695. You wrote it, it must be true
© Bruce Goodman 5 September 2015

I just shot my mother. She was hanging out the washing. She was reaching into the basket to pick up one of my shirts to hang on the line, and I pulled the trigger.

Bang! Dead! Just like that. I had told her to change the brand of laundry powder. The one she used stank of lemons. I’d walk around stinking like lemon zest. All my friends would say poo! Did she change the brand? No! So bang! That’ll be the last shirt she’ll hang.

“The shirt is not the only thing that will hang,” said the judge at the trial for my mother’s murder.

“But,” I said, “I’m a fiction writer. I make up stories. My stories are not true. I didn’t murder my mother. I don’t know who did. I wrote that piece about her murder before she was murdered.”

“So what you’re saying is that it was premeditated?” said the judge.

“It wasn’t premeditated at all,” I said. “It was a piece of fiction writing.”

“But fiction must mirror life,” said the judge. “Clearly all writing to some extent must be autobiographical.”

The jury agreed with the judge.

I’m writing this from Death Row. Perhaps if I write about my innocence they’ll start to understand how fiction works.

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