“Crime and Punishment” / Memorable Fancies #825

         Politely, now, we allow those guilty of crimes to pay us money, or sit in a prison cell, or be exposed to public humiliation, as symbols of the sudden justice we would like to wreak upon them but now, by law, cannot.         But we remember: it was blood, back in the old days. Blood. Nothing else could atone for crimes, for ripping the fabric of society. And perhaps that’s still true even now, when we feel that money or imprisonment or shame doesn’t quite meet our frantic passions, … [Read more...]

“He’s Got a Gun!” / Memorable Fancies #612

     You were very clever, weren’t you, to figure it out from the clues I left lying loose like ends of string.      I’ll tie them up for you now, how I did it, why the dog didn’t bark in the windowless room.      While I’ve got the drop on you I’ll talk the time away until the cops burst through the door and I give up head-down abjectly, or cursing mad get conveniently shot and dying say,      “You knew I did it all along — didn’t you?” <END>      If you liked this post, … [Read more...]

“The Plot” / Memorable Fancies #528

“A murderer is not the best man to speak of crime.” – Albert Camus     The author of this murder mystery, the critic wrote, has provided a solution to the unsolved crime by implicating himself. But the novel wanders into irrelevance and the writing is full of clichés and unrealistic dialog. That is why this novel ultimately fails. The guilt of having written this miserable book only adds to the author’s guilt in having killed someone for a plot. <END>      If you liked this post, … [Read more...]

“An Economy of Dreams – IV” / A Memorable Fancy #219

[Neuroscientists find a way to record dreams as the dreamer experienced them.] Dreams of those accused of crimes are monitored to discover if a confession could be inferred. (“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this man’s dreams included details only the perpetrator could know.”) Juries were seldom persuaded, since the police and prosecutors would also know these things. Since dreaming of a specific crime did not succeed in convicting people of that crime, dreaming of any crime was itself … [Read more...]

“Al’s Karma” / A Memorable Fancy #094

Al had done something really bad. So bad that he forced himself not to think what he had done, or how many people had been hurt. So bad, he came to believe that what he had done was pre-ordained and so he had no choice. No choice at all. Not me. No matter what the jury had found. God had caused it all, or fate, or karma, or his DNA. Not Al. Al was like a Brownian particle pushed around by random molecular collisions. That’s what he said. He explained all this to his cellmate Charlie. Charlie … [Read more...]

“A Court Reporter Solves the Case” / A Memorable Fancy #029

     A court reporter, recording testimony in a murder case, suddenly understands who the real murderer was. Neither the prosecution nor the defense had figured it out.  … [Read more...]