A young man named Josh, who was only twenty years old, had a bad case of claustrophobia. He could not go anywhere near a closet without fear creeping up his spine. Everyone knew about his disorder and respected it but there were those who used this to their advantage.
Josh was walking home from work as he always does and he takes the same route every day without changing it up a bit. On this particular day, a large black van with tinted windows was following slowly behind him. He did not notice right away but once he heard the engine getting closer and closer he quickly turned around to look. The van came to a dead stop in the middle of the road and Josh turned around again and walked even faster away from it. The van began to follow again and still Josh walked as quick as he could to get away from whatever hid behind the walls of the van.
Finally, he heard the loud slamming of the doors on the van which startled him so much that he stopped paying attention to where he was walking. He suddenly tripped over a fallen tree branch and smacked his head on the hard concrete. Next, everything fell into blackness and Josh fell asleep without his consent.
Hours had passed until Josh finally woke up again. There was darkness all around him and he knew that he was not at his house. His hands were not tied nor his feet so he knew that he had some chance of escaping the dark prison. He stood from the cold floor and reached his arms out to guide him through the darkness. After only reaching out in front of him, he could fell a wall so he moved his hand around to get a good idea of where he was. Then he realized that he was in the last place he wanted to be. A closet. Very soon his claustrophobia would kick into overdrive and he would have a panic attack but he would try his hardest not to let that happen.
“Hello!” Josh screamed hoping that someone might answer, but no one did.
His breathing was beginning to quicken and his heart rate increased. He could not control himself and he knew something bad was going to happen. His fists and feet began to go wild as they beat against the walls hoping for one of them to collapse before him. But nothing happened and he continued to use all his strength beating against the walls surrounding him until finally, he gave up.
Josh leaned against the wall behind him and slid back to the cold, hard floor. His eyes had adjusted to the darkness and now he could just make out what the room looked like and how small his surroundings were. The wall in front of him was the target for his eyes as he stared at it until it appeared to be moving in closer to him. All the other walls seemed to be doing the same and he did not realize that his panic attack was beginning. He pulled his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them so the hallucinations would not crush them.
He closed his eyes as tight as he could and pictured himself somewhere far away from this hellish prison. He imagined himself sitting on the couch in his living room with his girlfriend sitting beside him talking. But just as she turned to him, her face melted into blackness along with everything around him and all he could see was dark despair. He opened his eyes to find that the walls had stopped moving toward him and remained still in their original places. He stood up once more and began pounding on the walls again. He beat his hands against them until his knuckles started to bleed.
“Somebody please help me!” Josh screamed at the top of his lungs, but still no one answered.
He punched at the wall one more time before giving up and leaning against the wall. He stared at the intimidating wall that stood before him and could almost hear its laughter. With his lungs moving as fast as they could possibly go, he began to think the walls were moving in on him again. But he just stood there and hoped that they would crush him and take away all of this agony.
He put his hands on his head and yanked on his hair with all his might and screamed at the top of his lungs. His screamed was so loud that it echoed through the walls of the closet and anyone outside the room could have heard it. He let go of his hair with a few strands falling to the floor and he began kicking at the black walls around him. He kicked and screamed until he heard the sound of a door opening and closing from somewhere outside the closet.
He stopped moving and stood in silence to listen to whatever was going on. He could hear voices but could not make out what they were saying or if they were from a man or woman. In his mind he hoped that whoever it was would just let him out of there and end his torment but something kept telling him that that was never going to happen.
“Will someone please get me the hell out of here?” Josh shouted.
The voices outside stopped and refused to reply to Josh’s demand. Then he balled up his fist and slammed it into the wall one last time sending pain shooting up his right arm. He fell to the floor and looked at his bloody hands and could feel the panic burning through his body. He did not care about his hands he only cared about the panic attack that was taking over his body. His breath was so hard and fast that he could almost hear his lungs moving in and out. A few seconds passed before he saw the light shining from under one of the walls. He could see that there was someone standing on the other side and he could only hope that they would open the door. Finally a door to the closet opened and a tall man stood in the light. This man looked down at Josh and laughed with spit flying out of his mouth.
(I wrote this one for a creative writing class I took my Senior year of high school. I love going back and reading what I wrote almost ten years ago.)