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Submitted on
November 23, 2012
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I was told to find out about fear. They said to ask people what fear was. So first, I asked a small child.

“What is fear?”

The child frowned thoughtfully. “Fear is when the monsters under your bed are out to get you and you know it, but your mommy and daddy don’t believe you.”

I thanked him and kept going. Next, I asked an old woman.

“What is fear?”

The old woman looked sad. “Fear is the feeling of death creeping up on you and you knowing it is impossible to stop. Fear is being helpless to stop it. Be thankful that you are still young.”

I nodded thanks and kept moving. Finally, I asked a girl with scars on her arms and a scowl on her face.

“What is fear?”

She laughed derisively. “If you need to ask, you won’t know.”

“But I do know!” I protested. “I know that fear is. I just want to know what you think fear is.”

“Do I have to answer?”

I smiled encouragingly. “As soon as you answer I swear to leave you alone and never ask again.”

"Fear is despair. It is hopeless. It is dark and cold and hot and endless, all at once.”

“But that can’t be what fear is!” I exclaimed.

“What do you know of fear?” she asked bitterly. “What do you know of despair and terror and hopelessness? Do you know how it feels to be utterly without hope of seeing the light of day again? Do you have any clue of how that feels?”

“No, I guess not.” I admitted.

She nodded, as though that was what she’d expected.

“But,” I added. “I’d be willing to learn.”

“You can’t “learn”.” She scoffed. “You either experience it… Or you don’t. There are no ways to “learn” these things.”

She paused and looked around, like she was trying to find an escape route from my questions and obvious ignorance. “You said that I’d be free to go once I answered your question, correct? You wanted to know about fear. Well, I can’t teach you about true fear. I can tell you all I know, but that wouldn’t show you fear. I can’t give you fear. So I think that I’ve answered your question. Good bye.”

She turned and walked away from me, and I was left standing there, still unsure of what she meant. I never learned what fear was.
What is fear? Does anybody really know? Is it the boogeyman? Is it death? Or is it something else?
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:icondeepizzaguy:
Deepizzaguy Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2013
I remember author Robert Kiyosaki who wrote the book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" said fear means False Evidence Appearance Real. He should know about it. He served in the United States Marines in Vietnam.
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:iconbread-and-swords:
Bread-and-Swords Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is an amazing piece of work and the last one is right fear is different for everyone
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:iconpsycho-wolf131:
Psycho-wolf131 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012   Writer
Good job on this piece :)
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:iconjsaren:
Jsaren Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Oh, wow! I really, really love this piece! :heart:
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:iconwaykokid:
waykokid Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
the little girl is scared of something she herself does not know shes scared of the monsters that may or may not be there it isnt known the old woman is afraid of what may or may not kill her and afraid of not knowing when she will or wont die and the last response are the girls personal beleafs on fear
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:iconwaykokid:
waykokid Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
fear is the unknown
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:iconslenderlassie:
Slenderlassie Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Life is fear.
Love is fear.
Death is fear.
We are fear.
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:iconpandela12:
Pandela12 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012
Fear cannot be defined. It can only be felt. Fear is different for many people.
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:iconeverlasting90:
Everlasting90 Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That last conservation struck fear in me. Scarred girl got issues :O.

Fear is many things to different people. It has many incarnations. It's our worst nightmare we hope to never see in reality. To face it is to defeat it.

Anywho, great story. Powerfully gripping.
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:iconalice-knightshadow:
Alice-KnightShadow Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Fear is fear it self
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