All Posts Tagged ‘fear

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Fear

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As a reporter I have been involved some dangerous situations related to war and terrorism. Once I witnessed and followed a Police operation against a terrorist group very active in my city. I went with the police to a terrorist safe-house where the terrorists had hidden lots of weapons and explosives and they have prepared a place ready to hold a kidnaped person.

One of the terrorists who was arrested was present during the search of the place as was I, and he threatened me and my photographer to death. He was looking at me madly as if I was the only responsible for his fall. I was scared of him despite he was arrested and handcuffed. He kept telling me he knew who we were and that we will pay for what we were doing. I said nothing a continued taking notes about the operations to write my article for my newspaper.

Soon, the police took him away and I felt better.

During the operation the police had arrested three members of the terrorist cell: two men and a woman. She was the boss. She had been wounded in a shooting with the agents. When they caught her she had two handguns, and three grenades concealed under her coat. She opened fire against the police when they stopped her in the middle of a very busy street. His partner tried to escape, but was caught nearby.

After that arrest the police found the third terrorist who was the owner of the safe-house and was present during the search the police made on the premises. They found weapons and bombs already prepared along with explosives to make more bombs. There were also maps and sketches of public places and some houses and itineraries of people they planned to kill.

The terrorists lived there and all three of them were very thin, but in the laundry, there were a very large pants size XXL and a matching big shirt. So I began to think that there was a fourth terrorist the police had no arrested and was on the loose, free to fulfil the threat against me. So From that day I began to do crazy things like change every day my route to go to work and back home, avoid big people with bulky clothes, and so on. It took me weeks to go back to normal. It was the irrational fear i had.

The terrorists went to prison and in less than 20 years they were set free despite they had killed 18 people and wounded over 30. Wonders of the Spanish Judicial System.

The one who threatened me, came back to my city sooner than that, and we sometimes met on the street. We ignore each other. But is not easy. They told me he has distanced himself from the terrorist group while in prison and is rehabilitated. But his companions are still politically active in extremists groups, and they never apologised for the murders they committed.

In the picture, me when I was a young reporter, at the age when those facts happened

Ragtag Daily Prompt: Fear

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Disturbing Moonless Nights

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As a reporter I had to report about a shooting between policemen and terrorists that took place in a natural landscape of great beauty, a narrow gorge formed by a river.

Apparently, four terrorists were making plans for an attack while spending the day by the river, when they were intercepted by the police by chance.In the shooting a policeman died and another was wounded. The terrorists fled along the riverbank and disappeared into the vegetation.

The river is not practicable to swim because it has dangerous swirls and very deep pits and the only accesses to the gorge are the ends of the old railway tunnel wich runs well above the river bed. The police closed the two ends, as soon as the shooting occurred, so that the terrorists had no way of getting out of there.

And the manhunt began with the special forces using choppers in the air and dogs on the ground. The moonless night fell, black as tar. There was no trace of the terrorists. At dawn, one of them, badly wounded in the head, surrendered to the special forces that were combing the area and took them to where the others were at the river’s edge. they were dead. They had decided to commit suicide before being captured. He had tried to commit suicide but he had missed the shot. It was a pretty mysterious how the police didn’t hear the shots while combing the place.

I was horrified by everything that was happening. I had been the first journalist on the scene with my photographer and I was there when the terrorists were still on the run. Pretty dangerous despite we were going everywhere with the police.

The next night, a neighbour from the town closest to the place called my newsroom saying that shots had been heard again in the gorge. The terrorists were already dead. The special forces gone. ¿what could possibly had happened? My boss sent me to investigate.

I was very young and was in charge of another journalist even younger than me. We went with a beginner photographer. We arrived at the gorge and again we found ourselves with a dark and moonless night. But this time was scarier because we were completely alone. No police, no other journalists. no living soul.

We asked in the village and nobody had heard anything. When we arrived with my little Panda car at the black entrance of the tunnel I knew that there was no possibility of turning around to leave in one mile, and I felt responsible for the other two who were with me. So I decided to go around to the exit of the tunnel to see what we could find there.

