In my grandmother’s basement was a big, round, sheet metal furnace, with duct work that looked, in the shadows, like flailing arms. The story was formed from nightmares and fantasies that children had fallen into the great hole beneath this monstrous beast. I would be next to fall forever to the great unknown depths.
Down the stairs was a light with a string that provided faint guidance to a table across this damp, cool basement. And there resided a most desirable prize: fresh, perfectly ripened banana’s for the taking, after the asking. To get them you had to proceed alone, with courage, without revealing to anyone why you really, really wanted someone else to get a banana for you. Several times, I surrendered to the fear and forfeited the prize.
Fear usually robs us of rewards.
After several visits to grandma’s, and several attempts, I made it to the table without turning and running back up the stairs before the behemoth billowing, bellowing beast could grab hold. One time a motor fired on and started the pulley of the fan; I swore I heard the squeal and scream of a lost child descending the endless dive.
Some weeks later, having disclosed my fear to reassurance, I mastered the monkey scamper across the floor and eluded the beast, and feasted on my delicious reward.
© 2015 Dr. Daniel L. Baney