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The doors stretched on into the distance. Door after identical door, one after the other.

It was the same dream every night. Utterly predictable.

With a resigned sigh, he reached out to open the first door.

An evil looking clown with sharp teeth lunged out towards him. He didn’t flinch.

Its teeth reached his skin and then it turned into smoke and vanished.

He closed the door and turned to the other side of the corridor.

The second door creaked open and a pale figure in white, black hair hanging over her face, crawled out. Her limbs moved strangely, unnaturally, and pools of stagnant water formed around her.

He stuck his foot out and poked her in the face with his toe. She disappeared.

He looked along the corridor and heaved a heavy sigh. He knew exactly what would be behind each door. One of his deepest fears – or at least something that had once been one of his deepest fears.

Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt.

He couldn’t exactly say that he’d been conned. The meditation CD had indeed cured all his fears just as promised. Evil clowns, ghosts, the creepy girl from that Japanese movie, dentists, giant statues – he confronted these things every night, one behind each door, and was so familiar with them that they didn’t even give him a shiver. It was the perfect cure for his fears.

But each night, there was a new door.

© Kari Fay

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