by Joyce Tremel
I wrote a flash fiction piece a few weeks ago in which the girl gets away with her crime. It had a nice twist in it, but it got me wondering whether it was the right thing to do. People who work in law enforcement don't like it much when the bad guy triumphs.
I know it happens on occasion, but we wish it didn't. I think that most people want the good guy to win. (Well, except for one guy I saw at Busch Gardens wearing a shirt that said "Warner Brothers--if you see a cop, warn a brother." My husband wouldn't let me say anything to the guy. I had to settle for The Look.)
In real life, there's no way the girl in my story would have gotten away with her crime, but in 1000 words you can get away with a lot. Not enough time for any investigation, forensics or what not. In real life, there would have been some evidence of her wrongdoing. A real detective would have seen right through the story of a teenager who hated her parents. If I had written a longer story, I think that's exactly what would have happened.
So, what do you guys think? Is it okay for the bad guy to win in fiction? Does the story length really have something to do with the outcome? Would you read a novel where the villain triumphs?