All Stories, Literally Reruns, Short Fiction

Literally Reruns – Dilemma – An Experiment by Hugh Cron

How better to celebrate a milestone than to have a re-run featuring Mr Cron.  Leila has presented this little gem from the dungeons and this is what she said:

Here’s “1” to celebrate Mr. Cron’s 100th LS story. Unless it is a news report, numbers should be written out, but on this historic occasion, I won’t follow the rules. Besides, there’s something about 1 and 100 that impresses the eye more than they do when written out. At least that’s how my eyes see it.

With that in mind, I think it just, wise and though perhaps not terribly original on my part, at least appropriate, that we enhance the arrival of Mr. Cron’s 100th piece by revisiting his 1st, Dilemma–An Experiment. Somehow this black pearl managed to wriggle its way to the bottom of the jewel box and has hidden there for six years. (For the record, “6” never looks good as a number. There’s something slacker and slouchy about it.)

Q: Remarkably tense. How did you manage to keep your cool and not “jump” the story–by which I mean, how hard was it to coolly proceed to the climax without resorting to slowing down time and giving lurid, unnecessary descriptions whilst David was “on the clock”–so to speak?

Q: In all your writings there seems to be a dichotomy between fate and free will. In this piece, in particular, an evil act of free will determines fate. Do you believe that the gunman in the piece has a twisted morality similar to Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men? 

Congratulations on 100!

Leila Allison


Dilemma–An Experiment

Hugh’s response:

Hi Leila, thanks so much for all your support with my stories and for choosing this one.
I have a great time answering your questions, even when they sometimes make my head hurt. I’m not used to thinking too deeply!!
This all started out as pure devilment. If anyone wants to be a complete bastard at a Christening, all they need to do is present folks with this scenario. The funniest thing is, they are not even considered the bastard for asking, that is thrown out to everyone else depending on who answers what or even who declines to answer.
What is life without the odd hypothetical murder??
I had toyed around with writing his inner dialogue but soon realised that couldn’t work. This was sort of written in real time and he had no time to think, so it was logical to go with more basic description on what he saw, heard and felt for those few seconds.
If I had a spiel on how he came to his choice with memories of their friendship etc, the real time aspect would have been farcical.
Weirdly enough, I thought about this not that long ago when we received a story and there was a few minutes actual time aspect to the story. The writer then went on for another couple of thousand words and you realise that it doesn’t work and sounds ridiculous.
I’ll be brutally honest.
I don’t know!
He was just a sick fuck. The choice was simply a way to torture them. He destroyed them all and each in a different way. He probably got as much a kick out of knowing that as he did the killing.
I did (do) still want to find out what he would tell me about himself if I wrote more about him but I’d need to come up with another couple of experiments. I’ve been thinking on these over the years but I can’t think of anything that would complement this one. The scenario might be different but the choice and destruction would be expected.  To be truthful, any scenarios I’ve thought of are distasteful for the sake of it and that’s not what I’d want.
It’s interesting your point on fate and free will. Maybe this is a contradiction in terms. Can you have both? And is fate determined if it’s an offshoot of someone’s free will?
That makes the chicken or egg question seem simple!
Thanks again Leila, this was so much fun revisiting!

Balloons from

2 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Dilemma – An Experiment by Hugh Cron”

    1. Hi Leila,
      It’s always fun answering your questions and they make me consider my reasoning more than I consciously do at the time of writing.
      I really did enjoy visiting this MC once again.


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