Fear of Fear


“I won’t do it. I can’t. Please.”

He put his arm around her. “Really, Susan. It will be fine. This thing carries thousands of people across every day. There’s never been an accident. It’s safe as houses, as my Gran would say.”

“You don’t understand. It’s…it’s…”

She began to cry again.

“Look, darling. We’re nearly to the front of the queue. You won’t want to have wasted two hours of our weekend. Besides, we’ve reservations at the Docklands at one. You know how much you’ve been looking forward to that. They have creme brûlée.”

She scowled, her cheeks wet. “Don’t patronize me, Peter. Goddamn don’t patronize me.”

“I’m not trying to. I am only saying that we have a reason. We’d never make it in time otherwise. Look. The queue is moving again. We’re up soon.”

“Have you not listened to anything I’ve told you? I’m not fucking going.”

With that, she tore her arm from his and shoved her way through the crowd. He watched her head bob in the sea of people as she made her way back toward the Tube station, gold-red hair winking in the rare June sunlight.

He wondered if he ought to go after her. This was all so damned silly. It would have been a perfect day to see London from the cable car. Perhaps he would go anyway.




Sunday Photo Fiction


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  1. k rawson

    A girl might wonder, if her husband–who knows well her fear of heights and her longing for London–posted a story such as this ;-)

    Only teasing. Love this one, as I love all your stories.

    Signed, A girl, aka your wife

    PS You’re much sweeter than the man in this tale.

  2. angietrafford

    I wonder if he will go by himself and then take pictures to show her everything that she missed… It might be selfish of him but, in the end, he had spent two hours in the queue…

  3. The Voice

    Having stood in line for nearly an hour to ride my first roller coaster, I chickened out at the last moment. My girlfriend was not pleased. I finally relented and agreed to work my way up to the huge beast she wanted to ride and by the end of the day I’d become a roller coaster junkie. Sometimes it pays to face your fears. Nice story!

  4. Jesse Raven

    Reminds me of a recent visit by my brother, his wife, and my adorable niece. I took them to Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh for the magnificent view of the city from an overlook platform. I looked around to find my brother clutching a lamp post back on the sidewalk.

    Poor thing has a debilitating fear of heights he’d never talked about or shown. As the oldest, I felt terrible. I could have been tormenting him for years had I known.

    Kidding – I did feel terrible and the fear in his eyes (and likely the eyes of this young lady) was very real.

    Good tale!

  5. Sunday Fiction

    The view of London from this cable car were magnificent. I imagine if they were in the queue for two hours, he should have listened to her a lot before that point and got the message. Good story.

Don't just stand there.