Posts Tagged ‘spiders’

What Really Scares YOU?

Everyone is afraid of something. I don’t care how brave you act. We all have those triggers that make us quake inside. I’m not talking about the thinking fears, fear of death, fear of loss, fear of accidents. What I’m talking about is the irrational fears that we drag up from childhood. Sometimes these fears grow with us as we mature, other times they run so deep that they can plunge us instantly back into a state where we are children once again. Some fears have been with us since a time before we can remember.

These fears are my bread and butter. I make a living trying to exploit these fears we all have, in hopes that I can, even just for a few minutes, distract you from the really terrifying things that we as adults, must face every day. I think that is the ultimate purpose and source of the appeal of the horror genre. We all know what we should really be scared of, but it’s more fun to think about the things that petrified us as kids. I have quite a few of these lingering terrors, spiders, the dark (I have never denied that I am still afraid of the dark, though I deal with it better as an adult), strange noises in the night. I know where the spider thing came from. When I was a kid, a fireman down the block was bitten on the toe by a black widow after he left his work boots next to the wood pile. Certain that I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me, but lacking rational thought and any good sense, I decided I would check each shoe before putting my foot in. I did this of course with my hands! Yeah, dumb I know, but I was about 8 or so and like I said, rational thinking wasn’t my best trait yet. This went on for several weeks until the fateful morning that there was indeed a spider in my shoe, and it bit my finger. Fortunately it was a harmless field spider, but it was BIG and very scary. That same summer, I came across a bizarre, lumpy-looking spider on the sidewalk. I hated spiders by then, so I decided it was my duty to squash it’s hateful guts out. The lumps on its back turned out to be about a thousand tiny baby spiders and though I managed to kill Mama, the babies survived and swarmed up my bare leg. There are many more  spider related incidents, but if I think about them anymore, I will need a quick therapy session!

Sometimes we know where our phobias originated (like the spiders, EWWWW!) but often we don’t. One of my nephews is terrified of clowns, many others are afraid of bees or rodents. I myself am not afraid of rodents, I own three gerbils and an ornery Norwegian rat named Booger. He sits on my shoulder, but when he bites, well, it ain’t pretty. I remember when my oldest daughter was about 3, we came across a cooler that had been left in our backyard in the sun. Before I could stop her, she flipped the lid off and the thing was teaming, and I do mean teaming, with maggots. She ran away screaming before she even got a chance to smell them. Something in her was instinctively repulsed by all those squirming white worms, she had nightmares for weeks. Sometimes fear is like that, no conscious thought, just instinct. There is nothing wrong with maggots, sure they’re gross, but they can’t hurt you. They are actually beneficial in many ways. So why was my sweet little toddler so petrified? It’s just one of those things we will never know. I’m rambling a bit here, so I better cut myself off. First though, if I might, I would like to pose a question. What really scares you? I will be taking notes, there might be a story in it!


Why not check out Dark Moon Digest Issue #4? My story Sirens is in there. Maybe it will scare you!

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