Human fear is attached, usually, in some way to a neurotic mind, traumatic incident, or childhood events held over into adulthood. One of my biggest fears growing up might possibly be one of the silliest fears.
When I was a little girl, we (my family) watched The Hobbit, the animated version (on VHS). Even then the character held great sway of my mind from the moment he appeared on screen to many years afterwards. I had nightmares of Gollum/Smeagol, and my sister, in an attempt to dissuade this ridiculous fear of a fictitious character, had me listen to the audio book of Lord of the Rings. This backfired, as all the result was that my fear magnified to extreme proportions. My first interesting (predominantly) sci-fi idea came from one such nightmare.
The dream was as follows:
The end of the world was coming, and the earth began to crack and break (earthquakes) and somehow fire was everywhere. Everyone was running and screaming, and escaped through hot air balloons. My family had one and we managed to lift off in time, and we traveled from world to world with our hot air balloon. Finally, we landed on a world and somehow the hot air balloon lost functionality. There was a teacher/researcher there, and he offered to help fix the balloon. (He was Gollum in disguise) He whispered to himself, and argued as well.
And this image: Gollum/Researcher curled up in a bookshelf in the dark, murmuring. – His eyes are glazed and pure whitish yellow.
(I know it is silly to talk/write about all these stories/characters as if they are well-known especially since they mostly are not even spoken of- nevertheless I know them so it is not that big of a deal.)
I had a number of such dreams. For a time I was afraid that whenever anyone went to the bathroom (or to any room I was not in) they were tearing their fake faces off to allow their true ones a chance to breathe. Mom scared me the most and my little brother told me not to be afraid of her. (He was right- I can be very silly and mean.)
(Old Family Memory: Little brother and Mom used to fence with hangers – and just
be all together silly. My little brother was a mamma’s boy.)