The Person Within.

“Without fear there cannot be courage

Fear drives the unthinkable out of us

What gives you courage when there is none?
What gives you courage to get out of bed?
What gives you courage to drive when you know it’s dangerous?
What gives you courage to succeed?
What gives you courage to survive?
What gives you courage to strive?

People have courage to live for their children
People have courage to live for themselves
People have courage to live for hope
People have courage because they believe
People have courage to not give up

Fear is not the essence of life
But a free soul not tamed

Courage is the journey of your heart
Guided by strength
On a path of untamed obstacles

Let courage guide you
As you begin your quest”

Alisha Ricks
This poem describes how Courage can come from different aspects. For example, a Firefighter’s courage is different compared to jumping off a rock into the water for fun. For a Firefighter, running into a burning building to save someone takes great strength. An example would be, on 9/11, as thousands of people were trying to run out of the building because of the extreme hot flames. Firefighters entered the building, climbing the stairs, to try to save people who were trapped in the building. Even though, they knew the chances of survival were slim. That is a courageous act, being able to do the unthinkable through fear and pain.
A different type of courage could be for fun, like jumping off a rock into water. The courage comes from within you, and can only be controlled by yourself. While standing on a forty foot ledge, being able to will yourself off of it takes tremendous courage. Your instincts say not to jump, but your mind takes control and tells you to jump. In within a split second, you’re free falling through the air, hitting the icy cold water. “Fear drives the unthinkable out of us” creating courageous acts to be performed daily.
Another act of courage could be standing up for a person you may not know, whom may be bullied, and know in your heart that it’s the right thing to help them. To stand by a person who is in harm’s way, proves that you have the courage to reach out and care for others.
“Courage is the journey of your heart, Guided by strength, On a path of untamed obstacles.” The more obstacles you are faced with, teaches us what our strength and  weaknesses are. Every obstacle creates a stronger individual, no matter what way you view it.

I Survived.

*So Elizabeth, Can you tell us how you slipped out of the killer’s grasp?* The young male voice asked.

I sat looking at a black abyss surrounding a bright light that shined down upon me. There was no life, no warmth coming from this light, just a cold gleam that only lit my face.  The interviewer sat patiently awaiting  my life changing story that  would soon be announced to the world. I took a deep shaky breath.

“Well,” I croaked, “It wasn’t exactly ‘slipping’ out of the grasp, I had to plot and fight my way to escape!” I growled, my voice raised with anger towards the end. I began to shake with fear and adrenaline, and took notice. I brushed my hair back behind my ear and cleared my throat.

“I don’t remember how I got there, I just remember waking up. It was the smell that first hit me. The vile smell of rotting flesh and smoke burned the inside of my nose. My eyes began to water because of the smell. I tried to sit up from the chair i was sitting in and realized my hands were restrained down to the arm rest. I frantically shifted my arms to see if they were able to come loose,  But like any horror movie, I was pinned  down. I tried to look at my surroundings but only saw darkness. It wasn’t the ‘close your eyes’ type of darkness, it was the thick, monster infested black out. I tried and squinted to make out any figure but it was no use. A blind man could see better than I could have.

Anyways, I began to whimper to myself, I had no idea where I was or…worse of all, who was with me. I began to scream, I didn’t know what else to do. I wailed and screeched letting every fear and anger that was stored within me. It must have been a good half hour before my voice gave up. I was in the most vulnerable state and had no idea what to do. My mind became light headed from screaming and stars began to dance before me. The beautiful auroras  shimmer and danced before me. I was breathing so heavily I could feel every heart beat throughout my whole body. My body was unable to move, my vision was blacked out and I knew  if I didn’t calm down  I would die.

With the thought of death, my whole body was showered with a cold wave of reality. My instinct mode took over my conscious mind. If I kept wailing and feeling sorry for myself, I knew that I would end up melting into the darkness and have no return. My body slowly melted the wave of fear, and began to simmer slowly with anger, determination and courage. I thought to myself,

How dare someone try to take over me. To make me suffer and kiss death of the lips in a disgusting hole like this. 

