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Division of All Fears?

Rodric Anthony is a writer of fiction and nonfiction. Creating new stories and seeing where they take him is his passion.

When people are afraid, there's a source of that fear or those fears. The source is not necessarily something easily understood but it doesn't have to be overly complicated either.

There's a movie and a book called The Sum of All Fears. I haven't seen that movie in a while, and I've never read the book; nevertheless, looking at the title of that book/movie, I notice that there's a building to the word (((Fear))).



Summating all fears takes all of it that exists and puts it together! The result of that terrific addition is paralyzing! Instead of focusing on the sum of it all, focus on individual fears--what could be the cause of a fear in general.

Week 32 word prompt courtesy of Brenda Arledge inspires my desire in seeking out this exploration of fear. There're so many famous quotes that have to do with fear. I'm not going to list them.

Fear by itself doesn't need someone to describe it or some famous quote to emblazing it in our minds because most of us understand the emotion. The word alone stands as its own description. The following describes fear--not necessarily in a conventional way.

Fear by itself doesn't need someone to describe it or some famous quote to emblazing it because most of us understand it.


For the last time will I ever have to deal with these people hurting my feelings! I could not believe some of the things that they were saying to me. That's why I am running away! I'm going to leave and they will never have to worry about me again! We'll see who's feelings are hurt last, and who has the last say on who's feelings are hurt!

Even so, I never thought that I would have to run away. Leaving all my friends and family is not an easy thing to do. What's going to happen to my toys? It has to be done, however. I sure bet they'll be sad when I'm gone because I'm sad that I have to leave.

All they had to do was pay attention to me! It's not like I was asking much! I don't think I was asking much? I just wanted my cousins to stop bullying me! When I'm gone, they'll see just how much they should've listened to me!

Right now, my journey begins! I've taken my backpack and put a sandwich in it for when I get hungry (PB&J), and I Am Leaving! I feel lonely already since I left, though. I wonder if they miss me yet? Every time I pass by the house nobody seems to notice I'm gone: so, I'll keep running away until they notice.

And he did. He ran away the entire day--around the block because he wasn't old enough to cross the street by himself. Running away meant leaving the house to him but it did not mean breaking the rules too! This 5-year-old just wanted to be treated the way he thought was right!

...he wasn't old enough to cross the street by himself.



Inspiration of Five

The story above is true because it happened to me! Deciding to run away one day, though I dared not cross the street because doing so violated the rules, I dared to the venture. I use a short or micro-story format instead of simply an acrostic poem format, though I began each paragraph with a letter from the word fear. Each paragraph consists of five sentences for each year of my age at the time of the story.

Fear is a great motivating factor in keeping kids in line. Many of the great stories in Western culture use fear to motivate children to behave properly, or studiously--Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood to name a few cautionary tales. Crossing the street while running away kept me from leaving the block.



Fear is a great motivating factor in keeping kids in line.

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Uttered under his breath in ignorant delight he said, "What if it's true?"

Luntu, his new friend, told a story of a Black man who would cross the oceans and become the spiritual leader of Luntu's imaginary Xhosa tribe called the Amaqhinga, translation: the Tricks!.

October presented an opportunity for Luntu to prank his American friend who visited South Africa, full of questions, misconceptions, and stupid sayings like: "I didn't know y'all had that over here too;" or "I thought at least some of y'all would be walkin' around naked!"

Yager, Ollie Yager, Luntu"s friend, Black American, and walking stereotype (..proud of it too), had crossed the ocean reluctantly, notoriously poked fun of Luntu and his African roots, completely ignorant about Africa other than what was in his traveler's app.

"I thought all the tribalism was not a thing down here in South Africa,' Yager cooly replied, though his heart pounded like a bass drum!

Knowing from experience Americans tend to be a bit arrogant and entitled, especially his friend, Luntu told Yager the village elders would take him in the night to coronate him Igqirha, or healer.

Ollie laid awake all night waiting to be taken by elders from a fictional village in metro Cape Town, South Africa--unwilling to admitted he bought the prank hook, line, and sinker!



