by Brian Dunlop

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature." - Anne Frank

Emily Grazer is terrified by the closet because of her brother and his friend locking her in the closet and scaring her at a young age. Now, Emily, at age twenty-one, seeks therapy for her phobia of the closet with Dr. Ann Brown as her therapist. This is where the story begins.

"So, Emily, how are you? I haven't seen you in a week. How have things been going with your phobia of closets?", says Dr. Brown sitting on a large red club chair in her office. "Well, things have been getting a little better. I've taken up on your advice and I took away the night light in my room", says Emily lying on a blue couch in Dr. Brown's office. "Well, that's good. You're making some progress, I see, but do you still hear those voices at night while in bed?", says Dr. Brown. "Well, yes, but I try to ignore them. I know they aren't real, so I'm not as scared as I use to be of them", says Emily. "What do these voices say?", says Dr. Brown now taking out a pen and a notepad from her purse. "They say....Emily, I'm going to get you and I'm coming for you, Emily and come on, Emily, I won't hurt you, open the closet door, come on", says Emily. "Do you only hear those voices at night while in bed?", says Dr. Brown. "Yes, I do. Nowhere else", says Emily. "How do these voices sound like?", says Dr. Brown placidly writing on her notepad. "These voices...they sound all raspy...like in horror films...like a voice of some kind of ghost or something", says Emily. "Do these voices remind you or sound like anyone from your family or anyone you've known in the past?", says Dr. Brown. "Well, yes...um, they remind me of my brothers", says Emily. "Why?", says Dr. Brown. "Well, because one time when I was eight years old, my brother's Steven and Jeff were babysitting me and we just finished watching a scary movie, although I forget which movie it was....." Emily then proceeds to tell Dr. Brown of her childhood and her frightening experience with the closet that involved her two brothers, Jeff and Steven.