Everything was dark and silent and again nobody had heard anything. We went a little further to the police station to which the dead and wounded policeman belonged to speak with their pals and they confirmed that everything was quiet. So we went back to the newsroom with nothing to report other than an update about the health of the wounded police officer, but at least we were safe and sound.

Black

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The rioter

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Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

Being a reporter is not very safe. I have lots of stories of times when I felt in danger and I was afraid. Once, years ago, I got notice that a lawyer and politician was going to be detained accused of collaboration with terrorism. I went to the street to get the information and I found a violent demonstration with young guys with their faces covered throwing molotov cocktails and stones to the police and to the press, meaning me, among others.

Suddenly I found myself alone in the middle of the street under a balcony, from where two leaders of the radical political party were watching the riots. In front of me was a masked youngster with his molotov cocktail, screaming: “it’s for you!”, while the two leaders were yelling: “to her, to her!”. I was terrified, but I don’t know why, very calm. I didn’t move because I saw that the rioter was like frozen with his molotov cocktail in position to throw it, but not decided. I thought that if I made a fast movement like run to escape, he would react attacking me. So I waited looking directly at his eyes, the only part of his face uncovered. It surely lasted a few seconds but for me were like hours, until somebody approached me from my back and advanced till he was between the rioter and me. He was Xavier, my photographer. He told me: “Come with me, because we have heard them talk, and they are planing to hurt you today”. We began to walk away slowly. Xavier always between the rioter and me. The youngster desisted, threw the cocktail to the ground and escaped. The police was approaching. Xavier saved me that day.

Safety First

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Mysterious steps

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When I was fourteen I went to a camp, and one of my duties was going to pick up the mail to a farm located one mile and a half away. The shortest way to get there was an abandoned train track. The iron rails had disappeared and only the wooden beams, loosened, remained among the stones. So, I used to go every day along that path, alone or accompanied by another camper.

I used to step on the wood and avoid the stones. The path was pleasant, shady and fresh, with lots of trees forming like a green tunnel. The sun filtered through the leaves and the light was golden and beautiful. I could hear the birds singing, and spot squirrels. There were also big animals, like a mule and a cow wandering somewhere in the middle of my way. I was afraid of the mule, because he used to climb to the train tracks, block my way, and bray defiantly, so I had to make a detour to avoid him. The cow was always munching grass and was no problem for me.

One day, in a nearby village, the police tried to capture a suspect of murder, but he escaped wounded and they thought he was hiding in the woods. The police surrounded our camp at night and all the farms and abandoned houses in the area with no success.

Next day I went out as always to pick up the mail all alone into the woods. Only when I was into the green tunnel I realised there was a fugitive on the run around. Suddenly, I began to hear steps behind me. Whenever I stepped forward, I heard a sound behind me. I turned to see if someone was following me but I saw no one. When I stopped, the sound ceased too. I began to get really scared. In my imagination I began to think that the fugitive was behind me and hiding every time I was looking back. But I had no escape, no other option but to go on towards the farm, the nearest safe place. So I began to run. The sounds behind me reappeared, keeping the rhythm of my hurried steps. I stopped again and looked back. No one. But I saw something, and I began to laugh.

A wooden beam I just had stepped in, just had fallen into its place with a thud and a cloud of dust. Those were the mysterious steps I had been hearing all the way. The “echo” of my own steps in the loose transoms.

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Fear

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Tell us about a conversation you couldn’t help but overhear and wish you hadn’t.

