Wednesday, January 17, 2007
China Ocean Shipping Company - Second person PoV
After writing this story in third person and first person, sombody else dangled the bait for a second person version. For those who may not know, second person is often used for instruction manuals, but very rarely in fiction because it is so difficult to write convincing fiction in second person.
In second person, the voice of the author or narrator (not necessarily the same thing) addresses the reader directly. The reader is asked to become a part of the story through the use of 'you' and 'yours' rather than 's/he' 'his', 'hers' (third person) or 'I' 'me' (first person). I wasn't at all sure it was possible, but I had a go anyway. In this case, the reader is invited to become 'Sam'.
* * *
Hello, Sam. Do you remember being told that, as you die, your whole life flashes in front of you? Well, now you know how true that is. Even those last few moments - the ones that caused the flash - became part of the flash.
I know, you are still struggling with the idea, but you really did watch yourself die. That's right Sam, it wasn't a dream, and this isn't a dream either. It was all very real and you watched it unfold; Sam Williams, victim and observer.
You don't believe me? Well, you always were a skeptic Sam. Look at this gash around my throat - no you won't spew, you can't spew any more - this gash is how we died ... Oh, you don't buy that either? Then let me remind you of how it went down:
As the wire was cutting into your throat, you saw yourself; strutting around that yard like you owned the place. Banging your boots down on the gravel so hard that they made the containers rattle. ... Yes, sure, anyone could have seen that. But I tell you what, only you could know what was running through your mind Sam. "This is all mine", you thought. "My yard, my containers, at least at night." Oh yes, big-shot Sam and his rail-yard full of containers. That's right, shuffle your feet Sam. I'd be embarrassed too, well, I mean I am embarrassed; both of me.
I tell you what else you thought; you remembered that cat - the one that scared the crap out of you when you were counting the containers for Elen. Bloody hell Sam, you were going to double what you counted anyway, just to impress her. Sometimes, you're a bleedin' embarrassment to myself. Yes, of course you miss Elen; Elen and a whole bunch of other stuff that you haven't begun to realise yet.
But let's just finish with those last moments. They are, after all, classic Sam ... So, big, brave Sam heard a sound. Did that ring warning bells in your mind? Oh no, not you - Sam, Sam, The Security Man; you thought it was a cat. You thought you'd like to scare it out of one of it's nine lives. You liked bullying poor, defenseless, furry creatures. That was real big of you Sam. ... Now come on Sam, don't start blubbering on me yet, we have a lot to get through.
How long does this go on? Oh, a very long time Sam; a very, very long time. You know, you have to live with yourself Sam ... especially when you die.