On my tour tonight, we had a few kids, three girls around 10 – 12 years old. The tour I run is focused on true crime, so there’s murder and crime and sexual violence. I’m often wary of going into the gory details when there are kids on the tour, but I do feel it’s the parents responsibility to gatekeep, not mine.

At the end of the tour, one girl asked me about the lady who had killed herself at the hospital.

“You said that she had 7 kids but only 5 were alive,” she said to me.


“What happened to the other two?”

At that moment, I felt like the astronomer Carolyn S. Shoemaker who, when asked what would happen if the comet fragments that were to impact Jupiter in 1994 were to instead strike Earth, answered: “We would all die.”

Shoemaker was reminded by her interviewer that this was a show for children, so she revised her answer: “We would all be very uncomfortable.”

I looked down at that little girl, who was so interested in the life of a woman who had died more than 100 years ago, or at least in her children.

“They died of sickness,” I said. “Diphtheria and flu. Life was very hard back then.”

“Yeah,” she said. I had told that story halfway through the tour. She had been thinking about those two dead kids for 45 minutes.

“Any other questions?” I asked.

She thought for a minute before answering, “no,” and she and her family walked off with a wave.

I wish I could’ve given her something more, but the truth is that if those comet fragments hit Earth, we’re not gonna be uncomfortable; we’re gonna die.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, podcasts, feature articles, ghostwritten books, drunk text messages and a novella. She is also an actor, voice artist, tour host and creative writing tutor.


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nat newman is a writer, performer, tour host and beer drinker. if you like any of the above things, why not subscribe to my newsletter! :)