Not Directly NaNoWriMo related

So, no matter what you do, you cannot insulate yourself from the world. Life will get in the way of your writing.

I’d done well, just a medical appointment – hence the making it to the victory. The victory celebrations didn’t last long.

Here in the UK on the 5th November we celebrate Bonfire Night. I used to love it when I was a kid, have a bonfire in the back garden. Rarely we’d have fireworks, but mostly we watched other peoples. Other years we’d go to the big events that the council or others would put.

If you’re wondering what it is, in brief – in 1605, after years of Catholic persecutions by the state, here in England, a bunch of Catholic conspirators set about trying to blow up Parliament. It’s an event known as the Gunpowder Plot. It failed and after the perpetrators were sold out, and the conspirators, especially the nominal leader were tortured, and eventually sentenced to death, some by being hung, drawn and quartered. Check the Wikipedia article if you want to know more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Plot

Suffice to say, it’s kind of a weird tradition where we celebrate a plot that failed, and we celebrate the famed perpetrator of the plot Guy Fawke’s execution.

And all this is by the by, it’s exposition to what happened. I live in a area of Leeds called Harehills. Unfortunately last night, not that long after I’d posted on here, and done my Vlog, youths decided to stage a pitched battle with the police.

This happened in several place on Harehills Road, including at the top of my street. It was chaos, the police retreated at one point, after they were pelted with rocks, bricks, and fireworks. Left to their own devices there was anarchy, and lots of fireworks. Bins were stolen and burned. Eventually riot police came, and got control of the scene.

15 people were arrested, ages ranging from 11 to 23. There were people from outside of our area coming in and joining the violence and chaos.

Suffice to say for residents in the streets around the violence, it was terrifying. Witnessing the police retreat, and let the chaos roll, made me the most afraid I’ve ever been in the life. I was expecting that any moment the violence would spill down into the rest of the street. Lights off, doors locked, and hoping I’m not doing anything to make myself a target.

Just to be clear that didn’t happen, and ultimately I was safe.

I never thought I’d be so relieved to see a line of riot police across the top of my street. When they finally turned up, they dealt with the youths quickly.

So why am I telling you this? I don’t generally do personal stuff in my blog. Well it’s this, once the morning came around, and things returned to normal, it gave me a lot of room to think, and come to some realisations.

  1. I’ve seen riots on the news, but I don’t think I ever really understood just how terrifying they are, how much it impacts the people around it
  2. I don’t think I’ve done a good job when writing fear in the past. I’ve never been so terrified in my life, and my writing has never conveyed anywhere near to how it really feels. It’s not just me though, I don’t think a lot of writers do
  3. Random violence is it’s own motive. Sounds odd, but evil bad guys are something I can never wrap my head around, but there was no motive for the events last night, these youths just wanted to fight the police, and cause chaos. Some people just want to watch the world burn

So, in the cold light of day, this is what I’ve realised.

So between tweeting a lot, handling queries from the press, three interviews (none of them used… not surprised since except for some brief moments, I was looked inside hiding all night).

These are some of the images I took, the one with the police was a video took that has been round the internet a few times.

Daily Flash Fiction Challenge 46: Coward’s Courage

This is the 45th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.

Coward’s Courage by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th January 2012

Word count: 645

Theme: risk, hero, self doubt, self depreciation, police, crime, robbery

The story:

Jackson never sought out to become a hero, even a minor one. Things just turned out that way. That day started off like any other, he got a call about a small problem, and went to deal with it.

“Breath deeply,” Jackson told himself, “Then cut the wire.”

Snip.

“Okay, first one down now the next, just stay steady,” he braced himself.

Snip.

He pulled himself out of the cupboard.

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