How do I portray fictional violence?
Let’s start with a scene.
“The mall blew up.”
- Anonymous Witness
On May 5 at 1:03pm, we were dispatched to Portola Shopping Mall in reference to a report of a Bomb Blast. Upon our arrival we met with EMT’s Jamie Hu Lee and Franklin Washington of the Portola Fire Department. EMT’s Lee and Washington stated that the Portola Fire Department received a 911 call from mall security personnel and along with Engine Co. 37 responded to emergency call and commenced triage on causalities. Estimated death toll is fifty-two persons.
After inspection of debris field, we consulted with Bomb Squad personnel on site and determined an explosive was detonated at a one location inside the Mt. Portola Mall. We conducted multiple on-site interviews with witnesses and reviewed facility surveillance video.
Preliminary evidence indicates one suspect carrying concealed triacetone triperoxide attracted a crowd and detonated device to achieve maximum damage. Motive unknown. Whether suspect acted alone or in concern with other suspects is unknown. Pending further investigation by FBI and Homeland Security, we recommend increased security at places frequented by the public.
- Detective Carol Reyes #3702
- Detective Arturo Wiseman #4582
“There’s a big crowd in the mall, right outside Flynn’s Clothing. I think it’s a performer or something. I hear a little girl crying and then somebody screams ‘bomb bomb.’ Then heat and fire and bodies and glass everywhere. I’m covered in blood. My legs won’t move. I mean it’s a mall for Christ’s sake. Who does that? Who does that?”
She stands alone in the Mt. Portola Shopping Mall and wails. “Help me. Please help me.” A crowd of adults gather and ask, “What’s your name little girl? Where’s your mother? Where’s your parents? Don’t cry? Are you lost?” She’s bundled in a thick jacket with her hands tucked in the deep pockets. “Somebody call security.” The girl takes her hand out of her pocket and grips a switch in her tiny hand. Before the next breathe, she releases her fingers and a vest lining the inside of her jacket blasts the spectators to bloody shards.
My name is Esmerila Whitehall De Vida. Today I go into the place where the Devil buys souls. I make a lot of noise to get the Evil Ones around me. My jacket is really heavy and my hand hurts from holding the trigger. I’m thirsty and I wish I had a Cherry Soda. May La Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Monte Portola take me in Her arms.
"Americans, it's an outrage that these people our allowed into this God-fearing country of ours and allowed to practice paganism. That's right, folks. I said paganism. They dress it up to resemble Catholicism, but it's idol worship. Imagine, a statue of Virgin Mary in your living room. Not Jesus Christ. Not a quote from the Good Book. Not even a cross. No Americans. These people pray to this statue. The most shocking aspect is they are not worshiping the Mother of Our Savior. These pagans are worshiping the other Mary. Mary Madelaine. The whore."
- Author Ferdinand Porfirio Díaz, Excerpt of Podcast Transcript
Esmerila is Wai Ming Lee's best friend. They sat next to each other in Mrs. Turline's fourth grade class. Then the bombing. Classmates ask Wai Ming when Esmerila turned into a terrorist. Is Wai Ming a terrorist? Fights at recess. Graffiti on her locker. Wai Ming bears the insults, threats and punches. "I don't understand," she says of Esmerila. "She was nice and loved everybody."
"My Son cried unto his Father, 'Forgive them, for they do not know what they do'. I do not forgive them."
- Non-canonical Gospel According to La Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Monte Portola
What happened? Who is to blame? Who can we blame? Who should we blame?