Drabble 144 – Hypsiphobia

A photo of two young women sitting on a cliff, staring at mountains.

Like many people, I don’t like heights. The moment I reach the top of a building–let’s be honest, the moment I reach the top of a ladder–my knees go weak. Not in the romantic way; in the way that feels like I’ve lost control of my body. I picture myself falling, imagine the sick feeling in my stomach of missing a stair but it goes on and on as I plummet six feet, or ten, or twenty, and so on.

It’s not the worst fear to have, thankfully. I can mostly avoid extreme heights, and roller coasters go fast enough that I barely notice the drop. I honestly wonder what it’s like to not be afraid of falling off of even the smallest distances, but I suppose I’m better off not finding out.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.

HYPSIPHOBIA

(n.) from Greek hyps for height + Latin –phobia meaning fear

A fear of high places.

Nina glanced at the broom closet as though suspicious of it. She knew her sisters, more traditional than she, would be on her soon to break out the broom that had been designated hers since birth and take to the skies. But Nina preferred to keep her sneakers on the ground, her spells on her phone, ritual herbs shoved into a shoe box under her bed. It wasn’t that she didn’t have pride in her heritage, only that she preferred to do it her way. Her fear of heights she kept a secret, like a dangerous spell locked safely away.

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