Starting with the usual bit of context: the topic is from the Weekly Blogging Challenge over at Long and Short Reviews. Hit their homepage to see the current week's responses, and add a link to your own if you're so inclined.
This week's challenge is Things That Scare Me.
It's 2019 in the United States of America and Donald Trump is president, and his... regime... is the outgrowth and culmination of Republican political policies and strategies that have been around, and worsening, for my entire lifetime. So at this point it would be fair to say that I'm no longer afraid of anything; it would be equally fair to say that I'm afraid of everything. In particular, I'm afraid that there are a great many things going on that seem likely to have horrible consequences for people I care about, including my own children, that I have essentially no control over.
I don't focus on that. Not much. I can't. I'd be overwhelmed by it, reduced to useless despair. So I do what I can, and cling to the hope that the situation isn't as bleak as it looks (even as absolute horrors are perpetrated every day at an individual level). I try to hold to Things Are Horrible And Must Be Fixed, without sliding over into This Is Irredeemable And I Have Brought Children Into The World Just In Time To Witness The Next Great Die-Off.
But that's what I fear.
I don't fear ghosts. Not even the ghosts of my own mistakes. I live with them, and try to learn from them.
I don't fear werewolves. The ones who've wrestled with their beasts, learned their ways, and made peace with them? They're among the safest of companions, and the wisest.
I don't fear zombies. They're just trying to get by, like everybody else. Leave them some room, move past them, and let them get on with what they're doing. Help them on their way, and they're fine.
I do fear crowds. (Literally, actually: I have a phobic reaction to having too many unfamiliar people pressed in around me. It's not uncontrollable, mostly, but if you ever really wanted to push me into a state of panic, that would be the way to do it. Remind me to tell you about how Beautiful Wife and I noped out of New Year's Eve in New Orleans in 1999, when the specter of Y2K and the turn of the millennium had brought everyone out onto the streets.) I fear large groups of ordinary people, because they're unpredictably volatile and because they're all around me.
And I do fear vampires, but not because of their endless hunger or their presumed superiority to everyone else; at this point in my life, what I fear is that we can never reach their castles to put the stake in. The distance is too far, the peasantry too desperate for work to pull together and end them. I'd like to be rich in much the same way that I'd like to have Vast Supernatural Powers: it's a pleasant fantasy, and if by some dark miracle I ever find myself in that position I'll do my best with it. But mostly I'd like to be comfortable, to have enough, to own my own time and be able to produce the things dearest to my heart. I fear the ones who hunger endlessly, who are never satisfied, who want to keep me constantly producing things that they can profit from.
I am so, so very tired sometimes.