Young Writers Society

12+ Violence

if the dead man could speak to me

by liehart

This is what I would say if I could speak. But I can’t, and that’s all your fault.

Was any of it my fault? That’s all they talk about. Just like his father, one day. Don’t you dare say that, the next. It’s not that they can’t make their mind up, they just live in denial. Who doesn’t. The town is built on denial, it’s in our very cells. It’s what a soul is made of. You and I have that in common. We don’t believe.

It wasn’t my fault. Responsibility means free will, after all. I never got the chance. I was just lucky in that I managed to wash the blood off my hands before it dried. Stop clawing at your skin (not to get it off just to hide it behind the scars) because I’ll always be there. Always.

I’ll be there when you close your eyes. You’re scared to even blink. I never leave the room. Always out of sight. You’re looking for me. God, you’re obsessed. Anyone would think you’re in love. You don’t feel though, do you? That’s what you want me to say. Heartless. Incapable of emotion. You function on routine.

None of that’s true. That’s the tragedy, isn’t it? You want to be such a good person but you can never be one now. It doesn’t matter what you do now. A life down the drain. You don’t believe in God, you always say. You just don’t want to. Don’t want to believe in Hell.

I’m waiting. I’ve got a lot to say to you. Of course, I want to know why. I wasn’t dangerous. You and I once had that in common. You’ll never do it again? I don’t believe you. I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.

You don’t really know what ‘gone’ means. You can’t think about it. It’ll be alright one day. Come to your senses, idiot. Do you think I’m going away? Never. Do I need to explain what that means too?

Do I still look like me? I don’t have eyes any more, I need to you describe it. Is it the drunk frenzy? The anger? Or the nothingness? Do you know nobody came for me? One upon a time people like me had dignity. I turn to dust in the darkness. Do you think about how I fall away to dust? Is it easier to imagine my bones, because I’m not human? Or not, because you made me this way?

Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.

Is this a review?



User avatar
25 Reviews

Points: 72
Reviews: 25

Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:02 pm
View Likes
Murphy2493 wrote a review...

Hello! Murphy here for a review! Wow! The title is what drew me in to even read this, which is very good. The first few sentences caught my attention right away. I love how the mood shifts and keeps the readers mind working and thinking. I was constantly trying to put mental pictures with the short story. Execution was spot on. It made me want more to the story.

Time for critique! "Do you know nobody came for me?" I feel like this might read better like this "did you know that nobody came for me?" Also this sentence "do you think about how I fall away to dust?" seems a little repetitive because of the sentence before that. Maybe explaining how the victim fades away with time?

Anyways, I love it. I love that it puts the reader in the dead victims view point while still thinking about the murderers thought process. I think that was very well done. You my friend are a genius.

liehart says...

Thank you!

User avatar
28 Reviews

Points: 316
Reviews: 28

Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:45 pm
View Likes
HollyM64 says...

An extremely interesting concept with brilliant execution. The pacing was spot on, the structure was good, I loved the use of first person POV and the language used was very compelling. Overall, really good short story, even with the somewhat dark subject matter.

liehart says...

Thank you!

User avatar
841 Reviews

Points: 664
Reviews: 841

Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:07 pm
View Likes
Radrook wrote a review...

Thanks for sharing this very dramatic monologue of a hypothetical dead person speaking to his murderer. I like how the speaker delves into the murderer's personality and inner conflicts which torment him. It reveals that the murderer was no total stranger but perhaps an intimate acquaintance or even a family member such as a brother. Also how the contributing factor of a drunken frenzy is skillfully included as an explanation for the tragedy. It reminded me of how Alexander the Great killed his friend under intoxication.

That such behavior was not typical of the murderer is indicated by his being described as being as peaceful as the speaker had once been.

Heartless. Incapable of emotion. You function on routine.

None of that’s true. That’s the tragedy, isn’t it?

Also he is described as feeling remorse ad in some kind of denial as he struggles with his conscience.

The speaker's constant warnings and promises of revenge via haunting convey a non-Christian personality. One wonders if he is indeed in God's favor.


Thanks for sharing this very dramatic soliloquy of a hypothetically dead person confronting his murderer with questions and accusations.

It reminded me of the biblical account of David’s murdering of Urriah Bathsheba’s husband and what Uzziah would say to king David if he could.

The trick in this type of fictional composition is to make the speaker sound authentic. We don’t want the reader to say Heck! I would never say that if I were murdered and had a xchance to talk to the SOB who killed me!” So we have to be exceedingly careful in how we portray the murdered person speaking. Now, not all murdered persons would speak the same way. Some who are genuine Christians would see the murderer as a victim of his own sinful nature and feel pity for him. Perhaps calmly offer him advice. Another would feel a need for revenge.

The one you are describing seems to fall into this category because he is recriminating, threatening and gloarting. In fact, it is via his accusations that we get a subjective glimpse into the murderer’s personallity. Now, I say subjective because it is the murdered person’s opinion.

He seems reluctant to reveal the reason for his being murdered. One would expect a recrimination of some kind when the person is innocent of all provocation. Would Uzziah leave out King David’s dastardly setting him up to be killed by having the rest of the army pull back and leave him alone before the walls of the besieged city so archers could kill him? Would he leave out how king David was having sex with his wife Bathsheba while he was fighting as a loyal servant? Thiose would be the first things that would come to light and if he is described as iognoring them, the the reader would find it extremely weird and unbelievable.

But this dead person is totally silent in relation to the murderer's motives. As a reader it made me wonder why. Was he caught in bed with the murderer’s wife? Was he caught raping the murderer’s daughter or molesting the murderer’s son? Was he caught breaking and entering into the murderer’s home? Was he insulting and humiliating the murderer when it happened? '

A person murdered for an unjust reason would confront the murderer with the injustice of his action. Yet we don’t find this in the victim’s monologue. Which means that emotionally I cannot feel the anger nor the frustration that the speaker is describing against the murderer.


It wasn’t my fault. Responsibility means free will, after all. I never got the chance. I was just lucky in that I managed to wash the blood off my hands before it dried. Stop clawing at your skin (not to get it off just to hide it behind the scars) because I’ll always be there. Always.

The above is very confusing because the dead person speaks of having blood on his or her hands that he or she washed off. This seems to imply that the dead person attacked someone. But in the poem the dead person speaks of being a victim of violence.

I’ll be...You are scared...”

“You’ll be scared...”

“.... can’t make their mind up.”

"....can’t decide," [word economy]

“who doesn’t[?]”

“....a soul.... [cliche’]

" that I ....” [....that I....”]

“....say that the next."

“....say that next."

“....any more, I need to you describe it.”

"....anymore[.] I need you to describe it.”

[Once] upon a time....”

“I [crumble] into dust....”

liehart says...

Thank you for the review! The tips with the wording are very helpful in particular. I didn't intend a biblical allusion so that's very cool that it turned out that way. I didn't really include motive in this, but I really that it would probably have a massive impact in with whom sympathy lies. If it helps, I saw this more as what the murderer, taken over by guilt, would imagine the victim to say, if that helps?

User avatar
88 Reviews

Points: 150
Reviews: 88

Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:41 pm
View Likes
scatteredscones says...

that was amazing! it was captivating. i just, wow! i am completely speechless....WOW.

liehart says...

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it so much!

no thank you !

I would rather die of passion than of boredom.
— Émile Zola