More About Fiction

As I’ve mentioned before, I have written a lot of unpublished – and in most cases unpublishable – short stories about the death penalty and execution.  Many of these are first person, or nearly first person, depictions of executions by various methods.

Over time, I’ve written primarily using the following general ideas:

  • In an alternate world, I’ve been convicted and sentenced to death for drug trafficking.  In many cases this is due to a legal glitch that makes me accidently guilty.
  • In an alternate world, I’ve been convicted as part of a group of people involved in a robbery where someone was killed.  Usually, I’m a minor participant but the law still makes me eligible or mandates a sentence of death.
  • In a totalitarian alternate world, I run afoul of the authorities.
  • I use some sort of technology to enter alternate worlds and alternate lives specifically, or accidentally, to experience their execution.

When writing using the first two ideas, it is often the case that I’ve either plead “guilty,” or “nolo contendere” (also known as “no contest”), knowing that I must be, or asking specifically to be, sentenced to death.

I know why I tend to both use the ideas above, and have the first person character not fight their execution from the start.  Much of this is based on the fact that the “I” character is based closely on me.  (I suspect that this relates to much of my writing, and living, problems with really being able to empathize with others.)

There are two reasons why I tend to write that “I” plead “guilty.”  First, I don’t think I would be able to stand the idea of spending years in prison.  This would both be from fear of confinement and fear of other prisoners.

Second, I agree with what C. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity:

No, for loving myself does not mean that I ought not to subject myself to punishment – even to death. If one had committed a murder, the right Christian thing to do would be to give yourself up to the police and be hanged.

Mere Christianity, Book III, Chapter 7

As to why the “I” character isn’t a mass murder, terrorist, rapist, or other form of criminal comes from the fact that I find it very difficult to imagine committing any of those crimes.

One other thing that I tend to find myself focusing on, or at least mentioning, the physical feelings over the emotional feelings.  This is probably as much because of my inability to empathize as it is about the fact that those are the feelings that can be, or at least partially be, actually felt.

I may choose to post some of this fiction.  For the same reason that my last name doesn’t appear anywhere on this blog, I’ll have to make sure that the ones I post don’t have my name in them (they often do), and that they are complete.