That’s when I heard footsteps above my head. I was silenced with fear, every hair on the back of my neck and arms stood up. I heard them creak right over my  head and slowly, descending. The weight under each footstep was carefully stepped on. Each slowly nearing the floor that I was sitting on. The steps were in a  rhythmic tone. The footsteps ceased for a second and I held my breath. In that split second I had no emotion, no thoughts, all I was focused on was the blackness that covered me. Then a door opened, and what stood before the door was a black silloute of a male. Towering and fearsome the low light that shown behind him made him look like a demon.  He wore a snow white mask, which was in a shocked emotion, little black flies flew in and out of the holes. I heard his heavy breathing.

‘Who are you!’ I tried to scream at him. ‘What do you want with me?!’ I began to feel the heat of tears sting my eyes. My heart was about to fly out of my chest.

He tilted his head to the right, just slightly. And a shiver ran down my spine.

‘Just let me go! I swear to God! Just let me go!’ I quickly scanned the room trying to not look at his horrific face. I noticed that I was in a blank cellar room, with a rusty door to the right of me. I swung my face to look at the doorway and noticed he wasnt stand there. I stared with cold terror, the man was gone.

I felt the stagnant air around me, the tension become suffocating. I look frantically and he was nowhere, I didnt hear him go up the stairs, I didnt hear him move at all, I only looked away for a couple of seconds.

And with those rushed thoughts invading my mind, I felt the two thick hands clasp against my shoulders. He turned me around so I was sitting right in front of his gigantic body. I screamed.

In a demonic laugh, he whispered  through the cold white mask, ‘Hunny, you ain’t leaving ever. Me n you’s gon’ live happily ever after.’ and laughed satanically again.

I was stunned. I was too speachless to even feel or speak. He spun me around and walked in front of me. His hand touched mine it was grimy and thick, I shuddered at his touch. He withdrew it and balled it into a fist.

‘You is gon’ listen and obey to me, or you is gon’ to die.’ he stated seriously. I figured he must have been from down South because his grammar was horrid, but I ignored it and shook my head vigorously in response.

His mask gleamed in my response, its open void for eyes stared back at me blankly. He huffed and turned on his heels to go back up stairs. I was filled with fear and wasnt able to move. He turned around one last time and stared at me. Those eyes burning right into my head; and slowly closed the door, leaving me in the complete darkness. His steps began to slowly ascend the steps and each step the numbing shock melted away. I was scared, I was angry, I was nervous.

I gasped desperately for air, each gulpful of rotten stench. I was so mind boggled, I went into an anxiety attack, my mind was racing with fear. But then, a surge of courage emerged. I thought to myself Lizzie you can do this, take deep breaths, breathe, breathe. Calm your mind. I settled myself and began to think.

I sat there for, I don’t even know how long, and began to process how I was going to escape and run. I tightened against the leather straps across my wrists, Do I break a wrist an attempt to break free, or await my killer? Without a doubt, I did what any human would’ve done, I ripped my wrist right beneath the hidebound strap and let out a howl. It laid there limp, but I willfully unbounded my other with excruciating pain. ”

*Wait, what made you ever think to break your own wrist to untie the other? Why didn’t you just wiggle your way through it, or patiently loosened it?*

“Well,” I gave a cold chuckle, “I guess I was running on adrenaline and the first thought of escape was to release my hands. I had a surge of bravery through my mind and pain was  insignificant during this time. I wouldn’t just ‘wiggle’ or ‘loosen’ my hand because I did not have time for that. I had no idea when that giant would return and I needed the fastest way to escape. It was the first idea that came to mind and I decided to take it.

Anyways,  after my hands were released I stood up and realized how weak I was. I tried to walk forward but collapsed, the ground was hard, cold cement. I felt the tiny scratches on my palm burn and it brought tears to my eyes. But my inner self took control of my body and jumped up. I came to a wall and scaled it till I felt a heavy door handle protrude that I previously saw before . I felt around the trim and crumbling bits of rust fell to the ground. I tried pushing on it with all my body weight but it was locked. It wasn’t budging. I gave a low whimper and I thought,  do you want to get out of this alive? Then attack it, fight for your life! A surge of courage roared through my ears and I stepped back five steps and ran straight for it. A loud THUD rang through the room, but I felt a huge indent. I heard a rustle up above me, oh my God, He heard, He’s coming!   I heard his heavy footsteps calmly make towards the descending stairs. Again I did the same routine, feeling my body slowly break with the door. Courage was the only thing that hyperdrived my body. He was now stepping down the stairs, quicker and less heavy. He was nearing the door and rattled the doorknob,

The door that I was body chucking finally crumbled and a shrieking light attacked my eyes. He was in the room taking strides towards me,

I hissed with pain from the light , but it took me a split second to adapt, and instinctively darted towards the light.