It was not properly a conversation, but an exchange between a terrorist and a policeman who had just caught him. I was there with my photographer as a young reporter, following a police operation against a terrorist cell in my city many years ago. We were at the hiding place of the terrorists. My photographer and I the only ones not related with the investigation. They were interrogating the arrested about how to open a small steel armoured door that they had found during the search, concealed below a sink. The officers suspected – and they were right – that behind that door there was a room, where the terrorists were keeping a huge arsenal with weapons, and explosives, and lots of documents about potential targets.
Basically what I heard was how the arrested began to say that he had nothing to do with that place, to finish talking about exactly how many people were using the hiding place, and admitting to know how to open the mysterious door. In fact was he who opened it, using a secret mechanism. Several policemen disappeared through the small door while others stayed with the terrorist and us in the main room.
The place was narrow and dark. There was too much people inside. So we ended waiting to see what would happen next, close to the arrested and the policeman who was guarding him. Then was when that man, who only minutes before seemed desperate, began to threaten us, till the policeman ordered him to shut up.
Soon after I decided I had enough of the terrorist and his threats and menacing stares, and crawled to go through the small door to the secret room. I found myself in a place full of automatic weapons, rocket launchers, rockets, explosives and clock bombs already prepared. We saw pictures of potential victims that had been followed by the cell, and a place ready to hide a kidnapped person. We stayed there till the search finished. Late at night we emerged from that dreadful place and went to the newsroom as fast as we could, to arrive in time for the deadline. My coworkers and the editor were waiting for us. I wrote fast and it was a great piece. I had been the only reporter in the police operation and only my photo reporter had the images.
The only problem was the fear because of the threat, and the fact that they called me as a witness against the terrorist cell during the trial two years after. I learned how irrational the fear is. That was a hard experience.

Hear No Evil.

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The shark

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Describe the last nightmare you remember having. What do you think it meant?

We are having a nice day at the beach. It’s sunny and warm. Perfect. I decide to take a bath and begin to swim. Suddenly somebody screams: a shark!  I look behind me and see in the distance a shark fin. I begin to swim fast towards the shore to escape but I notice that I’m not moving from the spot where I’m. Desperate, I try to swim as fast as I can but my limbs don’t obey me. The shark fin is approaching fast. The shore, that was close when I first saw the fin, seems now to be farther and farther away. Unreachable. Everybody has disappeared. Nobody is there to help me. I feel something strange in my feet. It’s the end. I scream. I wake up still screaming and panting.

What does it mean? Who knows! Probably that there are situations from which we cannot escape and we cannot expect any help. We are on our own.  And that those situations we cannot control can generate in us fear and anguish. Maybe. But I’m sure there are people who can interpret dreams better than me.

 

Nightmares.

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Darkness in the courtroom

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Write about anything you’d like, but make sure the post includes this sentence:“I thought we’d never come back from that one.”

As a reporter I had to attend to a trial against two dangerous felons in the old court-house of my city. Both had been convicted of murder but they had pending a cause for robbery with violence. There were almost no public in the trial, just family and friends of the convicts, another journalist and me.
While we were waiting to the beginning of the trial at the door of the courtroom, the family and friends began to insult us and threaten us as if we were guilty of the accusation against the defendants. The situation was no pleasant.
The courtroom was one of the worst of the building. It had no windows. There were three or four row of benches for the public and no microphones. The other journalist and I went to the first row, very close to the bench where sat the felons, guarded by two policemen, to be able to hear and see everything.
The judge, who had had a car accident and was in a wheelchair, opened the session.
It was winter, the building had a lousy heating, so people who worked there, had electric heaters. Plus, the building was constantly under repair. When the trial began, we heard the sound of a drill and suddenly the lights went off. The fuses of the old building didn’t resist.
In the courtroom without windows, the dark was complete. I heard noises from the bench in front of me where the felons and the policemen were. Then, the Judge’s voice saying: “somebody, open the door”. But nobody was moving except the felons and the police. One of the policemen had a lighter and used it to watch the prisoners. At last was the same judge with his wheelchair who went to the door and opened it. A little light entered the room and we waited till somebody fixed the fuses and the lights went on.
I noticed how the two felons were looking at the rear door of the courtroom, like measuring distances. I was scared. I was just behind them in their way towards the door. I knew they already had tried to flee with hostages from a courtroom a year before.
The trial resumed and fifteen minutes later we heard the drill again and the lights went of once more. Absolute dark. More noises. Fear. I thought we’d never come back from that one.
The Judge went again with his wheelchair to open the door and he ordered to stop the drilling. He was furious.
The lights went on again and the trial resumed. I was uneasy. I was sure that if we had another blackout, they would attempt to flee. But luckily that didn’t happen.
Now we have a new court-house and stories like this one are not possible any more.

