The story finished, a pall quivered over the audience.
“Questions,” said the moderator as the unshaven author peered across the effect he had produced.
A woman stood. “Why do you write this? Who needs to hear it?”
“I write for children.”
The audience collapsed into a jolted, angry clamor.
“What!” shouted the woman. “Children? A story where the protagonist encourages kids to commit suicide?”
“So that those kids might avoid a life of suffering. Yes, I think children ought to think about it.”
“You’re putting darkness in their minds – or poison. Dark poison,” she sobbed. “They’re kids, for heaven’s sake!”