Flash Non-Fiction

Vicente L Ruiz
Oct 4, 2016 · 3 min read

Not happy at all with this week’s challenge. Mind me, fear is a constant in the animal world. Fear protects you, it makes you run when that predator comes for you and keeps you alive, if only because you try to run faster than anyone else (do the largest predators feel fear then? I guess they can). Fear pumps adrenaline into your system and allows you to perform extraordinarily. Believe me, it’s documented. I’ve read it somewhere.

But then, I’m not a particularly fearful person. I am indeed cautious; I’d even say that extremely so, but what that means is that I don’t particularly enjoy feeling fear, as in “oh, let’s watch this horror movie”. I don’t particularly enjoy those. Or horror shows at fairs.

So, here comes Chuck Wendig and challenges us to write a non-fiction about a time we felt frightened, or had a paranormal experience. Did I mention I am profoundly sceptic and don’t believe in anything beyond the real world? Yes, there’s also that. In the end, what I mean to say is that I’m not sure I’ve ever had such an experience. Hell, no: I really mean I know I have never had such an experience. And that in turns puts me in a difficult position to complete this week’s challenge.

Or does it?

I’ve been thinking about this. I’ve recalled a couple of instances where I felt fear, mainly when I was a child. I was also quite well-behaved when I was a kid, so I do recall feeling really frightened on those occasions when I misbehaved, if only because (as I recall, and I do realize I am not objective in this) there were not so many. I do remember two instances especially. But then, in hindsight, those were really stressful moments full of tension tinged with fear. Therefore I don’t think they’re really what we’re looking for.

Finally, it came to my mind that the closest I could get was watching that movie a few years ago. You know which one, the one with the Indian director, the mature male star and the kid. And ghosts, tons of ghosts. We even went to the cinema to watch it, even though that’s not the kind of movie I spend my money in. But hey, it was *the* movie.

And yes, it was good. Even more than good. The acting was superb from both male actors, from the beginning to the very end. The film had layers and layers beyond the simple terror flick that you could slowly peel off if you wanted to. It boasted a terribly clever plot twist that left you amazed, even if you could see it coming.

And it was frightening as hell. when recalling the details, there was nothing particularly gory, or nasty, or ugly. But it did play with your feelings, with your perceptions. It tickled all the buttons.

And know what? That night we went to bed with all lights on.

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