I wrote a piece of flash fiction as a mental exercise. I happened to listen to Glen Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade,” and happened to watch an episode of “Samurai Jack.” “Moonlight Serenade” is a song without words, though sometime later decided to add words, I believe, because they missed the point. “Jack” is a cartoon that is almost silent. So I wrote a sensual piece of flash fiction of a young guy and girl dancing. The story begins after the music had started and ends before the piece has played out.
Three-quarters of the way through the story, the couple begin the process of dying in a mass shooting. She dies instantly. He isn’t really ever aware he is dying so much as he is trying to process the sudden changes such as her starting to fall to the ground and him trying to prevent it. His end is more one in confusion. Overall, it’s a sensual, physical piece of the last two minutes of this couple.
I sat it down for a while and picked it up a few days later. I realized it wasn’t bad and started thinking about the family, the killer, and the family of the killer. I have thought about writing companion pieces, also as flash fiction.
Our society does a lot to suppress aggression. Once upon a time, someone could say, “I am big. I am strong. I have a rock (knife or sword),” and it would resolve a conflict. It was a functional conflict system from our early primate days until the recent past. Now we do two types of behavior that render that dysfunctional. The first is that you likely have to phone in your complaint. Being big, strong and possibly having a weapon is an impotent strategy. The second is that threats to prevent violence are being suppressed as not being PC. Inappropriate language is like the rattle of a rattlesnake. It is a warning. Killers are not high functioning, emotionally balanced people.
What are the dangers of painting a sympathetic view of the killer through the family of the killer’s perspective and in seeing the obvious interior dysfunction of the killer by seeing inside his mind?