Thursday’s Children 4.18: Inspired by Fear


A couple of days ago, I had an incident with a rat that gave me the most horrible nightmares.* Every time I woke up, I felt like my heart was being clenched by some giant, invisible fist. And no matter how many times I told myself “it’s just a rat,” I couldn’t seem to stop my brain from unraveling in a series of rat-related paranoid episodes.

See, that’s the thing about fear. It doesn’t care about rationality.

Still, that isn’t the worst thing, is it? The worst thing is, fear breeds. All it takes is a single upsetting moment. Then you start to doubt. Not just one thing, but everything. Like demonic possession, it opens a door to the darkest part of a person’s brain. And at night, it triples. It’s then that things get really bizarre. I don’t care how well-adjusted or rational you think you are, when you wake up in the middle of the night and you’re still half awake, there really are monsters in the dark. Some people choose to close their eyes and hide under the covers.

But in case you haven’t noticed before now, I’m a bit of a weirdo. I tend  to squint my eyes and peer intently into the darkness–admittedly, while clutching my blankie for tactile emotional support–and silently call out “Hello? Is anyone there?” (I know what you’re thinking. And you’re probably right. I would be the first to die in a low-budget horror flick. Well, maybe not first, but right after the girl with questionable morals and the token minority character.)

But I also learn a lot about myself, and about the monsters in the dark, this way.

See, that’s the thing about monsters in the dark.

They really do make for great stories.

Don’t they?

And now, a few words on the value of fear, from my man Edgar Allan Poe:

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”


“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before.”


“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”


“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”


*Of course, it probably doesn’t help that I’ve been re-watching Supernatural over the past few days, while I revise. I can’t help it, I love me some thriller man candy. I also love thunderstorms and creepy old ruins. In case you were wondering.


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11 thoughts on “Thursday’s Children 4.18: Inspired by Fear

  1. Great blog 🙂 It’s the monsters that keep me writing! 🙂

    Fear is irrational, but a great survival mechanism. Too bad it doesn’t listen when we say , “HEY! stop that!”

    Ah, yes, Supernatural. So nice to find someone else that loves the eye candy.

  2. I love the part about the night letting fears triple. Is it the darkness? Is it the isolation, knowing everyone’s asleep? Maybe it’s the squiggle of thought that you could be snatched from your bed and no one would even notice…

  3. Fear can be a great motivator or a great block. I just had a huge pile up of fear before going to my first con, because I had to drive there, of all things. Fear can get you from the weirdest places. It sounds like you’ve embraced your fears and using that energy to fuel your creativity wonderfully.

  4. I think you’re absolutely right Veronica, fear does make for good stories. And it is definitely strange waking up in the night half asleep and disorientated. You’re a little bit bewildered and everything seems strange. And when you wake up you just can’t for the life of you remember that scary, exciting dream you had – you just know you had it.

  5. DON’T GO DOWN IN THE BASEMENT!!! Alright, I like creepy ruins, cemeteries, fog, lugubrious domestic servants, perverted uncles, malevolent children. I think we could be friends 🙂

  6. This post makes me smile. Most of my stories revolve around fears. I spend a great deal of time thinking about what scares or scared me and what fears are more universal than others. The MC in one of my novels is terrified of the dark–and there is a scene in the book very much like the painting of the kid looking under the bed, well without the dragon and in a house like the one in the other painting 🙂

  7. I don’t know id it’s because I live in an old/creepy English castle, but I rarely get scared in real life. I’m not afraid of darkness either. BUT. I’m a complete chicken when it comes to fiction. There are books, films and TV shows I just can’t sit through because they scare me to death. I make an exception for Supernatural (because: Dean) but there are episodes I’ve basically watched with my eyes closed. So, no, you’re not crazy, and you’re not alone 😉

    1. That is awesome. I’m sure you’re read I Capture the Castle. But have you also seen the movie? So good.

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