Have you ever felt yourself in immediate physical and emotional danger? The hairs stand up on your neck... your arms... your back.... Your eyes narrow and the pupils constrict. You even smell it--- your senses are alive, alert, vibrant.... Adrenaline shoots through your body and you prepare to fight or flee.... Fear, nauseous brain buzzing fear....
You never really know when it will hit..... you never really know when you are safe.... because the object of this distraction, the villain of the story, the demon devil in disguise is wily. Sneaky. Cunning....
FISH.... little swarming silvery fish. The smaller they are the worse the terror.
For my daughter Lauren the demons take the form of things with wings. Birds are bad. Butterflies much worse. But the most horrifying.... MOTHS!!!!!!!!
And what, pray tell, is infesting the night time sky right now? Moths!!!!! They are traveling in packs that slap against my windshield leaving their luminous blood behind as they sacrifice themselves to kamikaze missions. The swarm all around the porch light making it nearly impossible to get inside to the safety of home and hearth without one... or many.. sneaking in to wreck havoc in her sanctuary.
One even got inside my car this morning. I was very glad Lauren wasn't there.
Luckily for me, my demons seem to be confined to the underwater world (though I have seen them try to escape many times only to die in a kamikaze mission of their own)
On an interesting side note: Lauren's birthmother also was phobic of moths and butterflies. Makes one wonder, does it not? She only met her once when she was 3 years old and we did not discover this shared fear until Lauren was in her teenage years. Did she pass this along to her unborn child? Was she frightened once by a seemingly harmless Monarch?
Why the haunting of the dusty fluttery winged things. The world may never know.
But.... for now.... I think Lewis Carroll describes this epic struggle the best:
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand: Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree, and stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood, the Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling though the tulgey wood, and burbled as it came!
One, two! One, two! And through and through the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head he went galumphing back.
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock? Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" He chortled in his joy.
"Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe".