Irrational Fear

Since I was little, murder and mystery has fascinated me. Started with Famous Five and moved on to serious crime fiction.
This fascination came with fear as well. Reading up about serial killers, their methods and their victims has been a kind of obsession, an addiction. These days there are also true crime series on TV and they just make the stories more scandalous, more adrenaline inducing and more addictive.
I had just fallen asleep after watching one such show about a serial killer who was discovered to keep his victims in chemical barrels. An hour into my slumber, I was unceremoniously plucked from my deep dreamless sleep by banging on the wall behind my headboard and someone yelling out of either pain or fear.
To clarify, I was not at home. I was alone at this hotel in London which I had booked despite my better judgement because of good reviews by my sister and uncle. It was old, and looked like someplace right out of a Scooby Doo episode. Dirty, peeling floral wallpaper, weird paintings, random creaks at night… The works. I half expected the eyes of the girl on the poster to move!
Well, after watching the episode full of blood and gore, to be woken up in that fashion almost made my heart prance out of my throat and jump out the window. There were two voices, one was just yelling and banging the wall while the other was screaming “NO NO!”
After about 30 seconds of this, the banging stopped but someone ran out of the room next to mine and collided with my door before running down the stairs screaming “You’re completely crazy! Someone please help me!”
I lay there in bed, feeling my pulse in my throat and my chest. Shaking but frozen to the spot. I didn’t know what to do. The noises outside had stopped but inside me my heart was banging more than the walls had. 1:33 AM and my mind was going to all the places it shouldn’t. Was someone assaulted? Were they killed? What just happened? What if someone breaks open my door?
The rational thing to do would have definitely been to call the reception and see what was happening, but at that time of night, irrational
fear paralyzed me and I just lay there under the covers, hearing the creaks from the room above. They felt like aftershocks from an earthquake.
In the morning, while checking out earlier than I would have, I was informed that it was a “couple having a row and the guy was arrested.”
I am a rational person generally, but that one night really tested me and now I know, if I get scared, I mean truly scared, I neither flee nor fight, I just stand there like a deer in the headlights, waiting for someone to come along and rescue me. Not a good thing, but a general conclusion I came to while strolling the British Museum the next day, staring at a mummy of some Egyptian high priest who had been killed thousands of years ago. There was blunt force trauma to his head.


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