I am so excited to introduce you all to today’s guest writer, because not only is she one of my best friends, but she is also an extremely talented writer. Remember this name, because you’ll see it again: Nichole Parks.
Nichole and I first met at the Writing for the Soul Conference, and she never ceases to amaze me with her unique writing voice, beautiful heart, and creativity. I just love this girl, and I know you will too, so please make her welcome by introducing yourselves! To learn more about her, visit www.ireviewchristianbooks.blogspot.com
Without further ado, Nichole brings us The Fear List’s first ever fiction-inspired guest post! I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
H20 Is a No-Go
By Nichole Parks
Freezing water splashes my bare legs at my place poolside as my fellow swim mate embraces the pool. Dusk is tucking the sun to bed in the horizon. Goosebumps dot my arms and legs. Pulled back with my goggle band, my wet hair is drying in ringlets thanks to the bitter wind. I bite the corner of my towel and taste blood from my chapped lips. Evening practice for swim team has a way of making me feel like it’s the end of my life.
“Jump in,” says Lucy, my best friend. She splashes at my feet from where I stand on the grid. “It’s not even cold.”
“Is too.” I pull the towel tighter around my body.
Antarctica wouldn’t be chilly to Luce. I swear she must be cold-blooded. I look across the blue and white pool lane dividers for my older brother, Mike. He shivers slightly as he clamps a hand on the wall after finishing a lap.
My gaze drops to the floor of the community pool. To the lane lines – which most see as stretched Roman numerals. There is nothing numeral about them to me. They are hammerhead sharks.
I’m DB Baker and I have a selachophobia (fear of sharks).
Luce rolls her eyes and kicks off the wall to start a lap – The Little Mermaid’s biggest fan. She’s wished long and hard for a red hair and a tail, while I dart from one edge of the pool to the other for survival’s sake because you never know when some baby shark will swim out of the hose and into the pool.
One thing about this fear: it makes you a ribbon winner at swim meets. I could propel off that wall and to the side faster than a speed boat. It was never about the prize as much as it was getting out of the water.
Let me reiterate. I have a fear of sharks. And as fears go, it is completely irrational. I am land locked in the Ozarks.
Selachophobia side effects may include:
- Useless night lights don’t keep the shark-mares from savaging your room.
- Jaw’s theme music may raise blood pressure.
- You will know with certainty that Jonah’s “big fish” was a shark and not a whale. (If you think about it technically, a shark is a fish, and a whale is a mammal.)
- Mysteries are simple. Whodunit? That’s easy. The shark. Or the butler.
- Finding Nemo should be rated R. Not G, or PG because let’s face it when Mom says, “Sharks can’t come out movie scenes,” her parental guidance doesn’t help a bit.
- You avoid the shark tunnel aquarium at Sea World. It is torture.
- There is a strong urge to scribble more than just a mustache on shark pictures in your biology book. And you listen to the urge.
What is with their names? Seriously. It’s like a horror film writer was asked to document them instead of Discovery channel. Tiger shark. Bull shark. Thrasher shark. Whale shark. Then the oh-so-unforgettable man-eating shark.
My life verse is Joshua 1:9 – “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)
Do I still get scared? You betcha, I do.
Does God’s peace still my pounding heart? Oh, yeah. Every time.
Even knowing God is with me wherever I go and descending coconuts kill more people than sharks, will I go surfing after what happened to Bethany Hamilton? Uh… Let me think about it. No!
Am I first in line for the shark cages? Ha. I’m the little one running away, screaming in the other direction.
But I do dive into pools, bathe – despite our shifty looking spouts- and wade into the tides at beaches. And while writing this post, I looked at many a terrorizing photo of Jaws; though I flinched, I did look my fear in the eye.
How can you laugh at your fear? And what steps do you take to overcome it?
Nichole Parks is a Squire graduate of the Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild and continues to be mentored as an Apprentice. She completed the NaNoWriMo challenge last November. In her spare time, Nichole reviews books for Multnomah Waterbrook and Baker Books Publishing, hones her manuscript, and sings along with the country radio station.