Inspiration of Uloyiko

Uloyiko is the Xhosa word for fear. Using the spelling of uloyiko, as with the first story, I took each letter to begin the word of each sentence instead of an entire paragraph. This is also based on a true event!

Arriving in Mthatha, South Africa, as a bright-eyed American missionary who asked questions to no end to the consternation of my new friend Zethulele--also a new missionary hailing from Durban, South Africa--I met one of the members of our Church, local to the area, who decided to play a prank on us new missionaries by acting the role of a drunken beggar pleading for money. Zethulele didn't buy it. Hook, line, and sinker, I did.

The drunkard finally admitted to being a teenager from our local congregation. He then decided to see if the American missionary would fall for one more prank, telling me I was the prophesized savior for his tribe--telling a very convincing story. I pretended like I didn't, but I believed him.

I stayed awake all night thinking tribal men were going to take me any time that night. The following Sabbath, I saw the teenager at church. The kid had forgotten about telling me the story! That same teen pranked me until I left the Mthatha congregation each opportunity that presented itself!



Happy Halloween

The pictures in this article are courtesy of my family. We had an activity carving pumpkins for the first time. Fear is never something that we consider pleasant unless we know there is no danger. We love scary movies or scary rides. Scary things are temporary. Fear seems to last longer.

Pick a Pumpkin, Please!

  • Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 32 (Fear)
    "Word Prompts Help Creativity ~ Week 32" is an article to help inspire our creativity. I choose a single word prompt encouaging others to write a poem, a short story, a song or any combination. The only requirement is to relax and have fun writing.

© 2021 Rodric Anthony Johnson


Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 14, 2021:

Misbah, I'm happy my story entertained you! I'm not a fan of Holloween in practice but my kids have gotten me into it since we live in Arizona. We celebrate Holloween in this state like it is a holiday--Holloween lights and gifts and all!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 14, 2021:

Pamela, thanks for reading. I accept your encouraging assessment. Thank you.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 14, 2021:

John, thanks for reading. I'm glad the stories entertained you! Brenda, you, and I have the trying to run away in common. My eleven-year-old kids about running away often. I believe kids just want to know that there's more to life than what they live. There is! Thank God for the internet. Kids can see what happens to runaway's.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 14, 2021:

Brenda, thanks for reading. You were fearless in your runaway attempt! Your dad's love was evident in his giving into his parental concern to go after you. Wow. You meant business Can you write a poem about it?

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on October 14, 2021:

As always, Bill, I receive the well wishes! The family is well. We are under a little stress because we thought I was having a stroke last week! It was a medication reaction I am told. I'm thankful for being able to walk away without it being serious.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 12, 2021:

How very creative of you, my friend. I thoroughly enjoyed this romp through the realm of fear. Thanks for taking us along with you.

I hope this finds you and your family doing well.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 12, 2021:


I never thought about it before, but I guess a few of those children stories are geared with fear.

Little Red Riding Hood,

Or those nursery rhymes like Jack and Jill or London Bridge is Falling down.

Fear plays a big part in how we handle life.

I remember packing a little suitcase when I was little.

I headed down the sidewalk and down the street.

I even crossed the road.

My parents didn't think I would leave...or thought I woukd chicken out and come back home.

I remember being afraid with tears streaming down my cheeks.. but I kept on going until my dad came after me in the car. can do a lot to us.

Interesting article.

I'll post a link in the word prompt article.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on October 12, 2021:

I love these stories, Rodric. very well-written and entertaining especially because they were true. I once decided to run away from home as a child too, but only got one block. I love the pumpkins..especially the last one, but found the third to be scariest.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 12, 2021:

I enjoyed your stories about fear, Rodric. You wrote them in a clever way using the the word fear very effectively. This is a very good response to Brenda's prompt.

Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on October 11, 2021:

Rodric, I greatly enjoyed reading your stories. This is a very nice response to Brenda's prompt and unique as well. I especially liked the first story. I hope your Halloween is filled with both terror and joy. Wishing you early Halloween greetings!

Blessings always!!

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