The mud squishes beneath the traveler’s feet, each step sinking deeper into the marsh. The vastness of the valley in which he is trapped kept hidden by the thick mists, obscuring sight and feeding Fear who had been following the traveler’s every step.
Eerie sounds echo over the moor as the traveler proceeds, all too aware of his unwanted companion. The journey becomes more terrifying as each slowed step becomes longer. Seconds transform into minutes, minutes are lengthened to hours, and hours seem to be transfigured into a lifetime.
The once brave journeyman finds himself embraced by Fear who lashed out and griped every fiber of the traveler’s being, taking it as his own. The splashes of rain drops soon echo around the lost and weary traveler. He is afraid, lonely, and trapped within a body controlled by fear, reigned over by terror.
When the pale, weak arms of the sun faded away he was left in the pitch, not even a glint of light to reflect off of his unsheathed dagger that had fallen to the ground. No longer protected by the feeble strength that the sunlight gave to him the traveler’s defenses shattered and Fear who had earlier been his lord now became king. He whispered tyrannical orders into the traveler’s susceptible ears:
Crumble, worthless scum.
With every second the power of Fear’s three words grew stronger, they resonated deeper within the traveler’s heartstrings.The night grew longer and the traveler knew that this would be the last night he fought Fear, he knew that he would lose.
The traveler’s resolve suddenly hardened. He refused to be defeated, he would not become a puppet to the terror-instilling despot. Opening his eyes he peered hard through the mists and detected the vague outline of his fallen dagger. The traveler expelled every ounce of strength within his muscles to move his arm towards it, but to no avail.
He was not strong enough.
Night dragged on: the pitch became darker, the rain fell harder, and Fear grew stronger. It was only that single thread of rebellion and the hope of morning that kept the traveler free from complete obliteration.
Soon, a glint.
All it took was a glint of morning and the traveler’s nearly conquered mind became insubordinate to Fear. As the dawn broke through the mist and scattered it like flower petals in a gale the traveler grew stronger. His arm broke free of Fear’s grasp and reached for the dagger. Curling his fingers around it the traveler slashed behind him.
The traveler knew that he did not kill Fear, it was only a temporary victory. The battle had been won but the war raged on.
As the traveler stood he shook. Weakness pumped through his body as he stumbled on through the mud. Blinking against the sunlight, the traveler saw that he was at the base of a mountain and sighed contentedly as he began to climb to the peak.
The sun was setting as he reached the top and he looked out over where he had been. The miles of mud, grass, and marshland were embraced by the golden light, and the traveler sighed again.
Fear did not control him. He was the master of his mind and the sunlight his guide.
He was a weary traveler, but not a defeated one. He was incredibly worn, but he pressed on.