equation

In the modern world all terrors could be gutted by simple use of the transitive axiom of quality. Some fears were justified, of course (you don’t drive when you’re too plowed to see, don’t extend the hand of friendship to snarling dogs, don’t go parking with boys you don’t know – how did the old joke go? Screw or walk?), but until now she had not believed that some fears were larger than comprehension, apocalyptic and nearly paralyzing. This equation was insoluble. The act of moving forward at all became heroism.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

She had always consciously or unconsciously formed fear into a simple equation: fears = unknown.

Stephen King, Salem’s Lot

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