Monday, December 15, 2014

Dispatch #31: Violence

by Lupe Fernandez
“It’s catching isn’t it, violence.”
- Jack The Ripper in Time After Time

“Balthazar is a good man. 
But until all men are like him, 
we must keep our swords bright.”
- Sheik Ilerim in Ben Hur


How do I portray fictional violence?
Let’s start with a scene.

Third Person:
“The mall blew up.”
- Anonymous Witness

Police Report:
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

First Person:
“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?”

Third Person:
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.

First Person:
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

"I was saying my Rosary at Saint Portola like I do every Sunday. Then a bunch of those people came in. You know what they're like. Those...animals. They smashed all that statues of The Virgin Mary. All of them. I shouted at them to stop. They laughed and defiled Her name. May God have mercy on their souls."

Third Person
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?
Violence.

10 comments:

  1. Wow. Right after hearing about the hostages in the Chovolate Cafe in Australia. Well written, sir.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan,
      Thanks for reading.
      Sincerely,
      The Revolution Will Not Be Served with a Latte

      Delete
  2. Hi Lupe, This was powerful, but terrifying. Me, I can't write about violence. It's hard for me to hear about violence, let alone read about it. I see it on the news and feel detached from it. I remember how I felt when I saw the twin towers on the news. I called the school about my daughter. They told me no, the school would not close. It was best to keep the children in their routine. So I sat, shocked and crying, in front of my TV for hours until I could bring her home and hold her tight. I thought it was the end of the world. It was surreal. Violence is insidious, terrifying, and unreal. When I watch murder mysteries on TV I know they will catch the criminals and I hope they will be punished for their crimes. That's all I know. Penny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Penelope,
      Thanks for reading.
      I have personal experience with violence.
      Sincerely,
      Lupe

      Delete
  3. Very powerful stuff, indeed, and sadly a reflection of not only our times but of humanity itself taken to extremes. Well written and thoughtful, Lupe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nancy,
      Sincerely,
      Peace on Our Time

      Delete
  4. Thanks for a little view into the process

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eric,
      Thanks for reading.
      I don't like to brag, but writing is a glamorous life.
      Sincerely,
      Senor Pronoun

      Delete
  5. I'd like to know more about Wei Ming Lee and her friend Esmerila and how the story came to be with such a violent ending. Sadly this is quite timely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy,
      I'm flattered I piqued your curiosity. The idea for the story A Pledge of Allegiance is an exiled 13 year old, her father dying, sneaks across the Mexican Border to an America in the grip of a religious theocracy to find her missing mother who founded the ruling faith.

      Sincerely,
      Now I Have Write the Rest

      The incident recounted above is the spark of the new regime.

      Delete

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