6. You are locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room?
What I immediately thought of, looking at this question, were boggarts, Dauntless simulations and The Ordeal from Tortall. In all these scenarios, fears were never well known by the protagonist. They had to be experienced before they were known, e.g. in the case of Professor Lupin who had seen his boggart a thousand times and new it was the full moon. But, I have never really been in a room, facing my greatest fear. So how will I know exactly what its true manifestation is?
I imagine the Johari Window in this case, to guide me along to answering my question. Some aspects of ourselves is open, known by others and known by ourselves; some aspects may only known by others and constitute the blind spot of our knowledge of ourselves; some aspects we only know privately and have yet to disclose to other individuals; and – the most interesting aspect to me – is the one which neither you nor others have knowledge of. Think of it as a boggart that sits in the wardrobe undefined, unseen. No one knows what it looks like because it holds infinite potentials to transform, depending on the person in front of them.
So … what is in that room for me? I can only share with you here the fears I know I have. But the truth is that something far more fearful could be awaiting me in that room that I just have no knowledge of. At this point in time, I would like to state that it takes a lot of courage for Rhey of Sunshine and I to share these fears. ‘Cause ultimately this question is asking us to reveal what our greatest fears are.
Possibly the most visceral scenario that would manifest in that room would be a dark and dank series of endless bridges and tightropes. It would be extremely far down to the actual floor where there are all forms of horrific, sharp torture await, mangled body parts telling of previous mad attempts pried open with innards plastered among the wreckage. I would have to navigate on thin, terribly-constructed ropes or rickety bridges to reach the far side of the room. I kind of imagine that bridge scene in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere.
“Darkness is happening,” said the leather woman, very quietly. “Night is happening. All the nightmares that have come out when the sun goes down, since the cave times, when we huddled together in fear for safety and for warmth, are happening. Now.”
― Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
Additionally, there would be an unrecognisable dark shadow, darker than any known darkness, solid and real, pressing me to move forward, slipping along the back of my spine. This shadow will cackle, whisper terrifying realisations of inevitable failure and send horrific visions that will suddenly appear in my path, encouraging me to take the plunge. Although I will be inside a room, there will be a constant gust of wind, forcing everything around to quiver. Everything will be semi-darkness, making it hard to see the steps I take.
And at the end of the entire obstacle is a scene which I am helpless to. Someone very close to me that I am required to save, have the means to, but such means is almost impossible.
That is one possible scenario. But, at the end of the day, it has little do with what is in the room and more of how it will end up being presented. I’m not really one to be afraid of monsters. Monsters downright fascinate me. And I find an unexplainable (possibly masochistic?) thrill in running away from them – or having the opportunity to defeat them. But I am afraid of precarious potentials – in extremes. The potential to fail while so close to success; the potential to die while so close to living; the potential to save a life while so close to your own death.
My room would then be filled with such potentials.
Till next time,