I was lightly dozing in my chair to the canned laughter of yet another Two and a Half Men late-night rerun when the voices demanded my attention:
"We know what scares you! We know what you fear!"
Opening one eye, I looked at the vampire baby doll heads and bloody clown faces floating on the television screen as a commercial for a local Halloween attraction touted its pseudo-frightening wares. Pfft. Your toybox from Hell doesn't do the trick. Want to know what scares me?
-Realizing yesterday was the due date for a student loan payment.
-Wondering if the prep cook washed his hands after he picked his nose but before he made my nachos.
-Ebola-crazed news channels, Ebola itself, the flu, getting a flu shot and did someone just sneeze next to me?
-Anyone who misuses "Your" and "You're" in a Facebook post.
-Hearing the distinct hiss of a tire going flat as I step out of the car.
-That same hiss when I'm nowhere near a car but possibly near an angry snake.
-The lack of a retirement plan, and the thought of sharing cans of Friskies with the cats when I'm 90. Will that make me cat food-flavored when I kick the bucket alone and they devour me?
-Any time the Internet goes down, especially when I've just thought up a terrific tweet.
-Reaching for my debit card and it's not there.
-Seeing a photo of myself pop up on an embarrassing site like "People of Walmart" from the one day I was tired enough to think no one would notice my Spongebob pajama pants.
-Having an out-of-body experience so I can watch myself saying something stupid to a potential employer like "It was great to meet you, goodbye, I love you!"
-Reliving that moment of humiliation over and over again when I go to sleep at night.
-Gasping the second before my phone slips through my hands and into the toilet.
-Treading a few inches of water as I walk into the house and realize a water pipe has burst.
Any of the above will make my palms sweat and my heart pound, but those mangled undead faces don't faze me a bit, unless they're attached to zombie cops about to write me a ticket. Except for the clowns. They're just freaky.