Writing exercise – short story, Yesterday I Killed A Man by Adele Symonds

Here is the second in my series of writing exercises on the theme of Yesterday.  This and all the future stories in this group will be fictional.

Please post comments and feedback.

Yesterday I killed a man.

Today you would think I regret it.  Not so, Oh! how much I revel in this one man’s death.  Yes, my life will now be changed for ever but it couldn’t have got much worse anyway.  My life before yesterday was a non-life, an existence, an attempt to get from one day to the next.

I never thought I would ever see this man again in real life although I saw him every night in my dreams and at the strangest of times during daylight hours when some seemingly insignificant thing would trigger the flashbacks again.

Yesterday I was quietly reading, trying to escape the torment my mind, as usual, was in when there came a knock on my door.  I put the chain on and opened the door a crack.

“Excuse me Ma’am, could I interest you in changing your energy supplier?  Are you happy with your current company?”

Suddenly the most vivid flashback hit me right between the eyes, that voice, those eyes, they were unmistakable.

“Ma’am are you alright?”

I instantly pulled myself back to the present, the opportunity I now had was just too good to miss by being weak.  He obviously didn’t recognise me.

I slid the chain off and let him in, “come in I would love to change my energy supplier, why don’t you have a cup of tea and explain the advantages of your company?”

I sat down smiling and nodding in all the right places and asked question after question to keep him talking all the time watching those steely grey eyes.  As his eyes began to grow heavy I asked, “Are you alright David, you don’t look well?”

“How do you know my name?” he asked, “nobody has called me David for years.”

Then I smiled and said as sweetly as I could, “Don’t you remember me David, the girl you raped and terrorized when you were just sixteen, don’t you remember the flick knife you threatened me with?”

His eyes widened in shock and recognition but he could not move, the muscle relaxants and antidepressants I had mixed into his tea had taken too large a hold of his system.  Now he was at my mercy, the tables were turned at last.

I got my sharpest kitchen knife and held it to his throat as he had done to me 25 years earlier but I didn’t stop, with one clean swipe of the knife his throat was cut from ear to ear and no breath was left in that pathetic body.

I know I will have to tell the police soon, he can’t stay on my sofa for ever, and I know I will go to prison for a long time, but at last my mind is free.  No physical prison can be anywhere near as bad as the prison I have lived in since age 13.

~ by adelesymonds on June 3, 2012.

6 Responses to “Writing exercise – short story, Yesterday I Killed A Man by Adele Symonds”

  1. Love stories like this where something that’s typically seen as wrong (killing a man) is turned into something the reader ends up supporting. Nicely done 🙂 You should turn this into a longer story and submit to to the writing mags – Writers’ Forum in particular seem to love stories that pose an ethical dilemma.

  2. I agree with Sian, Adele. You write wonderfully and though I felt it ended too soon, I know that is because of the need to keep it short. I would certainly make it longer and build up the tension/emotion without revealing the reasons why until the very final few sentences and if you could do that in the same style as the first half of the story, you will grip the readers till the end. There is a core of a good story there and it is obvious you can write well. Seek out those competitions and try your hand.

    • Thankyou Kevin for the constructive comments, I will continue with the writing exercises as they are quick but will definitely take the advice from you and Sian, it might have to wait until I have more time.

  3. the story is intense and dramatic. good description. good story.

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