I clutch at my blanket, watching the sky for the next strike. I wait through the silence until a distant rumble shakes the air. I hold my breath. The sky suddenly flashes and cracks, a crooked streak that burns through the clouds. A second later the air pops and bellows. The walls shake, the windows rattle. My heart speeds up in my chest. My nerves beg me to run, to hide, but I can’t. I’m fixated on the sky, watching, waiting, praying for another one.
There are different kinds of fear. Most are the negative kind, preventing us from living our lives to the fullest–fear of rejection, of failure, of disappointment.
Sometimes we delight in being afraid. People flock to haunted houses for a reason. (I am not one of those people.) Thrill seekers pursue mild experiences of fear from roller coasters to more intense activities like jumping off a cliff.
Fear gets your heart racing, your pulse pounding in your ears, your hands shaking as adrenaline courses through your body. It wakes up every nerve so your whole body feels alive with tingling energy.
Everybody has fears. Most of us probably dwell on the ones that paralyze us, the ones we try to avoid or hide from. Do you ever think about the fear you love, the one that you would chase to experience instead of hide from?
Lightning terrifies me. Its unbridled, destructive power makes me tremble. But I love it. It’s the closest I can come to understanding what the fear of the Lord is–awe, love, reverence…trembling fear.
What fear are you addicted to? What are you scared of yet you chase in order to experience that terrifying awe? I love hearing from you!
You can also find me on Mistress Suzie’s blog today with another flash fiction episode of my kitty’s adventures.
That is a really bad question to ask knowing I may respond, lol. I’m such an adrenaline junky that even the scary stuff appears like an opportunity to feel alive. The first time I jumped out of a plane and that parachute opened, it was the closest I had ever felt to God. It was a beautiful day, slight breeze blowing. Just me and some nylon and string while I slowly drifted toward the earth. I loved it and called everyone that would answer their phone to tell them about it. To be honest, though, doing it 36 more times caused my fear to grow as I was injured a number of times when landing. Some quite painful. Yet the rush I felt afterward made it worth it.
There aren’t many things I wouldn’t do or haven’t done. No matter how scary some think it is. Despite this, I do have one fear that overwhelms me more than anything else. Some people would guess it to be snakes, heights, spiders, rollercoaster rides, small places, etc. It is none of these things though. No, I have an overwhelming fear of garbage disposals. As in, after a couple bad experiences, I couldn’t even be in the same room when one was turned on. Eventually, once I lived on my own for awhile and couldn’t get someone else to do it, that fear had to be curbed some because the sink really needed to be cleared. For a while, I would flip the switch and race out of the room until it was over. Then dash back in to turn it off. Now, I’m up to keeping a special cover on it so less things can even get down there and I only move partway accross the kitchen after turning it on. I get no adrenaline rush from it, though. If I could avoid using the thing altogether, I would!
I like it when you respond, Susan. 😀 Plane jumping is something I will never do, but I can definitely imagine how thrilling it must be. I can’t believe you kept doing it when your fear increased; I think I’d give in to that fear. Good job.
Oh, I can totally understand the garbage disposal! I don’t like it either. It’s right next to the light switch and I’m always afraid I’m going to accidentally flip it on. Whenever someone in a movie sticks their hand down the drain to retrieve something, I clench up.
There was a good reason I kept doing it. If you want to go Airborne, you must sign a contract stating you will keep jumping for 36 consecutive months after completing the school. It costs the Army about $80k to send each person through so they want their money’s worth. That means if at any time you refuse to jump, it could result in a field grade Article 15. They push the max punishment on it which is 45 days of restiction and extra duty on top of loss of rank and pay. Not to mention everyone in the unit will shun you. I saw people who did it and they were made miserable for chosing not to jump. Far better to just keep leaping out of that plane, fear or no fear! Not to mention many male soldiers think women shouldn’t even be allowed to go Airborne. Less than half of the few women who volunteer for it can even pass the school because the physical requirements are so tough. So if female soldiers refuse to jump, it just proves the male’s point.
As for the garbage disposal, the fear came after I failed to check it once and a knife flew out at me. The next time I checked it and got electricuted. That was it for me. Wouldn’t even stay in the same room when it was on for years after that!
So your fear of ridicule was greater than your fear of jumping.
A knife and electrocution! I’d say you have very good reason to be afraid of the garbage disposal. Reminds me of a Final Destination movie. (Even the commercials freak me out.)
I think you are right that fear of ridicule had a lot to do with it, though the punishment was no joke either.
Yes, the knife and electrocution definitely struck a fear in me like nothing else has.
I make up scary stories when I’m alone. Example: My parents live 2 hours from me. The road to their house is long and goes through towns that look like something out of one of those Wrong Turn horror movies.
It never fails that I have to find a restroom about halfway there. My favorite pit stop is a rest area. When it’s crowded, it’s like any other place. When it’s deserted, though, I make up stories of a serial killer stalking me in the restroom.
My imaginings become so real that I can smell the killer’s unwashed hair and hear the whisper of his breathing. My heart pounds as I hurry to finish my pit stop, but by the time I am leaving, I’m grinning. Fear feels good.
Yikes, Catie! Now, when you imagine the serial killer catching you, do you imagine fighting back and bashing his head in? 😉
Oh, I’d fight. I’d probably stab him in the eye with my key. Or bite him. LOL
Hmmm… I’m not sure what it would be for me. I don’t like horror, so that kind of fear is definitely out. I like roller coasters but I’m not an adrenaline junkie. The closest thing I can think of right now is procrastinating until the last moment and then using my fear of failure to get everything done in one go. Does that count?
