The Spite of the Wind vol.1

Daily entry 023 / fiction

Jesus Christ, it was a long way down.

I don’t know how I’d survived being a builder for as long as I had, what with my crippling fear of heights. It’s something I get asked often, and usually by myself.

As far as I’m aware, it’s a fear I was born with. Some sick fate decreed that I, a man destined to be a builder, would shake like a maraca in the hands of an enthusiastic toddler every time I climbed higher than a few metres. So be it.

My time building and scaling tall things hadn’t lessened my fear, before you ask. I know people like to use the word ‘overcome’ when talking about what scares them, but in my mind that’s a myth. I’m still as terrified now as I was as a child.

And no, I still can’t explain why I chose the profession I did. It just happened, and I’ve stuck with it. I was raised to stand behind my choices, because my father was a stubborn bastard.

That choice has lead me here; perched on the edge of a section of scaffolding like some disabled bird, quaking in my steel-capped boots. I peered over the edge tentatively.

Jesus Christ, it was a long way down.

Here’s an observation: the wind is a spiteful, bitter thing. It has no sympathy for the fears of the living, but it can smell them. It seeks out fear like a shark hunts for blood.

It caught the scent of mine, and circled me like some nightmarish predator.

Then it pounced.

Thank you so much for reading.

I’m Tom Curren, and this is Chapter X — an online journal in which I post daily fictions, snippets of stories and worldly observations.

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