Zing: Unexpected Fear
When I was in the first grade, I travelled with my parents from the mountains of Highland County Virginia to Montevideo, Uruguay. We were there to visit my mom’s sister and family. I have many memories that have been reinforced over the years by slide shows, but one that sticks out distinctly involved a simple trip to the park.
At the park I remember a tree very much like the one pictured above (thank you google images). It’s a tree that’s come to mind whenever I encountered alien trees in my reading, such as in Speaker for the Dead or what I’m currently reading, Lethe. It’s a tree that I compare other trees to. It’s shown up in my dreams and nightmares.
However, it wasn’t the tree or the foreign city that scared me that day. It was an automatic garage door. We’d made it back to the apartment from the park, but instead of heading for the door, we headed for the garage. I’d never experienced an automatic garage door at that point, so when my cousin ran under the closing door I froze. That stands out in my mind as one of the single most frightening moments of my life. It all came rushing back to me as I calmly walked under the closing garage door from my apartment’s parking lot today. I thought about how the most intense scene in a movie or book, for me, is when someone slides under a descending door. It always freaks me out and gets my heart racing.
Keep in mind when you write that ANYTHING that you describe well could spark such a reaction with at least one person. I have no real idea how to USE this, but it struck me as worth noting.