Use It or Lose It.

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Scary talk

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We often hear strange snippets of conversation as we walk through public spaces. When was the last time you overheard something so interesting, ridiculous, or disturbing you really wanted to know what it was all about?

Two people were walking behind me talking loud and angrily:

– You scared her.

– You bet.

– You told her that you’ll cut her head.

– She threatened me first.

– You mean it?

– I’ll kill her.

I really didn’t want to know what it was all about. I wanted these people gone. I got frightened of being around them. But I had nowhere to go. The street was deserted. Just them and me. I couldn’t run or hide.

I didn’t turn my head. I pretended I was not overhearing. Fortunately they seemed to don’t notice me. They were walking faster, they surpassed me and continued their talk out of my ear’s reach.

Their appearance was suspicious. They were nasty looking and I could imagine a knife hidden under their clothes. But the fact that they were talking so loud about killing another person without worrying of who could be listening made me think they were exaggerating, or at least so I hope.

There was no report of a murdered or wounded woman in the city those days so I guess they were simply bragging about a verbal scuffle.

Head Turners.

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Fear is useful

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How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?

I’d rather live with a reasonable fear. It’s very useful for survival. I have been in some dangerous situations due to my job as a reporter and I think fear made me be prudent to overcome those situations without too much harm.  I had to overcome fear. But that is part of life and I prefer that than living without fear. I really can’t imagine a life without fear. I guess it would be a life full of stupid and dangerous facts that would hurt me and make suffer my family. Not a good prospect. I only would like to be less afraid of make mistakes while writing in English and be more confident at posting.

Fearless Fantasies.

 

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Scary

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You have a secret superpower: the ability to appear and disappear at will. When and where will you use this new superpower? Tell us a story.

A superpower again? I find very difficult to imagine a superpower working on me.

The other’s ability to appear and disappear scares me:

Once I made a report about a trial. The defendant was a very dangerous and violent criminal. He intimidated some key witnesses and at the end, despite the prosecutor’s efforts, was found not guilty and set free. He left our city. A year after the trial I had to go to the Court House to talk to some of my sources for another report and to attend another trial and suddenly I saw him. He was back in town. He was right there smiling menacingly at me. I knew he was not precisely happy with my reports.

I finished my interview and there he was waiting. His searching eyes and his scary smile glued on me. I went to a Court Room to attend a trial and there he was behind me. Watching me. The trial finished and he followed me outside the room. Always six feet behind me watching and smiling. Saying nothing. I was talking with my colleagues from other media as we were exiting the building and he continued behind us. Watching. Smiling. When I had to left my colleagues and go to a nearby parking lot I decided to face him. I said aloud: “someone is following us” and turned around to ask him what he wanted. And he suddenly disappeared! Nobody suspicious behind us. The others thought I was crazy.

Then I get really scared. Not knowing where he was, having to go alone to the parking lot I didn’t know what to do. By the time I reached my car I have looked every minute behind me out of fear to see him appear again being alone with no one to help me around. I locked de car’s doors and drove looking constantly at the rear view mirror. When I arrived to the newsroom I called to his lawyer to ask her why he was in town. She said “no idea” and she sounded more scared than me. He had his ways to let us know he was following us. Finally my boss advised me to call the police for protection.

Daily Prompt: Now You See Me.
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Afraid of death

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People are afraid of all kinds of things: spiders, the dark, or being enclosed in small spaces. Tell us about your greatest fear — rational or irrational.

