J.F.K. Creative Writing (continued)

Notes from class…

  • How many shots?
  • How many shooters?
  • The movement of Kennedy’s body
  • The movement of Jackie
  • The reaction of the crowd

A shot cracked out and I looked up to see birds dispersing from the top of the depository. I couldn’t be sure if the shot had come from above me, but before I could think about it another shot rang out. Then another. My eyes focused on the president’s car, which had slowed down almost until it stopped. Inside, I saw Kennedy lolling to one side and Jackie leaning in to see what the trouble was. In front of him, Governor Connally turned. Then a fourth shot zipped across the plaza, and then…

…almost in slow-motion, I saw Kennedy’s body jerk to the left as his head seemed to explode in blood. The crowd had become silent, as though they were frozen, and all that seemed to move was the president’s head. Backwards and left. Even the breeze seemed to be still. Dealey was static. No movement. No sound. Not a breath.

And then like a radio being turned on, suddenly there was noise everywhere. People around the bookstore were running for cover, people in the plaza ran towards the knoll and the railroad tracks. I looked around and knew that something had gone wrong with the plan. Ruby and Ferrie had loused up. I headed left down Houston and made for a taxi.