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The fear of


Carla Mileo

It became the very fear that preyed on our minds. Unwillingly,

unknowingly, we gave it life and purpose. The fear of losing

ourselves to other forces, of climbing too high, digging too deep,

then falling. But what have we now become? Living in a jungle of

concrete brutality, blocking out all that once was beautiful, making

us lose our grip on reality. Our memories are precious, rare,

treasured. Nobody loves anymore; emotion is senseless to our cold

hearts. We are driven, determined and fighting, but towards what

end? We have fallen from grace.

Change is thick in the air, infectious, a warning of danger, of

coming hardship and pain. Walking through dimly lit alleys, darkness

seems to encumber me, the ghostly wisps of fog drifting past give me

an uneasy feeling. The path ahead is illuminated by an eerie light, an

ethereal man-made luminescence. Not a light of the living. The

mind is quick to sense fear, shadows are given life and whispers

uttered onto the evening breeze echo eerily through the obscurity;

noises in the distance, invisible eyes pursuing every move. I look to

the sky, hoping to see a soaring bird, the glowing sun, a symbol of

hope on which to hold. Yet only thin rays of sunlight trickle through

the thick fog: there is nothing left of the old world.

The darkness begins to fade and the fog clears. Crowds swarm in

their orderly lines as they exit the hostile buildings on their way

home; cloaked in grey and black, faces down, long purposeful strides,

cold. Even now among the movement, there is silence. The flow

pushes me, sways me, and pulls me down along with the current. A

sudden pain in my chest forces me to gasp for air, how they suffocate

me. I try, but I cannot be like them, the crowd. I am different and

they know. Yet I feel a part of it, somehow joined to the force of the

river, bound to its fate. And they know.

Demands are higher, work is harder, needs are greater than

simple humans can conjure. And so, that is how it happened, the

merging of man and steel, of life and death, human and machine. A

choice, they say, for the better, they assure us. But I will not, I cannot.

Those who refuse suffer. They swim and fight hard against the

current, but the current will always win and wash them defeated

onto the sharp rocks of the shore. Their destinies lie beyond the city

walls with the derelict of this world. The poor and the worthless –

their lives are labelled and feared. I can see them frommy apartment

high above the grip of the great wall. They huddle together against