I’ve been working on a story idea this week, and its big theme is fear. Initially I was thinking that my characters would face their worst fears and learn to overcome them, but the events in Paris yesterday stopped me in my tracks.
I sometimes get anxiety attacks, and I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, heart racing, hands shaking. I know this isn’t uncommon, and I’m a worrier by nature, so I’m okay with it.
But I’ve never had to cope with the kind of fear that some people faced in Paris yesterday. And that fear has spread. Already fingers are being pointed, and knee-jerk reactions from governments will inevitably lead to more bloodshed.
We’re also seeing wonderful things: taxi drivers turning off their meters so people can get home, Parisians offering food and beds to bewildered tourists, queues of people lining up to give blood, and a man playing a piano…
How we live with fear defines us.
There’s a moment near the end of Time Bandits where the gang ask if Kevin can come with them, but the Supreme Being says that he needs to stay and continue the fight against evil. I think it’s the same with fear.
Fear is never overcome. It will always be with us. It’s okay to be scared, as long as we don’t let it turn us into monsters. That way fear wins. So, I’m going to re-think my story.