Spot 050: Suicide Attack(s)

THE VICTIM
by Bill Lapham

I was sitting on in a plane, in a bus, in a train. I was going to market, to church, to synagogue, to mosque. I bore my friend aloft in a box made for burial, in a crowd of mourners, sobbing. I was standing on queue, in a line, in a mob. I was a dissident, a citizen, an insurgent, an infidel. I was a Muslim, a Christian, a Jew. I was an American soldier, a contractor, a bodyguard, a body. I was a man, a father, a brother, a husband, a son. I was a woman, a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter. I was a kid playing with other kids. I was a merchant, a police officer, a shop keeper, a cook. I could read, I could write, I could cypher numbers. I tried counting the stars once, but lost count. I never tried counting the grains of sand. I read the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, and a few others. The best was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I watched sports, I played sports, sports is a metaphor for lots of things.

I had seen them happen, heard them happen, felt them happen, but I never thought one would happen to me. This one I never saw coming, never heard happening, never felt the reverb. She was right next to me, then she was not, and then she was. And just before she pressed the button, I thought.

See Authors page for Bill’s bio.

 

THE FIRST FATALITY
by Sandra Davies

Was it something in the air on these occasions? The long-standing wood-beamed barn itself holding some atavistic catalyst for violence? Or the accumulated testosterone of annually-assembled Burdock males reaching criticality?
Last year’s had maybe been the worst of all, but thankfully confined so that neither condemnation nor breach of confidence had reached too many ears. This year, fingers crossed, who knows …
Who knew?
Who told?
In drink and maybe with an eye to puncturing pomposity (unnecessary: his, while obvious, was basically good-natured, harmless). But someone had suggested he look to his wife, had drifted in another Burdock name – one so unlikely as to be quite ludicrous – and while he drank and talked and acted cock of the walk, he watched.
And saw what he had previously been blind to.
Saw that while she still tried to be discreet, still emulated wifely chastity, he – and his unseemly wife –were hell-bent on marital suicide.
But in the end it was neither of them that died.

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.

SMILE WHEN YOUR HEART IS ACHING…
by Michael D. Brown

They say people likely to walk into a bank with a bomb strapped on have always had suicidal tendencies and aren’t making statements for patriotic or religious glory. Some slit their wrists or take an overdose of barbiturates and fail to do the deed, or realize there isn’t enough PR inherent in sinking privately into a blood- filled tub because where is the personal demon recognition they desire? Too, there is the misguidance to which they’re so susceptible readily available from the internet and radical books. Let’s not even consider head-banging death metal rock, whose proponents claim it diverts them from doing themselves in by allowing discovery of others with dark problems making money shouting about them. Hopelessness, depression, guilt, shame, and rage are a powerful combination the sufferer knows cannot be alleviated externally. Anyone at the point of blowing up himself; statistically men do this more than women, and taking a bunch of people with him isn’t looking for a cure to what ails him. And he’d have to be more than a bit insane to believe there’s someone out there who appreciates whatever it is he’s trying to achieve. Now, insane people usually do not admit to the condition, but a clever individual might to keep you from thinking he was.
I’ve no idea why I’m saying all this. I just dove in and took a stance. It was either this or go with my original plan to order Acme plastic explosives and wear them into First National.

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.

ASK AND ANSWER
by Paul de Denus

What is the purpose?
We will make a statement.

What statement is that?
They will leave our land.

Why must I do this?
You will be remembered as a martyr.

What about my family?
They will be proud.

Will this hurt?
Only those around you.

Why me?
It is His will.

Will I feel it?
You will feel liberation.

Will it be worth it?
Your reward is the kingdom… and more.

But why must I do this?
Because there is no greater honor.

Then why don’t you do it?

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.


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3 Comments to “Spot 050: Suicide Attack(s)”

  1. Paul, you have made the hair stand up on the back of my neck – so visceral and so horribly apt.
    And the black memorial ribbons.

  2. I hate to say how timely these are with the current Colorado shooting disaster- luckily there aren’t many who will actually ‘do the deed’. especially liked Bill’s multiple take on the subject.

  3. Lapham couldn’t resist inserting Zen and the Art of Motorcycle etc. I actually heard his brain momentarily switch gears right then and switch back. Aside from that tiny glitch, He had me lulled into the rhythm of his piece and when the end came it was sock-o! Fabulous. Paul’s Q&A, so terse and disciplined, gives the reader a choice: am I the questioner or am I the answerer? I felt like I was the questioner. This may be my all-time favorite of Paul’s Spots. Michael’s piece opened me to a whole new angle on suicide attacks which is that the do-er had always wanted to commit suicide, had contemplated other avenues but as he puts it, “realizes there isn’t enough PR inherent in sinking privately into a blood- filled tub because where is the personal demon recognition they desire?” wow!
    Sandra pared the theme down to marital strife among her clan, the Burdocks. I had not thought about the theme in terms of an imtimate setting but truly, what hotter crucible is there than familial emotions? Great job all. Kudos to MB for the black ribbons.

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