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Billy and the bullet, "Regrowth"

August 4, 2015
Posted at 3:22 pm

Several people have written me about the following passage in chapter 10 of "Regrowth."

"... he fired a gun at Billy from a range of only about 10 feet. It must have been a 9 mm parabellum, but, thank God, it was not a hollow-point slug. The bullet struck Billy in the breastbone and knocked him tail over teakettle.
There was some penetration by the bullet because Billy had no yet reached the peak of his abilities."

Actually, there were two complaints. First, Billy was "knocked ... tail over teakettle."

My rational was that it was not the bullet itself that caused Billy to fall backwards, but that his body was doing what it could to dissipate the impact force to cut back on the resulting damage. The bullet could not penetrate his skin enough to make a difference, but what it could do was to break bones. I used flowery language to say that Billy fell backwards. In doing so, his body was doing what it could to soften the blow by falling backwards to the floor.

The second complaint was about the bullet type. Had it been a hollowpoint bullet, it might not have penetrated because it would have mushroomed into a larger diameter. The larger diameter could have caused more bone breakage, and the smaller diameter of the standard bullet meant less bone breakage.

Anyway, I apologize for the sloppy writing in not making it clear what I had in mind. Hopefully, I will do a better job in future such scenes.