The Alchemy Of Fear

1archaic : frighten

2archaic : to feel fear in (oneself)
3: to have a reverential awe of <fear God>
4: to be afraid of : expect with alarm <fear the worst>intransitive verb: to be afraid or apprehensive <feared for their lives>
fear·er noun
When the going gets tough, I tend to go to the corner store and drink a bottle of orange juice. It calms my nerves a bit. Unfortunately, this trick didn’t work yesterday, when I happened to come across the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I panicked. I could hear my heart pounding in my chest like a gavel banging down on me. My palms instinctively clenched as sweat came pouring out through every little pore in my body. (Well, almost every pore!)
My eyes clouded and I saw myself faint. But I steeled myself against it. “I will not faint,” I told myself. “I will not faint! I will not faint!”
Slowly, I became aware of the fact that my fear was subsiding a bit, just a bit. I ventured to relax a bit and take a few deep breaths. I looked at the horrifying thing and felt a wave of revulsion and paranoia creeping over me. I somehow managed to get over it and looked the thing straight in the eyes. It stared right back at me, without battling an eyelid. It was a game of will now. I held my ground, hoping against hope that the thing would not sense my fear. I was half-expecting it to lunge at me. I braced myself, but imperceptibly. I did not want to show my fear and my doubts.
Then, it happened.
It blinked. It looked straight at me again and said, “Sir, your HSBC credit card bill. Are you feeling all right?”

Published by Nikhil

Nikhil Kumar lives in Bangalore with his wife and their stuffed dog. They are both advertising professionals and lead very exciting lives on the streets, dodging traffic. Their fridge is filled with cans of Diet Coke and their water heater doesn't work. He doesn't smoke (up) anymore.

42 thoughts on “The Alchemy Of Fear

  1. It must be filled with chrges made on Vodka+Tequilla+Whiskey+beer .. Liquors r too expensive these days !! …

    But dont worry .. PAy the minimum amount this month and wait for another scariest thing next month ..

  2. Sir mein ICICI credit cards se baat kar raha hoon.. Would you like to hear about our latest loan offer for people stuck deep in credit? Please shake your head once for YES BRING IT ON,
    twice for I’D LIKE YOU TO CALL LATER. And no, there is no I DON’T WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU AGAIN option.. sorry.


  3. @Dinu
    Hehehe! You don’t want to know! 😀

    Hahaha!! Bingo! 😀

    LOL… Glad to hear that! 😀

    I’m stuck with it! Hehe… 😀

    LOL… liquor is too expensive! 😀

    No! I wont’ tell! It’s too much and I’ll be embarrassed! 😀

    @Kris Bass
    Hehehe…. I could’ve! 😀

    I do not like ICICI…!! Get out!! You people bug me to death!!! 😉

  4. 😀 😀 yet another good one! but tell me seriously, was it a plain orange juice or was it fermented as usual!!! 😉 😛 😛

  5. I thought u must have seen ur face in the mirror just after waking up from a drunken night. 😀 😀 Running a huge credit bill indeed!! being a spendthrift!! what happened to introspection?? 😛 let me know hiw much was it? I want to know how much is too much for u.

  6. @Nik – I dont like HSBC, but I like credit cards. I so much wish that I should just be using it & somebody else pays it. Wow, how cool noo?


  7. Alchemy of fear indeed! Credit card bill 🙂 Remembering Joey from friends and Chandler saying “That is ur phone no.” or the one there is something like part 1 of 2 (don’t remember the exact dialogue/scene!) 🙂 Hope yours was not as huge!

  8. @Sabu
    Welcome to MirrorCracked!
    Was the character in chacha chowdary named after you? I’m sorry, couldn’t resist asking you! I’m sure you’ve got that a lot of times!

    Send me some money!

    That’s every man’s wet dream!

    Yup… Good idea! Will do that!

    I’m not telling! 😛

    Thanks! I need it!

    Hmmm… I didn’t think of that!

    No! Stop harping on that trip!

    Hehehe… Thanks! 🙂

    I’m not telling!

    @La Vida Loca
    Hope the bank consider that and forgo my bill!

    LOL.. All the best!

    Hahahaha!!! No no… it wasn’t… But it was huge enough to make me think of getting three jobs at once!

  9. ROFL!! i’ll stay away from credit card then…! atleast ‘ll try not to have one until the worst need arises…

  10. @Manasa
    Welcome to MirrorCracked! 😀
    And, thanks! 🙂

    Hehehe… yeah, stay away from them! 😀

    Yup… this is the beginning! 😀

    Oh, yes… he was right! 😀

  11. Hey Niks…

    Am so worried about you. Hope u r ok now…slept well???? Nightmares????


    Your reaction was just so like the heroine of “Confessions of a Shopaholic”….:D

    BTW between u n me * u can burn the bill* whoosh! it will be gone 😉

  12. @Smita
    Hehehe… yeah, thanks… I slept well, but not without a few nightmares… And wow, thanks for the tip! You won’t believe it, but I thought of doing the same!! 😀

  13. Nikhil, I’m sorry to intrude with a personal message here. Would you give me your e-mail so that we can indulge in some secretive planning (vigilante activity). Shooo, no one else need to know.

    (PS: Check out my latest posts and you’ll get an idea as to why?)

  14. Similar sentiments on looking at my HSBC bill.. but I had not spent that amount! So a harried me calls up HSBC only to be pleasantly surpised when they say “you don’t have to pay the X amount… it’s ur cash discounts collected over a period of time.. you can go ahead and use this amount without paying us a single penny!”

    yayyy! 🙂

  15. @Nova
    Lucky You!!! 😛

    Ok, I can do that!! When and where? 😉

    Oh wow! Why don’t such things happen to me?? 😀

  16. @Sabu
    Hehehehehe… Thought so! And I’m glad you liked the blog here.,.. Keep visiting! 🙂

    LOL… You know me well, dude! 😀

  17. That was was suspense alright! But I can’t imagine your reaction if you see something truly horrible! 🙂 You tried penning a story? I mean fiction?

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