Haha, I’ve known people like that. At least you can make your fear work for you. My anxiety over not meeting deadlines would make it harder for me to get things done.
I’m sort of afraid of heights, but I’d say my biggest fear is usually of failure. It never seemed like a big deal to fail, until I had children. Now I want to show them how to not let fear of failure stand in the way of your dreams. It’s funny, conversely, it’s my kids that pushed me to publish my first novel. I was kind of afraid to do it.
That’s great, Jillian. Easy to give advice; harder to follow it. We need those helpful kicks from people we love.
I love scary movies. The more I want to hide under the blanket, the better. Love shutting off all the lights and burrowing into the couch. I’m not a big thrill seeker, though. I stick to the scary movies!
Oy! I could never watch a scary movie in the dark. (Actually, I can’t really watch scary movies at all. The few times I’ve watched parts, I had headphones on with music blaring.)
Scary books and movies–and not just creatures and supernatural plotlines, serial killers and lunatic criminals too. But what do I write? Paranormal romance and romantic suspense. What can I say?
Hehe, that’s okay, Cheryel. I’m pretty compartmentalized in my interests too. I read and write urban fantasy, but I mostly watch crime dramas. Criminal Minds is my favorite. 😀
Scary stuff is my go to also. Anything horror genre…movies, short stories, novels. I’ll also OD on TV crime dramas and real life crime recaps like those done on Dateline and MSNBC. I’ll watch marathons until I’m yearning to check the alarm system. Maybe the draw is viewing the human nature to survive?
I like it when the bad guys get caught. Or when the last victim is saved at the last moment. Thanks for commenting, Barbara!
I’m afraid of posting really lame stuff on FB, Twitter, and comments to blogs. No, seriously. I usually type three to four replies and delete them thinking they’re stupid. This is my first one and I refuse to delete it. I’m facing my fear right now.
Criminal Minds? *shudder* scares the bejeepers out of me. Can’t even think about it.
Tameri, I have the same fear! I will read over my comments and Tweets three to five times before I convince myself to post it. It’s one of the reasons social media takes me twice as long as it should. 😉
I don’t like scary or horror movies probably because I’m afraid of the dark. It’s really weird to even hear myself say that. LOL I can sleep in the dark when my husband is here or when someone else is staying with me but I can’t sleep in my house alone in the dark. When I turn a night light on, I feel this instant sense of peace, like all’s right with the world. I’ve tried to face this one but no success so far. Hubby is out of town tonight…
Isn’t it amazing how darkness changes everything? Is it fear of the unknown/unseen, or fear of lack of control? There is nothing wrong with a nightlight. I don’t sleep in complete darkness either. I have one of those emergency lights that come on when the power goes out, and the rest of the time it glows a faint orange.
For me, the fear I enjoy is roller coasters. I laugh my head off even when I feel like I’m going to fly off the ride. And like you, I enjoy lightning, thunder, and huge crashing waves. But I hate fear of missing a deadline, and I have unbearable anxiety about things like buying the wrong gift or not having the right food or drinks at a party. And stage fright when playing the piano.
Hey Paul! I was waiting for someone to say they loved roller coasters. I hadn’t thought of waves, maybe because I don’t live near the beach, but looking back on some still shots I’ve seen, I bet that would be awesome. Anchored, of course.
I wonder if stage performers love the thrill of stage fright, or if it’s just something they try to get over for each performance. Thanks for stopping by!
Haunted houses. I would love to find one and hang out for awhile. Thinking of it gives me chills, but I would do it in a heartbeat. I would love to feel an entity’s energy, to stand up tall and face whatever is there…that is what I seek.
Oh, that is a good one Diana. I have to join you on that one. Haunted houses can be quite a thrill, yet really scary. I actually suspect my home is haunted, but I’m nervous as to say why.
I’ve been to a haunted house once, and I will never go again. 😛 But it sure seemed like a fun idea at the time. 🙂
I went to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not haunted house in Myrtle Beach, SC once. My ex, an Airborne infantry guy was with me and hid behind me, clinging to my shirt the whole time. I swear he really was scared. Seemed kind of funny, considering his job, so those of you who fear haunted houses shouldn’t feel bad.
Anyway, it was really dark and I kept stumbling into walls. This caused me to say out loud that I wish I had my “Nods” with me. Of course, the guy currently trying to scare us didn’t know what that was and couldn’t resist asking. I heard his voice floot out from behind a wall “What are nods?”. To be fair, it was a kind of creepy voice. I explained they were night vision goggles. You had to laugh that I got the scary guy into a conversation. Kind of ruined any fear I might have felt, lol.
Haha. That’s funny, getting him to break cover. I remember the room that scared me the most was black and white with flashing lights and the guy was dressed like the wall, so you couldn’t see him until he jumped at you.
There are a few things that scare me although I consider myself helplessly brave 🙂 I’m scared of wild animals roaming free in the woods close to my house.
Fear and love are so closely knitted, that it’s hard to separate them. And because I love my kids, I’m also scared that one day I might not be there for them, when they still need me.
I’m trying to work out “helplessly brave,” hehe. That’s a good point about fear and love being closely knitted. Thanks for commenting! 🙂
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