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The 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 but looking at the title of that book/movie, I noticed that there's a building to the word fear.



The sum of all fears takes all fear that exists and puts it together! The result of that terrific addition is paralyzing! Instead of focusing on the sum of all fears, I want to focus on individual fears--what could be the cause of 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 because most of us understand it. The word alone stands as its own description. The following stories I plan to take to describe fear but not necessarily in a conventional way, I hope.

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 will see who's feelings are hurt last and who has to last say on who's feelings are hurt.

Even still, 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 have listened to me!

Right now my journey begins! I've taken my backpack and I put a sandwich in it for when I get hungry and I'm leaving. I feel lonely already that I left the house and wonder if they miss me yet. Every time I pass by the house no one seems to notice that I'm gone: so, I'll keep running away until they notice.

And he did. He ran away the entire day! He could only walk 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. I know because it happened to me! I decided to run away one day because of the unfair treatment I received from the family but was afraid to cross the street because it was against the rules. I decided to 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. I also put five sentences in each paragraph 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.



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


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, a Black American and friend to Luntu had crossed the ocean reluctantly, was notorious for making 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 new 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 village that didn't exist in Cape Town, South Africa though he never admitted to Luntu he bought the prank hook, line, and sinker!



Inspiration of Uloyiko

Uloyiko, the Xhosa word for fear was my next choice for a short story using the spelling for the first letter of the beginning word of each sentence as the format for my story. Instead of paragraphs, I thought sentences would express my idea better. This is also based on a true event!

I first arrived 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. One of the members of our Church local to the are decided to play a prank on us new missionaries by playing a drunk beggar asking for money. Zethulele didn't buy it.

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

I stayed up all night thinking some men were going to take me in the night. When I saw the teenager on Sunday at church, he had forgotten about telling me the story. That same teen, an adult now, pranked me until I left the Mthatha congregation.



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.

Fear...it 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 The World of Rebels. 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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