The following is a guest blog we did for the site http://kindreddreamheart.blogspot.com/, by the intrepid blogger KATRINA. Her blog is very original and entertaining. Check it out.
WHEN IT IS SCARY
Why are we afraid of the dark? (A question purportedly answered by the movie The Sixth Sense.) Why are some people afraid of clowns (something I never understood), or worse, of nuns? (which I understand even less--it seems to me that nuns have more cause to be afraid of the rest of us, than we do of them.)
Why are we afraid? I don’t mean, why do we have phobias. We all have phobias. I have “vexophobia”, the fear of being annoyed by other people. (Okay, okay, I just now made that up. Back off already!) I mean something deeper; something way down inside of our dark, hidden selves. What is it down there that reaches up, grabs us by the throat and tells us when to be scared? Why are we afraid?
As a writer of scary stories this question is something more than metaphysical to me. It is, in fact, not only practical, but a means to earning an income. So, as you may imagine, this is something I have thought about extensively. Shoving all the psychology aside, I think that fear is determined by our perception. It all comes down to when we look out our little window-eyes, what do we perceive is out there, and more importantly, how do we perceive what is out there. Depending on how our minds perceive what our little window-eyes see, I believe, determines if we are to be afraid or not.
As I frequently do when I blog, I’ve reached a point where I have mentally painted myself into a corner. Oh, I can get out of the corner, but can I do it without leaving red footprints all over the place? (For some reason, when I paint myself into a corner I always do it in red paint). I will try to get out of this corner by giving you an example:
“I cut my victims down one by one; slicing their life away as I dismembered their limbs. They did not go willingly. As I attacked them with a large, serrated blade each would groan in protest. They scratched at my face and hands in futile defense, clawing and tearing my flesh. It did them no good. After cutting them down, they screamed as I eviscerated their remains. They could not stop the inevitable. With heartless determination I finished the job, and then carefully cleaned up the mess so there would be no evidence of their remains left behind.”
The above statement is all true, and took place just a couple of weekends ago. I am describing a Saturday morning’s work trimming a number of trees, and pushing the cut limbs through a wood chipper. Remember Fargo?
It wasn’t really that scary, unless you were the tree. Perception.