When my dad was terminally ill in a hospital, one night he had a crisis. I was with him. I call the doctors and nurses and asked him if he wanted me to help him pray. He told me yes, please. I was praying while the doctors and nurses where all over him. They succeeded and my dad survived. Next morning he asked me

– Were you scared?

– And you?

– Don’t be scared because I’m not afraid of death.

He was ready, at peace with God, loving Him, in fact longing to rest in Him and see His face, and at peace with his conscience. He had a great faith and he was a very good and honest man who had to endure a very hard life.

When my mom arrived after the doctors explained what happened he said:

– I made a full rehearsal of death.  It wasn’t so bad.

When the last moment arrived he died so peacefully I only can remember it as a very sad but sweet experience. And I’m crying now.

Why Am I remembering all this today? Because the daily prompt asked for our greatest fear, and my greatest fear is death. I’m not like my father. I don’t feel ready to meet my Maker. I’m afraid of death. I shouldn’t because I know God is merciful and I try to live as my dad taught me. I believe in His infinite mercy with all my faith. But still I’m afraid. I have to improve a lot of things in my life. I need time. I pray for that.

I’m sorry if this post is too transcendental. I could write about my claustrophobia or about why I’m afraid of elevators, but I have a tendency to take things too seriously. And the prompt asked.

Daily Prompt: Fear Factor.
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The unseen danger

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Share the story of a time you felt unsafe.

Countless times. Being in Mostar during the Balkan’s war. Reporting about violent demonstrations on the streets of my city. Being confronted by a vandal with his face covered and a molotov cocktail in his hand ready to throw it to me with his leaders telling him “do it!”, “She is a journalist!”. Being in a terrorist hiding place full of explosives and weapons during a police operation. Those were times when I saw danger in front of me. I felt especially unsafe when I perceived unseen danger, like knowing that a criminal about whom I made a report, was following and watching me, not knowing where he was and what he was doing. Then there is no way to know what to do but to ask for protection. It’s a very scary situation.

Daily Prompt: Safety First.
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Over my dead body

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by chelle

by chelle

If you were forced to give up one sense, but gain super-sensitivity in another, which senses would you choose?

I wake up. I can hear the sounds around me. I try to open my eyes but I can’t. I try to move my hand to stop the alarm, but my arm doesn’t move. It’s like a sand bag attached to my body. I try to call for help but my mouth doesn’t obey me. I want to cry but I can’t. I’m gasping for breath by my lungs are working desperately slow. I’m unable to see, to talk, to smell, to touch anything. I can only hear everything: The alarm, the sounds in the room and outside the room.

I can do nothing but hope somebody will notice my helpless situation and come to me. I’m drowning in my anguish. Terrified. I think I’m paralysed. So soon. I began to pray. Dear God, help me. Send someone to help me. I feel I can die in a few moments or worst, stay this way for ever. Absolutely helpless. Completely depending on others for everything. I don’t know for how long I’m praying like this. I fall asleep.

Suddenly I wake up again. But this time, everything is OK. I can move without problem. I open my eyes. I can see. I jump from the bed. My body obeys me. My voice is as loud as ever. I don’t understand. That wasn’t a nightmare. It was something more. But I’m so happy to have again control over all my senses I really don’t care.. until happens again.

Doctors said it’s sleep paralysis syndrome. Nothing serious, but really scary. It gives you a glimpse of what can experience a person with real paralysis. It lasts for only a few seconds but it seems like hours and you can’t get used to it.

Having experienced this I can’t choose a sense to give up and a sense gain super-sensitivity.  Neither after years taking care of my loved ones loosing sensibilities, witnessing their suffering. It’s too much.

There is nothing I would give up. There’s no sense I want to have super-powered. I love what I have. Force me to give up one of my senses? Over my dead body. No matter what the prize is. Gain super-sensitivity in one of my senses? No, thank you. I’m glad with what I have. I thank God every day, every night, for that.

Daily Prompt: Super Sensitive | The Daily Post.

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