The night was July 8, 1995. It was a cool, windy night outside the Grazer House, the streets were empty and light posts shinned beams of yellow fog onto the streets and sidewalks, as wind pushed green leaves onto the horizon. Mr. Adam Grazer and Mrs. Karen Grazer; Emily's parents, are at an undisclosed location, somewhere possibly in town, celebrating their seventeenth wedding anniversary. Meanwhile, eight year old, Emily Grazer is inside the house, watching the movie, Halloween, sitting on a lime green couch in the living room with her older brother, Steven, sitting next to her and Steven's friend, Robert, sitting on a leather bauhaus club chair. The credits rolled, signaling the end of the movie. Emily is now sitting in the feedle position, on the couch, shaking. "What's wrong with you sister, dude?", said Robert. "I don't know, I guess she doesn't like horror movies", said Steven. "Yo, where did Jeff go? He just like disappeared", said Robert. "Oh yeah, he told me like twenty minutes ago, when I went to the bathroom, that he was going for a walk", said Steven. "Oh, okay", said Robert "So, Emily, what did you think about the movie?" Emily did not respond. She just sat there, in the feedle position, terrified of the movie that she has just witnessed on the television screen in front of her. "Emily, hello?", said Steven. "Woah dude, your sister's messed up. When I was eight years old, I was able to take on much scarier movies than Halloween", said Robert. "Well, your parents probably didn't shelter you as much as they do to her. My parents hardly even let her watch PG rated movies", said Steven. "Wow, your parents are mad gay", said Robert. After Robert's remarks, there was a long, awkward silence. "Yo, shut the fuck up", said Steven, breaking the silence. "Nah man, I was just joking", said Robert. "Yeah, I know, but don't be calling my parents that", said Steven. "Alright, no problem, just chill out, man", said Robert. Robert then got up from out of the chair and walked over to Emily, sitting on the couch. Robert then, eye balled, Emily, staring at her, strangely. "Say something", said Robert. Robert then poked Emily on the cheek with his index finger. "Stop it, you jerk", said Emily. "Finally", said Robert. "So, Emily, what did you think about the movie?", said Steven. "It was okay, I guess. Nothing special", said Emily. "Did you think it was scary?", said Steven. "Nuh uh", said Emily, shaking her head. "Not one bit." "That's strange", said Robert. "Because I did. You do know that was a true story, right?" "It was?", said Emily. "Yeah, it was", said Steven. "And what's even scarier was that the last time there was a Michael Myers sighting was in this house." "There was?", said Emily. "Yes, there was. Before mom and dad moved in, eighteen years ago, in this house, two young couples moved in and one day, Michael Myers paid a visit to this house, but when the police came and caught him, it was too late, he had already stabbed them to death with his butcher knife, but no need to worry, he's locked up, so he won't come out to harm, anybody." "Well, that's a relief", said Emily. "Wait, a minute, Steven", said Robert. "Didn't you hear on the news, yesterday, that Michael Myers has escaped from jail and is now on the loose." "Oh my God, really?!", said Steven. "Yes", said Robert. "Well, it doesn't really matter to us. He probably doesn't remember where this house is, anyway. He's just some big, stupid psychopath", said Steven. "Yeah, but...", said Robert as a large bang from outside the room interrupts him mid-sentence. "What was that?", said Steven with a frantic voice. Emily screams. A wave of terror washes over her face. "Well, we better investigate", said Robert. "Yes, lets", said Steven. The banging noise continues from outside the room as Steven and Robert pick up Emily and carry her outside of the living room into the hallway. On the other side of the hallway, the closet door is visibly shaking and you could hear the thud of some force inside the closet, banging itself against the door, trying to get out. Robert and Steven then carry Emily down the hallway as Emily screams in utter terror. Robert and Steven then put Emily down in front of the shaking, closet door, but their arms still remain a firm grip on her shoulders and arms, so it stops her from escaping from their grasps. "Come on, Emily. Let's investigate", said Steven. "Yeah, lets", said Robert. Robert then opens the closet door and Steven pushes her in and closes it behind her. Robert then presses his body against the closet door, stopping Emily from escaping as Steven watches on and laughs, hysterically. Emily's screams from inside the closet, can be heard throughout the entire house. Emily is experiencing mind numbing terror as the dark figure inside the closet grabs a hold of her, shaking her, somewhat. "I'm going to get you, Emily, I'm going to devour you alive", said the dark figure. Emily grabs for the door knob and turns it, but to no avail, since the weight from Robert's body pressing against the door, stopped her from opening the door and escaping. The dark figure then bit, Emily's arm. "Mmm, tasty", said the dark figure. "Help!", yelled Emily. Outside the closet door, Robert and Steven can be heard laughing, uncontrollably. "You're going to die, Emily, you are going to die!", said the dark figure. "Somebody help me!", yelled Emily. "You're coming with me", said the dark figure as he pulled Emily deeper and deeper into the closet. "Okay, that's enough", said Steven from outside the closet. "Open the door, Robert." "Alright", said Robert, still laughing. Robert then opens the closet door and Emily and the dark figure come out of the closet and then Emily runs up the stairs into her room, screaming, uncontrollably. The dark figure that came out of the closet, wasn't some kind of monster, but Emily's older brother, Jeff. Robert, Jeff and Steven then all break out into laughter. "Yo, that was fucking funny as hell", said Robert. "Yeah, I know, she was terrified in there", said Jeff. "You do anything to her?", said Steven. "Nah, nothing really, just bit her on the arm, a little", said Jeff. "Oh my God. This is so funny", said Steven. "Yeah, I know", said Jeff. "What did you say to her, when you were both in the closet?", said Robert. "I said to her that I was going to kill her and devour her flesh", said Jeff. "Yo, this has to be the funniest shit that we've ever done", said Steven. "Yo, but don't you think this was kind of messed up, I mean, I never saw somebody, so scared in my life", said Robert. "Nah, man, she'll get over it", said Steven. "Did she even see it was me, when she came out?", said Jeff. "I don't know, probably not, since, she ran up the stairs, so fast", said Steven. "Yo, if she didn't know it was Jeff in there, then she might be upstairs calling the police, right now", said Robert. "Oh shit, you're right. Emily! Come down, it was all a joke! Jeff was the one in the closet, not Michael Myers or some kind of monster!", yelled Steven.

