Thursday, 18 November 2010

Great writing - The Book of Qualities

'Fear' from The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler

"Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is quite small. He has a vivid imagination. He composes horror music in the middle of the night. He is not very social and he keeps to himself at political meetings. His past is a mystery. He warned us not to talk to each other about him, adding that there is nowhere any of us could go where he wouldn't hear us. We were quiet. When we began to talk to each other, he changed. His manners started to seem pompous, and his snarling voice sounded rehearsed.

Two dragons guard Fear's mansion. One is ceramic and Chinese. The other is real. If you make it past the dragons and speak to him close up, it is amazing to see how fragile he is. He will try to tell you stories. Be aware. He is a master of disguises and illusions. Fear almost convinced me that he was a puppet-master and I was a marionette.

Speak out boldly, look him in the eye, startle him. Don't give up. Win his resect, and he will never bother you with small matters."

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