A to Z Challenge: T is for Terror

a-to-z HEADER [2015] - aprilGood morning! Typical blustery spring day. I love it. We’re in countdown mode. Seven days until the end of the month and the end of the challenge. So, what shall we talk about today?

Badage linkedThe inspiration for today’s post came from last night’s episode of Criminal Minds. That program serves as my muse on more than one occasion, and last night was no exception.

Don’t get me wrong; it isn’t their story line that temps me. It’s the fertile ravings of my deranged mind that takes one of their ideas and runs with it. For example, in last night’s episode, the characters became killers because they were drugged into recalling a recovered memory. From my research, I know these memories are often false, usually brought on by questionable psychological therapy methods including hypnosis and guided memory recall.

So today’s post is T for Terror.

TWhat scares you? We often use the word terrified as an equivalent synonym for frightened or scared, but true terror is the stuff nightmares, and a surprising number of my books, are made of. Terror goes beyond  alarm, dismay, or consternation. Some people are afraid of thunderstorms, others hate spiders, bats, rats, and such, but they aren’t terrified of them. Terror, implies a level of fear far beyond the norm, and it isn’t limited to everyday things.

It’s possible to be terrified of ordinary things. Arachnophobia  is a severe panic-inducing fear of spiders. Aerophobia, also known as pteromerhanophobia is the fear of flying. Achulophobia is the formal term for a crippling fear of the dark, something my heroine in The White Lily suffers from, but I won’t tell you why. Bogyphobia refers to the fear of bogeymen, not the normal, “There’s a bogeyman under my bed” complaint of most children, but one far beyond that. Didaskaleinophobia is the fear of going to school, something I’m sure lots of teenagers acquire on test days,  but believe me, having seen how debilitating it can be for those who truly suffer from it, I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Xenophobia, the fear of other races, and triskaidekaphobia,the fear of the number thirteen, are both real conditions that can cause panic on the part of its sufferers. Phobias are real, but often irrational, and while some maintain they can be cured, such a thing is easier said than done.

Terror is often seen in the presence of uncontrollable danger or evil. Terror is prolonged and the object of it can be real or imagined. Young children sometimes suffer from night terrors, nightmares so scary they leave them frozen with fear, unable to respond to events around them, and while there’s nothing there to scare them, their reactions are very real.  How many parents deal with the nightly ritual of monsters under the bed, in my closet, in the basement? What about the need to keep a nightlight on? My grandson used to use the term “big dark.”  He couldn’t be put in a room without a light on. To do so was guaranteed to bring on a tearful crying jag that couldn’t be alleviated until the “big dark” was gone.

What terrifies me? The daily news. You can chuckle, but hearing about the terrible things we, as human beings, do to one another, is what frightens me most. Look at what history has taught us. Men, like Adolph Hitler, can convince millions to do things we see now as unbelievable because they played on fears and terror. We have groups out there dedicated to eradicating the life I prize dearly because I don’t follow the same religion as they do. Others want to destroy me simply because of my gender. What terrifies me most is how easily they seem to be able to convince others, born and reared under the laws I value, to join them in the fight. What terrifies you?

Now, click on the sunflower to visit other T posts.

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About mhsusannematthews

Finally retired after more than 30 years as a teacher! Now, I get to spend my time gardening, enjoying my grandchildren, and writing. I finally completed the number one item in my bucket list and Crimson Romance published my first novel, Fire Angel, in April 2013. Since then I have sold 24 other manuscripts to date and don't plan to quit writing for a long time yet.
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3 Responses to A to Z Challenge: T is for Terror

  1. I can certainly relate to terror of hearing all the terrible things that go on in the world. For that reason, I no longer listen to the news.

  2. Paula Kaye says:

    That episode last night was terrifying!

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