What Lurks Within and Without

Hello, Weirdlings,

Camping provides a unique blend of relaxation and irritation. The night glitters with stars, but brings the chill dark. The campfire grants a glowing promise of warmth and food, along with gusts of smoke every time the wind shifts.

The tent provides comfort, protecting you from what lies outside — the cold night air, mosquitos, and other creatures that lurk. Though this sense of protection is as flimsy as the fabric that surrounds you. Akin to pulling a blanket over your head against the monster in the closet, zipping the tent door closed offers the illusion of being safely tucked in within your thin canvas shell.

And yet, when I crawled into my tent over the weekend to sleep, it was the tent itself that began to feel a threat. Tucked too tightly into a corner, I could feel the canvas pressing down upon my forehead. I felt like I couldn’t move, couldn’t breath.

I had to escape. Scrambling for the tent flap — the zipper never so hard to find — I finally burst into the night air, suddenly comforted by the openness of the dark.

Anxiety, my dear weirdlings, is a strange beast.


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Andrea Blythe
Author, poet, game writer, and lover of the fantastical, horrifying, and weird. Her latest poetry collection, Necessary Poisons, is forthcoming from Interstellar Flight Press.