Outside of Dr. Brown's office, a pale blue moon hanged high in the night sky and shinned thin rays of blue light onto the large brown building which occupies Dr. Brown's office and onto the many cars speeding by on the cold, dark, gloomy city streets. Inside of Dr. Brown's office, Emily is lying down, stretched out on a blue couch and has just finished up on telling the story of what she had remembered on that dreaded day, back in July 8th of 1995, to Dr. Brown. "So, when you ran upstairs into your room, did you call the police?", says Dr. Brown. "No, I didn't", says Emily. "I was so terrified of what just had happened that, all I did for hours was just lie in my bed in my room, under my covers and waited until my mom and dad came home." "Did your two brothers and their friend, Robert get into trouble at all for what they did to you?", says Dr. Brown. "Yes, they did. Jeff and Steven were grounded for a month and Robert wasn't allowed to come over my house anymore and I've heard that his parents had punished him harshly because of what he had helped do to me", says Emily. "Well, it must have been a traumatizing experience for you, Emily", says Dr. Brown. "Yes, it was", says Emily. "Do you think that this experience has anything to do with your fear of closets and your strange, supposed auditory hallucinations that you hear from your closet on occasion?", says Dr. Brown. "Well, I think so, but I don't only hear auditory hallucinations from my closet. I also see visual hallucinations", says Emily. "What do you see?", says Dr. Brown. "Remember when I told you, when Robert and Steven were leading me down the hallway to the closet, that the closet was shaking?", says Emily. "Yes, I do", says Dr. Brown. "Well, I see that, sometimes when I'm alone, lying in my bed in the dark in my room in my apartment", says Emily. "I feel so scared, that I sometimes run out of the room or leave my apartment. It's so terrifying. It's really effecting my life. What can I do to make this stop, doctor, what can I do?" "Well, it appears to me, Emily, that you are receiving of what I believe to be hypnagogic hallucinations. Do you feel that you have insomnia at all?", says Dr. Brown. "No, I don't. I sleep quite well when I don't see or hear these things from my closet and I sometimes sleep on my couch because of this", says Emily. "Well, I can prescribe some pills to help you with your occasional visual and auditory disturbances, but I think that the best way to help you is for you to overcome your fear of closets", says Dr. Brown. "How am I going to do that?", says Emily. "Well, not too many phyciatrists would do this, but I am willing to stretch the rules a little for you", says Dr. Brown. "What are you going to do?", says Emily. "I am going to go with you to your bedroom in your apartment and I'm going to shut off all the lights to your room and show you that there isn't anything to be afraid of and there is nothing in your closet", says Dr. Brown. "Really? You mean it?", says Emily. "Yes", says Dr. Brown. "Now we better get a move on." Dr. Brown that got up from out of her chair that she was sitting on and put on her light brown coat that was hanging from a coat rack in her office. She then opened the door to her office and Emily got up from the couch that she was lying on and followed Dr. Brown out of her office and out of the building and into her car as she rode off to her apartment building as Dr. Brown sat passenger side.

Outside of the apartment building, storm clouds as black as coal, hanged high in the night sky, making the moon disappear completely from sight, which would of made the street completely dark if it wasn't for the lone, light post at the end of the road, that shinned beams of dull, yellow light onto the surrounding street and sidewalk that it was positioned next to. Inside the apartment building, in Emily's apartment, Emily and Dr. Brown are standing in Emily's lit bedroom. Emily is visibly shaking, for she does not know what to expect to happen when Dr. Brown opens her closet door. Even though, she knows that there is no such thing as paranormal creatures that live in closets, she still feels on edge because of her traumatic experience with a closet, when she was eight years old, but with this new found experience that she is about to have with Dr. Brown, she hopes to end this terrible phobia of closets and to able to move on with her life, once again and to finally, escape a life of fear and worry. "Emily, this is going to be a very big step with your recovery process. How do you feel?", says Dr. Brown. "A little nervous", says Emily. "Well, it's okay to be nervous. You should be proud of yourself for even letting me do something like this with you, a few months ago, you probably would of never let me do this. You have really improved", says Dr. Brown. "Thank you", says Emily. "Okay, now it's time for the healing to begin. Are you sure that you are ready for this?", says Dr. Brown. "Yes....I'm sure", says Emily. "Okay. Here it goes", says Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown then walks over to the light switch and turns it off. The room is now completely dark. Dr. Brown then walks over to the closet door and puts her hand on the doorknob. "Okay, Emily, this is going to be a really big step in recovery for you", says Dr. Brown. Dr. Brown then turns the doorknob and opens the closet door. Inside the closet, there is nothing, but darkness. "You see, Emily, there is nothing to be afraid...", says Dr. Brown as a force pulls her into the closet and the door closes behind her.

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