors yield more of the same. One. Two. Three. The fourth room contains the same as the other ones. Nothing. And not nothing in the existential sense of the word. Just… nothing but a floor, some walls, and a ceiling. Just someone’s abandoned summer cabin.
As I turn around to go back, I begin to understand. I’ve already felt my greatest fear, and I did it on the walk up here to this old and storied cabin. The buildup is the worst part, because oblivion doesn’t exist. It’s just a fear I have because this life is so temporary and the things of existence are so grand. Our souls are eternal. Our existence begins on the day we were conceived and does not end until the gears of time themselves stop turning. And they never will.
So put yourself in my shoes. What’s your story? What is your greatest fear, and what do you see when you open the door to that place? And how do you manage those fears that very often turn out to be nothing. Let’s talk about it in the comments.
About the photo: Who says my fiancee can’t be the subject of my blog’s photography? You’ll be seeing a lot of her, and I’m excited that she’s helping me make this blog better. This photo is powerful. Is she curious? Scared? Trapped? Or maybe she’s just doing wall push ups. Okay, probably not that last one.
Hey look at that! I’m actually on topic with today’s Daily Post daily prompt.