Fear is something all normal people experience at one time or another, but not all people respond in the same manner. As a writer my characters often experience fear. How do they handle it? Well the same as most regular people. Fear is something I have experienced many times, I don’t relish it, but it happens. On one occasion my boss said to me, “There’s an anti terrorist conference at the local hotel, we are providing monitors for the audience. I would like you to be our man on the spot.”

Why not, I get paid for it. I took a crew and we set up all the monitors, then I left for home to have a rest and put on my best togs as I had to be ‘the man on the spot.’ On returning to the hotel I should have realized there was something suspicious about the whole affair. Someone else had set up monitors beside some of mine on the stage. The conference began and a gentleman dressed in military attire started explaining how terrorism was the bane of the modern world. Yak, yak, yak, like we didn’t already know that. I wandered around the room making sure all my monitors were working and everyone had a good view. Eventually I found myself close to the exit. Suddenly and only a couple of metres from me the doors burst open and three men rushed in wearing ski masks and bearing sub machine guns. It felt as if the world had gone into slow motion. I heard the stutter of fire and saw the lecturer collapse on the stage. Monitors exploded and people screamed. I dropped to the floor pretending to be dead and hoping it was a good impersonation. Hot empty cartridge cases fell all around me, and my heart rate exceeded 200. Silly me it was only a demonstration of how an attack could occur. The monitors that were not mine were theatrical devices made to explode at the sound of machine gun fire. Had it been a real attack I’m sure we would have all died. Lying there on the floor with the world apparently in chaos around me, I had made up my mind that if any of the assailants came close to me I would try to take his weapon, though now I shall never know if I really would have had the courage. Did I tell you about the time I was fired at by a six-inch deck gun or the time I was in a room when a man was attacked by a leopard? Oh well never mind, maybe another time.

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Wentworth M Johnson

Canadian Author

You cannot write that which you do not know. Everything written has to be either real or extracted from reality. Copying something you have seen on TV or in a movie will show itself as false and usually unbelievable. In this regard I am very fortunate. I have been all over the world and seen some things that I dare hardly think about, but they do affect the way I write.

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