If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Gunshot in the Afternoon

It is a movie cliché. The boy's beloved horse is maimed, probably saving the boy's life. The father tells the boy to be a man. Cut to close-up of the boy's face. Sound of gunshot off screen. The audience knows that the animal is dead and the boy will never fully recover from the trauma.
Head bad guy says to second in line, "Take him out and shoot him." Cut to faces of other hostages, maybe the wife of the potential victim. Sound of door closing, silent pause, gunshot. The audience is trying to figure out how the hero could survive such eminent peril. But survive he does and he comes back to rescue everyone.
I've been a writer for a long time. You would think I would take such things as routine.
Mother's day, sunny but cool. The park is filled with picnickers. It's my turn to walk the property and see that everything is OK. At the bridge over the spillway I am met by two junior high girls. "A deer was hit and tumbled over the guard rail. She's in those bushes thrashing around. Looks like she has a broken leg."
I made my way over to the group of women who had their eyes glued to the opposite bank of the stream.
"She's in there. She's stopped thrashing. We called 911."
I couldn't see her. She seemed to be in a patch of briars about half way down the slope between Route 1 and the stream. I didn't think the 911 operator would dispatch the state police, so I went back into the office to look up other animal control possibilities. Because we had a game warden speak at a Sisters in Crime meeting a few months ago, I knew there is only one game warden for the south east corner of Pennsylvania.
By the time we decided we didn't really know what to do, the State Police car pulled into the parking lot. I showed the driver where the deer was supposed to be. The only way for him to get to her was to go back on the highway, drive east for half a mile, make a U-turn and park on the verge of the busy highway. He then had to crawl over the hip high guard rail and climb down a steep bank, and look for her.
I was back in the office 18th century newspapers when I heard the single shot. I was truly shocked, not by the shot which I expected, but by my reaction. I had run into this in a gazillion movies.
First off, relief. He had found her and dispatched her easily. I no longer had a problem to solve. She was no longer suffering. Then I realized I felt the same way I had in all those movies.
As the afternoon wore on I kept replaying the sound of that shot in my head, in fact I still am, two days later. Silence, bang, silence. Pain, bang, the respite of death. Next I realized I had wanted to go with him to watch and ask questions about the procedure. Would he have to fill out a report because he fired his gun? How often did he run into this situation? I wanted to know if he felt as matter-of-fact as he looked or did he have a moment of regret when he pulled the trigger.
Every now and then I wondered about the driver of the car. Was he OK? He didn't stop.
The carcass now lies half way down the slope, hidden in the bushes, returning to the earth from which she came. Soon we will start to find her bones all over the property. But I still can hear it in my head.
Silence, bang, silence.

7 comments:

Ramona said...

Wow, KB. Beautiful. I am imagining the sound of that single shot now.

Warren Bull said...

Writing about and experiencing are very different.

Linda Rodriguez said...

KB, this is such a poignant post! You've done such a good job of giving the reader your experience.

I also think of that policeman crawling over the high guard rail and climbing down the steep bank, only to have to kill the deer to end her suffering. Then, he had to clamber back up the overgrown bank to get back to his car. I think it probably had to be the nadir of his day, probably his week.

E. B. Davis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E. B. Davis said...

You've evoked the trauma of the event, KB. Bravo! Fiction mirrors real life. Some of those cliches are true.

But it brings to mind a dilemma I had when I first started writing. I knew not to use cliches in my writing, but one of my themes is testing cliches, so I had to use them as internal dialogue. We are raised with cliches as part of our speech and thinking. I don't like them, but our reality is that they form in our minds when something happens.

Cliches are adages that are supposed to be truth. Sometimes they are, but other times not only aren't they the truth, they can be hurtful. Those are the ones I'd like to eradicate from our language and our thinking.

Sad situations live within us and reverberate.

Gloria Alden said...

A beautiful post, KB. I see the problem that over population of deer has caused, and I know hunting is necessary, but like you, I hate the sound of a gun, something I hear during hunting season. Even though no one is allowed to hunt in my woods, the sound travels.

Sasscer Hill said...

Beautiful post, KB. You truly have a way with a pen! I was right there. Sasscer Hill