"Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" By: Ambrose Bierce
An interesting tale of a man who was a planter, and a southern supporter who broke a law contrived by the north. The law was that no civilian shall tresspass or plot against a bridge that was built over Owl Creek. Any who break the law were to be hung forthwith. Our leading man, Peyton, found himself with a noose around his neck standing on the Owl Creek Bridge. He then finds himself dangling from the bridge, but as luck would have it the rope breaks and he finds himself in the water below. Now the author would like you to believe that he has narrowly escaped death. I personaly like this style of writting, drawing the reader in and having the reader believe he did the impossible, or the unlikely.
Peyton, the planter, finds himself daydreaming on the bridge, lost in thoughts about his wife and children. His mind also wondered about the seemingly slow current of the creek, and how if he could escape, he surely would be shot because he wouldn't move through the water fast enough. To me this is undoubtedly a clue as to the story's conclusion. How when then noose breaks upon his descent, he plunges under the water, manages to unbind himself and tear the rope free from his neck. Avoid the flintlock fire coming his way, and make his way to shore further down stream. The author leaves clues: His surroundings, once he makes it ashore, seem brighter more luminous the flora and fauna are more notable. He can hear the dragonfly's wings beat, the wind is akin to a song. I believe the author was guiding our mind one way but the story another. Peyton finally finds his way home and just as he goes to embrace his wife, he feels a sharp white agonizing pain in the back of his neck, then darkness. The story concludes with Peyton swinging from the noose, the fall broke his neck. The whole time he had been dreaming about what if and his reality was entirely different.
I enjoyed this story immensely, there is a bait-and-switch feel to it that engages the reader, and I appreciate darker satire.