I felt a heavy hand grasp onto my shoulder.

It spun me around and clamped harder into my shoulder. I squealed with pain and struggled to get free. The mans bellowing voice boomed “You is gon’ die now. YOU IS DEAD!”

and threw me to the ground. I landed on my broken wrist and I screamed with every fiber of lung. I kicked and punched from the ground but he just grabbed my good arm and held it in a deadly grasp. He picked me up from my arm and stared into my face, those empty black eyes staring straight into mine. I was hypnotized by his mask. But then, a roaring wave of courage crept into my mind. I looked at him, two inches apart, and said,

“Good luck trying, you disgusting coward”

and bashed my face right into his, with my force of a blow his mask indented into his, and he let me go backing away. In those split seconds I landed on my feet and dashed to the light.

I just ran, I dashed between trees, darted from rock to rock. I never looked back, I had no idea where I was running. The adrenaline pumping through my muscles, making each stride powerful and long.  I ran through low branches causing little cuts up and down my legs.  I ran until my lungs gave up on me, I collapsed to my scraped knees to find myself ten meters away from a paved road. I slowly crawled my way up to the road on my stomach using every energy left to make it. The dirty  leaves and grime digging into my clothes tatting into my hair. I closed my eyes and tried to swallow but it burned to even breathe. I dont know how far he was or where I was. I just laid there trying to breathe.

Eventually, a old red pickup truck drove by and smashed to a stop. It’s engine was rattling and roared  over my heartbeat. I closed my eyes, awaiting for it to be the crazed man. Instead it was a little old man, who came to my side and yelled, ‘By God’s name are you ok? Miss, Miss, can you hear me?’ I looked up at him and just gave a laugh. All I could do is laugh and smile, I was idiotically laughing but I couldnt help it.

The man was actually the sheriff of the small town, Livingston, and brought me to his station. He called paramedics to care to my wounds and health, and let me sleep in a room in the one cell jail. He fed me, and told me in the morning we would discuss what happened and told me to rest easy. He said he would be right outside the room and ‘hollar’ if I needed anything. I was speechless and just nodded.

As I began to dose off, I soon realized I was surrounded with the same darkness I was faced with early in that day. I began to breath heavy and looked around, I thrashed and tried to get up but realized I was in the same chair as I was today, I screamed and looked to my right and saw, the white mask just hovering in the pitch dark. I screamed even louder and was roughly awoken to the old sheriff’s worried face. I cried and realized that it was only a nightmare, I also found that my voice has returned and decided to tell him everything that happened. He just sat at the end of my single room jail cell and listened with attentiveness.

Throughout the whole night, Mr. M (sheriff) sat with me and tried to talk to me. He was the kindest guy I have ever met, He contacted my home town which was five hours away and told my parents I have been found and should be returned home soon.  My mom talked to me on the phone and I began to cry, I was never more relieved than that moment.”

*Relieved? How can you be relieved when you know your captor is still out in those woods?*

I stared at the lifeless light that dangled above my head. I looked down at my cast which protectively wrapped around my wrist. I said, “Well, if he ever comes looking for me again, I’ll be sure to tell him, ‘I isn’t dead, and you is’ gon’ to repay for what you did.'”

And I gave a sick smile. The courage and determination simmered in my heart and mind. Nobody, will ever keep me captive.


Etymology: c.1300, from Old French corage (12c., Modern French courage) “heart, innermost feelings; temper,” from Vulgar Latin*coraticum (source of Italian coraggio, Spanish coraje), from Latin cor “heart” (see heart) which remains a common metaphor for inner strength. In Middle English, used broadly for “what is in one’s mind or thoughts,” hence “bravery,” but also “wrath, pride, confidence, lustiness,” or any sort of inclination. Replaced Old English ellen, which also meant “zeal, strength.”

Noun: The state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.

Origin: Middle English corage, from Anglo-French curage, from quer, coer heart, from Latin cor — more at the heart. First Known Use: 14th century

Literature: “Sometimes even to live is an act of courage” [Seneca Letters to Lucilius]

Common use: The lion is known to be courageous because of their strength to attack during the night.