In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Connect the Dots.”
This is such a random prompt suggestion that I just had to try it…turn to page 82 in the book nearest you, take the third full sentence, and work it into a post somehow. Very interesting.
As it so happens, the nearest book to me right now is my own book, and the third full sentence on page 82 is thus:
“I just wanted to let you know because I’m not…I’m…”
A little mysterious, hmm? Not exactly revealing a great deal with that random sentence out of context, are we?
Well I’ll let you in on a little bit of the story. Without revealing too much I can tell you that this little piece of dialogue is part of a confession/apology, and the confession/apology is coming because the person making it believes that she is about to die.
That’s a bit depressing, isn’t it? But it’s actually something that occurs in books, movies, TV shows, and video games all the time. Someone does something horrible, or keeps a huge secret for years and years, and only on their deathbed do they pluck up the courage to apologize or reveal the secret, because they suddenly realize that they can’t die without mending this fence.
What do you think about this particular trope? Does it make sense in the fictional world because it’s something that occurs regularly in the real world? Or are we perpetuating a lie by insinuating that people feel the need to clean the slate when they believe they’re about to pass on? If someone keeps a secret inside for that long, would they really feel the need to reveal it at the end? Is this only a religious thing (“I won’t go to heaven if I don’t make this right”), or do you think people with no belief in the afterlife would react the same way on their deathbed? I’m interested to see what you guys think because I’m really not so sure myself. It’s a great storytelling tactic for sure, but if I had done something horrible or kept a huge secret, I’m not sure I would really give much of a damn in the face of my own impending death. So what do you think?