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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Fear of the Unknown

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the most frightening images is not so much the vision of someone with a gun or some other obvious threat? I find that it is the “subtle” nuances that can be more effective. For example, the movie “Silence of the Lambs” was particularly frightening because of Hannibal Lector. His calm, yet menacing communication style inflicted more terror for Clarice than if he were to hold her at gunpoint. Why? Because he is a sociopath and thinks much differently than a “normal” person. She can’t anticipate or prepare for his actions which leave her all the more vulnerable. And, sometimes that can be much more frightening than trying to escape or fight off an attacker.

When writing “The Pond” I tried to incorporate several fabrics of terror. Hearing things in the house that are unexplained, noises that are unexplained, friendly personalities of neighbors who present a secret dark side. The idea of unexplained, mysterious or the unknown can present more anxiety for people than expected results.

Then aside from danger situations involving people, there are the natural disasters or an act of God such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis. These come without warning and many times, can occur without people realizing just how close the danger is lurking. The usual exception are animals. I remember that I was working on "The Pond" and out of the corner of my eye, my dog woke out of a sound sleep and looked intently at the door. Her ears were perked and her nose was attempting to smell what was around the corner. As I watched her, I listened closely to my surroundings. I couldn't hear anything unusual. However, within 10 minutes, a nasty thunderstorm with dangerous lightening descended upon my area of town.

If I didn’t have my dog to alert me to a weather change, I would have been caught off guard. If I were the type of person to be afraid of lightening storms, I would have been terrified! The storm came quickly and made an impressive presence. And, somehow my dog was able to hear and or smell the unexpected. This is true of most animals; horses, cows, dogs, cats etc. are usually very sensitive to the unknown such as storms. They can also be sensitive to potential danger from people.

As a result of my experience with my dog, I wrote about animals and their “extra sensory perception” to danger(s). Be on the lookout for these animals in my book, “The Pond.”