Albey wakes but does not open his eyes. Not yet; it is the dawn of a day of War, the morning which will lead to the last night of Albey’s living in fear.
Fear is not like the other emotions, you see; fear is not blind, not deaf, not without sense; fear is cowardly, meek, a villain in its own right; fear is a predator, a filthy scoundrel which preys on the weak, on those who are not in the position to defend themselves from its awful glare; unlike the other emotions fear has a face, the face of a child as motherless as it is unfathered, a face which will shout and WHOOP and holler and yelp and scream and glare and leer and stare, a homely face which will intimidate only those who it knows it can overcome… until, that is, its victim stares back.
For you see, fear is truly evil, more vile than hatred itself. Fear has no substance, fear is as hollow as the moon during the Halla when all the light floats out to the surface. Fear is the weak one. Fear is the one who is afraid; afraid of failure, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of never living up to that which it claims to be, because fear is like the moon during the Calla when all the silver light is called back inside: invisible. Fear is nothing. Fear has no other choice but to falter in the end, and so fear, aware of its fate, aware of the spinning of the wheel of ka and the blowing of the wind forever forward, bluffs until the cards must be lain on the table, upon which point it folds and flees like a dark outlaw across a desert with a gunslinging lawman in tow.
The face of fear is an ugly one indeed, one rarely worth paying a glance until there is nothing left to look at, and when it is seen? When it finally receives the attention it so craves and desires? It vanishes, exiled, never to return, for there is no place for fear in the here and now. How it got here is no mystery, of course: it was grandfathered in, and like all grandfathers it shall perish, and it shall be seen before it goes.
“Tonight,” Albey says, finally opening his eyes. “Tonight I shall stare into the face of fear and watch as it cowers away, and I shall prevail. For Iuqon the Mage, for Ram’rl the Unfallen, for the woman – nay, the shaman – who built this cabin… for the endless wood that is The Hillside Commons, to see Gobon dead and buried beneath it… over fear I shall prevail.”
Albey rises from bed, cracks his neck, touches his toes, and leaves the cabin in the clearing. At sunset there shall be a great conflict, a War most gruesome and bloody, but the sun has yet to rise. The Mad Poet is still alone in the splendid clearing at the end of no path; this isle surrounded by the Ouroboros River is still his to enjoy, and so he shall go to the twin waterfalls and he shall enjoy it in the only way he knows how. The only way he has left.
Albey the Mad Poet shall go to the waterfalls and he shall listen to the forest, and the forest shall whisper him its Peace.
This has been the second subchapter of the last chapter of The Face of Fear, a novel about bigfoot written by the writer in Untitled Bigfoot Project. Here is everything you need to know about it:
I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.
The Hillside Commons has a Facebook page. Here’s that.
If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~