The Horror Effect

By: Maanasa Bommineni

The silence comes first,
Filling the room the way water fills a pool.
It drives us to the edge of our seats,
Sending hearts pounding and bodies trembling,
But it's not enough to drown the silence.

Then the music escalates,
Resonating in our ears as we grip the chairs.
It makes our eyes widen as we momentarily forget to blink.

On the screen, she turns a corner.
We curse her ignorance, fearing for her as if it is us.
Still, we can't turn our eyes away,
We're enticed by her every breath.

The drama heightens.
Will she be alright?
We know the answer, but hope still blooms in the form of crossed fingers.

Unexpectedly, the unthinkable happens.
It leaves us checking under chairs,
And searching in vain for the monsters that snatch starring roles in our nightmares.
The monsters that leave us stubbornly thinking that they lurk in the shadows.

Then, within the blink of an eye, she's gone.
It's over.
The lights sparkle back to life in a silent omen to leave,
But we stay a moment longer,
Making sure we're alright.

And we are.

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