When I was a boy I heard stories of witches and devils and creatures of the night. I heard stories of things that ought not to be. Then, as I slept, I would see shapes in the shadows. Hear the dead clawing at my door. When I would wake, I wouldn't be able to move, there would be an old woman holding me down. Leering, smiling, her yellow dog toothed smile. Sometimes I'd wake and there'd be nothing but stillness in the house. I'd be alone. Amongst my family I'd be alone.
And that is what you are afraid of? Not death?
Of course I fear death. But I fear the dark more than I fear death. There is a finality to death. Eventually it will all stop, and even if it is painful getting there, it will stop. But there are things that happen in the dark, when you think you're alone, that don't stop. The dark, even shadows under a desk or a bed, the dark is terrifying. Why, sir, do you think we spend so much time trying to invent new things to light our world? It's because we're afraid. Because we know that there are things in the dark we have no power over.
You're superstitious, then?
Within reason. When I was younger, not yet twenty, I went to the new world. There was a town a few days ride from Boston. In it there was a meeting house, where the Puritan's go on Sundays, and it was small and whitewashed and all around it was forest. Miles of forest between it and the other houses. A reverend told me, if you died along the way no one would know, and those who knew wouldn't care. It's the distance between the houses and the darkness of the forest that's killing us. That's eating us alive. I responded that it was ludicrous. Then some things happened and -
Is that what you think, then? When you look at things? If I died here, would someone know?
Isn't that what everyone thinks, Sir? If I die here, will someone know? But I don't fear it, I only wonder it. Sir. You're not from the north, you don't understand. When you are in the countryside, when you are in the dark miles between homes and farms, when there is something after you, hunting you, no one knows. Or if they do, they don't care. You are alone. And alone anything can happen.