When I was a little girl, my biggest fear was the Wicked Witch of the West. And even though it was irrational, I was positive she was under my bed with her green-painted face and scary laugh. I was sometimes paralysed with fear my whole body stiffening even as I pretended to not be afraid of something that was clearly impossible. That's the thing about fear. Your body reacts to it even when your mind is busy reassuring you that your worries are unfounded. The fear itself might be irrational but the reaction it provokes is very real and leaves you helpless. To this day, I remember exactly how I felt then and I think (hope) its made me a better mother and even friend who has always taken fear at face value. Not focusing on the actual fear but on the feelings provoked by it.
I finally saw in London this week the musical Wicked and as expected its a completely different story from the original Wizard of Oz. Told from the side of the Wicked Witch of the West, its more of a morality play reminding us all that there are always two sides to every story. But even though I can sympathise with this witch (and in that respect a glass of chardonnay in my hand definitely helps), I can't forget 7-year-old me lying in the dark absolutely terrified about what can't possibly be hiding under her bed.
Next up, Hansel and Gretel...is there anything scarier than children's stories? I don't think so.