Last night I had what I call the "horror movie" nightmare. I'll spare you the scenario, but I was with three people and I left two of them in a safe spot in order to rescue someone who had been removed from the group. We were on our way back and were surrounded.
No way out.
This is the moment when I woke up with my heart pounding and my lungs working overtime. It was one of those situations where I couldn't shake off the dream and kept trying to figure out an exit. "You're supposed to be a writer, dammit, you can do this." Of course, that just brought on another level of stress, so I picked up my tablet to read and was out again in maybe ten minutes. Distraction is good sometimes.
Most of answer came to me this morning while I was brushing my teeth. I was trying to do the self-rescuing princess thing. Is it okay to be rescued sometimes? I came to the conclusion that of course it is, particularly when it leads to major character development on the part of the rescuer(s). The other two people happened to be women (as was the person I rescued), but one of those two would have to overcome some almost paralyzing fears in order to even leave the safe spot, much less take part in a rescue mission. The other woman was someone we had picked up along the way, so they had little idea of how to motivate the other person, much less get them to calm down in a stressful situation.
But also, teamwork. This would mean that my job was to stave off the monster attack for long enough for the other two team members to do the job.
So, how do they do it?
I have some ideas. This is a story I probably won't write, but it applies to a WIP right now, so it's worth at least trying to think through it. I tend to overthink things when I put my protagonist in a bad situation, and so this gives me hope that I can move forward.