“Copycats” by Lucas Southworth

Lucas Southworth in his Willow Springs profile says, “I wouldn’t describe writing as fun. I wouldn’t describe my stories as fun.” He admits, however, that the subject of “Copycats” is a fun one, legendary hijacker D.B. Cooper, never caught or identified after parachuting above the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

After first hearing Cooper’s story from a friend, Southworth says, “I was drawn as much to Cooper’s copycats as I was to Cooper. Some were simply hijackers that came after, but the strangest were those that ‘confessed’ to be him, often as a final, dramatic gesture on their deathbeds.”

“I also couldn’t help but notice,” Southworth goes on, “how as the writer of my version of his story, I was assuming the role of another copycat, and how readers would be doing the same. The decision to use second person came from that—from the image of more and more copycats rippling out from the center of the story.”

There is fun in “Copycats,” originally published in Willow Springs 75, the kind of fun that comes from entering a mystery that can never be solved, like the mystery of D.B. Cooper himself.
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