the waves of terror smashed into her at the most peaceful or happy of times. maybe it wasn't actually a wave of terror, because with waves, you can see them coming, you can anticipate the destruction. no, this was like a tornado or a hurricane, and there was no predicting, no preparing, no escaping.
the only thing that warned her of the attack were the few, small, unexplained tears that leaked out of her eyes and kept coming and coming, despite her intentions to make them stop. we're in a public place, you can't do this here. this can't happen here. but of course terror doesn't listen to reason or pleading. and she knew that if she wanted to make this so-called "Most Wonderful Time of the Year" enjoyable for anyone else, she would have to run and take the tornado with her.
so she ran. she fled as far as she could before the tornado touched the earth before she would be trapped in the terror that she knew would inevitably engulf her. finding a small, dark cave, she huddled there.
no one would find her tucked away in the belly of the earth. here, the storm could come and it would affect her, only her, and that was okay. so she let the storm in.
the terror whipped her up into sobs and cries of anguish as her emotions turned against her. anxiety ravaged her brain as she crumpled up, shaking and rocking and crying. sometimes the cries were small and hushed and stuck in her ribcage, like small hail stones that ripped and cut. sometimes the cries were loud and painful and all she could do was to hold tight to her chair as the fear poured out of her mouth and eyes and nose and ears and heart. sometimes the rain stopped and she gasped in low, shallow breaths. she could never get enough oxygen, god, why was this happening? why couldn't she get enough air? it took everything inside of her to replenish the oxygen that was being used up by the terrors controlling her, to feed it enough to keep the fear form completely engulfing her. she began to chant quiet calming songs from last year in an attempt to wrench back some of her rogue emotions. "o magnum mysterium et admirabile sacramentum o magnum mysterium..." for some reason it worked. she was regaining control.
it didnt make sense. fear was something to spur her on, to be felt and acknowledged but always to be conquered. fear was standing on the ledge of the bungee cord course and hearing the girl next to you start to panic. she felt the fear rise up and start to overcome her.... no. it could be conquered. she grabbed the girl's arm and sprinted off the platform into thin air.
she knew the fear of the unknown, when someone she trusted betrayed her and now she was on her own again. but that was okay. she would simply take everything she had inside her and throw it at the fear blocking her way. that was a good fear, a testing fear. a hard fear, but a constructive fear, one one that proved she was made of more than she thought she was.
this was an entirely new kind of fear. the familiar first fear came from inside. it was made up of the insecure, selfish, dark parts of her, but it was still her. this fear was more. it was engulfing. it was destroying. and all she could think as the winds of terror picked up again was, "i didn't want this. i didn't ask for this. this isn't me." she began to rock back and forth in her chair to reassure herself that she had a small, insignificant amount of control over the storm. but it raged on.
"jacentem precepio o magnum mysterium..."
the worst part was, when the storm finally passed, when the beast finally released her from its darkened, dripping claws, nobody believed her. no one could see the poison from the beast that now coursed through her veins, turning her skin white and the bags beneath her eyes purple. no one tried to comprehend that she was not herself, instead dismissing it as stress or overwork. "you've been spreading yourself too thin," they said, "you need to cut down a little." "it's only emotions. just be happy." "just will it to go away." and she gazed at the world with eyes filled with the beast, and spoke with lips sore from trying to explain to lead ears. she ran away again, grabbed a pen, and began to write.
"panic. the waves of terror smashed into her..."