Saturday, January 25, 2014
True’s Miscellany for January 2014 (Part 2) Crime, Sex and Short Stories
The following are some thoughts on writing – hopefully not boring thoughts. I’ve been working (and I use that term loosely) on some short stories. I’m having difficulty focusing and I will tell you why. Stories are meant to be read by someone, but the possibility of being formally published is remote. It’s frustrating. As some of you might know, I had – still do actually – a sister blog where I had posted some of my stories. Then I was informed by those close to me that some of the stories bordered on pornography, so I deleted them. It was not my intention to write pornography – whatever that is – but law enforcement and crime often, in reality, can be a pretty dirty business. So, the quandary was and is, ‘how do I write about what I’ve seen, heard and experienced while leaving out the seamy side?’
Here’s are some examples:
I once talked with a FBI Agent who was working “kiddy porn.” First off, I think that is an awful way to phrase a terrible crime – but it is the way that cops often describe it. He told me that what he observed on a typical day was so perverted and disgusting that he had to shower as soon as he got home and try and forget, often with little or no success, his day’s work. He said the burn-out on that squad was high; and that many agents were haunted by those images for years, even a lifetime.
It almost makes me laugh to watch some of those CSI programs. One episode I remember, the investigator knelt in the midst of a rather gruesome murder scene. I suppose they were trying to depict deep contemplation and a subsequent eureka moment. In reality, murder and death scenes, suicides are often the worst, are something you don’t want to kneel in, spend much time in deep thinking, nor do you want to breathe. The smell at times is not for weak stomachs. The visual will give you nightmares. On the Sheriff’s Office, we would often bring cigars to smoke. If the smell of death and decomposition didn’t make you sick, the cigar certainly would. And, to vomit just wasn’t something you’d want to do (not professional). Nonetheless, the cigar smoke did seem to disguise the stench. Except, I must add, the smell of death stayed in your cloths and seemed to become lodged in your nostrils. After all, that is what odor really is – tiny particles floating in the air. One other comment, autopsies are nearly as bad – especially when they saw the skull open.
I once attended a seminar on serial killers. Ted Bundy was the principal topic. He was executed in Florida (1/24/89) for various murders. And, was alleged to be responsible for more than thirty murders of young women. He was attempting to cheat the executioner by offering, periodically, to confess to and describe the murder of particular young women – including what he did and how he subsequently disposed of the body. This was designed to give some sort of closure to parents of missing women. His ploy did work for a while and allowed him to live a bit longer. During the seminar for law enforcement types which I attended, one of Bundy’s taped confessions was played. It was, I would briefly describe as, simply horrible.
Now, these are not the types of subjects that I want to spend a lot of time thinking about. But, they are part of police work. Some might say why don’t you write uplifting, positive, intriguing stories; but skip the graphic details? I’m not sure I can – always. It’s just not reality.
So my options, I suppose, are to modify stories in a way that my future grandchildren can read them. Or, file the stories away – for what purpose I am not sure.
I did find that Google will attach a ‘warning,’ ‘adult content,’ for anyone visiting my short story blog. I guess that’s a possibility too.