A sudden sound caused me to jump, dropping the book. It was a shriek which had come from the baby monitor... My two-year-old daughter had cried out in her sleep, a single croaky cry followed by a billow of static, then silence and then a further cry, her voice illuminating the monitor’s LED volume register from green to red. She cried a third time. I remained where I was – bristling, listening, not moving – waiting for her to fall back to sleep.
Here was the most effective portal to fear: parenthood. Who knew that as a father I would spend a good deal of my time plainly dwelling of the foulest, most harrowing things that can possibly happen to my daughter in any given situation?
It’s about fear: where it comes from, what its function is and why some of us are compelled to experience it.
The Real Story is an online journal whose purpose is to support and promote creative nonfiction. It also stages nonfiction events and is just about one of the best things to come out of Manchester in recent years.
I'll be reading from the essay at their next live event along with Joanna Kavenna at Gulliver’s in Manchester on September 19th. Tickets and more info can be found here.
And you can read 'Let's Take the Dog for a Walk and Frighten Somebody!' here.