Editor’s note – This is a work of fiction, written by me, about what destroying my bridge phobia felt like. The bridge phobia demon and Cynthia are fictional characters of my imagination.She sees it in the distance. Right there – the bridge coils like a cold metal snake over the nothingness of empty space. She feels the bridge phobia demon intrude into her mind, an alien, sinister visitor, its presence an icy mental violation.
Her face clamps shut, and then, with a slight shake of her head, she nods with determination. She knows what to do, what she must do.
Her eyes narrow into slits. She murmurs a brief prayer and continues driving forward. It may be a bridge snake, but snakes can be defeated. It’s been done before.
The Destruction of the Bridge Phobia Demon
Driving onto the first section of the bridge, Cynthia feels a nervous sweat on her forehead. Her heart pounds and her hands go clammy. Panic grips her. She grimly holds the steering wheel, consciously noticing the way it feels under her hands. Her attention snaps back to the present moment, and the panic retreats — a little.
The bridge phobia demon calls to her, inviting her to gaze upon the empty space between the bridge and the water far below. It is seductive, insistent, trying to lay claim to the panic beneath the surface of her mind. It fights dirty.
Cynthia ignores it and holds onto the moment by staring at the bumper of the vehicle directly in front of her. She knows the demon is a liar. Its whispering is the twisted voice of illusion enticing her to travel down its road of false destruction.
She’s at the bridge’s halfway mark now. She takes note of this fact, telling herself she’s already halfway home. Bridge snakes may be nasty, but they’re not omnipotent — and this one’s time is almost up.
Now the bridge phobia demon starts to panic. The whispering turns to screams as it fights desperately for Cynthia’s attention. She’ll be off the bridge soon. Don’t let her get away!
Cynthia continues to ignore it. She turns on the radio to drown out its annoying voice. She opens the driver’s window a crack and concentrates on the moment — the weight of her body in the seat, the feel of the steering wheel, the color and shape of the cars in front of her. She can feel the demon’s power slipping away. Its voice becomes the irritating buzz of an insect. At the three-quarter mark now.
The demon’s desperate. It claws at Cynthia’s mind with every ounce of its strength, trying to turn her from her own path onto its twisted path of fear and panic. She barely notices.
Cynthia reaches the other side of the bridge and drives safely back onto solid ground. The bridge phobia demon’s voice is gone. She blinks and smiles to herself — that wasn’t half as bad as she’d expected.
She knows she’ll face the demon again tomorrow. It will be waiting. And she’ll be ready!