A lesson in irony: I write thrillers.
I’m also a chicken.
I’m scared of clowns. Also sharks. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Both poisonous and non-poisonous snakes. Anything with six or eight legs. I am also scared of filling up my gas tank (I know, it’s weird. It started out as something I just didn’t do and now it has become a whole thing). And when I was little, I would stay awake worrying that a giant comet would knock the Earth off its orbit and we’d either plummet into the sun or drift into outer space and we’d all die a horrible death at the hands of one extreme temperature or the other.
My family was a bit surprised by the whole thriller thing.
My little cousins: “Megan, remember that time you were babysitting and we convinced you there were ninjas outside and you had to call your mom?” Yes, yes I do.
And my mom: “Megan, remember when people were cleaning the gutters and you thought there was someone in the attic and you ran out the back door in your NY Giants pajamas?” Yep, I remember that too. (Also, I wasn’t a child.)
And my husband: “Hey, remember that time we went snorkeling and we saw a reef shark and you started screaming SHARK and flailing around and I had to drag you back to the boat because you refused to look in the water again?” How could I forget.
My parents went so far as to get me The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Travel for Christmas one year. I learned a lot of important things from there – like how to survive a volcanic eruption – and some less important things – like how to survive a UFO abduction. But the point is, I know about fear.
You know the saying: write what you know. Fear and I, we go way back. It’s finally coming in handy.
So thank you to my cousins, who taught me exactly how it feels to fear someone outside the window in the dead of night – real or imagined.
Thank you, shark, for teaching me the difference between fear and dread.
Thank you, wild turkey in New Hampshire, for chasing me down a mountain, and teaching me that fear can make me run faster than I ever imagined.
Thank you, cliquey girls in elementary school who scared the crap out of me at slumber parties. You didn’t really teach me much of anything. But you did introduce me to insomnia. So, thanks, I guess.
And lastly, thank you, overactive imagination. Nice work beating out the math part of my brain for career direction. Totally didn’t see that one coming.