I can't stop thinking about the Cumbrian shootings.
These things are always shocking, but this happened in an area of the country I know very well. I know some of the characters affected, albeit vaguely. But I've met them. I've been there. Members of my family are there now (but not directly affected).
I've always been fascinated by the extreme. I've read and written fictions about people hiding out in remote countryside locations from menacing figures with weapons. The basis for these wild imaginings has always been Eskdale, just because I know it so well. But I find it almost impossible to believe that something real, as preposterous as the scenarios played out in my head, has actually happened there.
I want to know what was in his head, what he was thinking, how he felt, how someone can do something like that. WHY. And not just because I'm shocked and horrified, which obviously I am. But because I'm intrigued. How does it happen? What is the process? Was he always a little mad, or did it happen suddenly? We'll never really know.
I've tried writing fiction in which people do extreme things, and it doesn't work. Maybe because I've never done anything like that myself, never could. My emotions are extreme but my actions never have been. I can't imagine myself into such a situation, not convincingly, neither as victim nor perpetrator.
It's hard to believe it's true. They moved Coronation St on location for the day, right?
I can't think of a suitable way to end this post. It's tempting to post platitudes such as "my heart goes out..." or "condolences..." just in case anyone seriously affected by today's events happens to stumble by. But it would be hollow and insincere, a passing nod to propriety. This is all fiction to me. I can't seem to make it real.
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