Afraid by Muktar Mustafa



It is a very quiet terror.

The kind that finds you in moments when you’re alone.

Cold, eerie silence.

The lack of substance to everything. The taste of iron in the air. Fear.

It invades the brain in a series of coincidences.

Like an unlucky day gone quiet. Like the expectancy of death.

What threatens a predator?

What scares a god?

What lives within that void that even gods try to push at bay?

Something old. Something eldritch.

Your fears are not valid.

Your worries are not real.

There are worse things to fear than man. Than your gods or their avengers.

There are things beyond pain and beyond sorrow.

The vastness of it is beyond you.

It is the vastness of it that threatens.

That even in the vastness of everything, we are a speck in the vastness of nothing.

Run. There is no war to be won here.

No good to be found. Run.

Run to the safety of ignorance. Run to the chaos of your mind.

There are things darker than shadows.

There are things worse than death.

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.