3 comments

Crime Fiction Teens & Young Adult

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

You know those dreams, where you think you wake up on the other side of your bed? And sometimes, actually do. And to make things worse, you had a fever dream. And to top things off, in the dream you’re accused of murder.

You’ve heard people say, “When you’re dreaming, you’re actually seeing yourself in the multiverse” and strangely, you believe it.

Maybe in another life, you killed someone.

Maybe in another life, you are on the edge of being accused of it.

Maybe in another life, you get away with it.

-

The blood on your hands had dried up and when you stretched your fingers, it felt like a second skin. The maroon spatter on your white shoes would give you away, so you shove them far back in the closet and wear the black boots, which you—ironically—got from your dead grandma.

Your baseball cap sorrowfully sat on the dresser in the hallway, reflecting the ruby blood paint soaked subtly into the fabric. Then you look at yourself in the mirror.

-

Maybe in another life, you wouldn’t have done this.

The morning sun lit up the entire room into a palette of yellow-orange colors. The couch you bought yesterday, still had that new scent to it. And as you let yourself fall onto it, dust, like miniature snow, swirled in the golden light. You sigh as you turn on the morning news, it plays like a puppet show on a square TV, which you—ironically—got from your dead grandma. “Nothing much,” she used to say after seeing the news. You lived in a beach town, where the houses were white, and the sun was too hot. You’ve had enough of the hot sand crippling between your toes, and the saltwater fighting on your taste buds.

-

Maybe in another life, it would be more exciting.

You ran across the road, away from what just happened. The gun was still in your hand, you had to bury the evidence. You found yourself in an alleyway almost stumbling over cobblestones that stuck out. You breathe loudly in, and out. You seem to be an expert at picking out dead-end streets. The sirens blasted in your ear, they were close.

But they didn’t know you were there. You looked just like another drunk and lost junkie, like your father. With all that stumbling over stones. You had to do it, didn’t you? But you being deniable as hell, you had no idea.

-

Maybe in another life, you had love.

Your toes held tight to the blanket. Next to you, was him. He, who made you feel the way sparkling cider felt when it brushed against your tongue. He, who lit up when you talked about your feelings. You breathe in, and out. He, who made fabric crumple when you were close. He, who made you feel things you felt with no one else. Your hand on his back when he slept. You watch him, peacefully. As he breathed in, and out.

-

Maybe in another life, you wouldn’t have met him.

You woke up alone, with a hypnotic memory of murder. The curtains were closed, making the apartment gloomy and crestfallen. Because you, you know you did it.

You heard a sound from the other room, only to realize you left the TV on all night. “A murder—last night—suspect.” Of course, you were in denial, like you always are. You were bleeding through the sheets. “Just a flesh wound,” you said. Still in denial. Then you swooped up the covers, to see your shirt was soaked in burgundy, and you had to wear white. Of course, you did. Did you even plan this? No, that’s crazy, of course you didn’t, you’re not a killer. Are you? Did you?

-

Maybe in another life, you were not a killer.

“It was just a dream,” your mother said, as she soothed you back to sleep. Her hand on your forehead made you believe, then she wiped away your tears. You didn’t learn how important she was yet, you were only six. But she would be the person who stopped you from firing your first gun. In your dad’s garage. You’re supposed to be loving and kind, your dad’s words, not mine. I would say you had a lot on your plate when you were a kid; your father was using and you didn’t know what that meant. Your mother had late-night meetings and you stayed up till 3 a.m. until you heard the key turn in the door, then you pretended you were asleep when she checked in on you. As soon as she closed your blank bedroom door, you turned your flashlight back on. Your shadow made gestures your dad always made at you, you were mocking him, weren’t you? I wouldn’t blame you. But the shadow under the sheets had a life of its own; it cried, it tried to shout, but you didn’t want to wake your parents up. It planned her own escape, it plotted her way into her parent’s hearts by using counterfeit love. That’s how you made it into the world, by lying your way through it.

-

Maybe in another life, you would be happy.

“It starts in a cave,” the actor said. “Oh, look, what’s that over there?” An actress exaggerated. “Is that,” another cave actor overacted, “Gold?”

It took sitting through one badly scripted musical to find what you had to find. As you walked outside, you inhaled the warm spring air. You breathed in, and out. And thought about how your (now dead) grandma would have loved it, and she told you to close your eyes, and take it all in. Then open your eyes, and look at the world you’re in right now. Right now. You used to joke and say “What about now.” “And now?” “Then what about now.” “Now, no now.” you giggled.

Oh you, with your brown messy hair, and that childlike humor. You get it now. You feel it now.

-

Maybe in another life …

May 05, 2023 20:35

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3 comments

Joe Smallwood
14:43 May 09, 2023

You ran across the road, away from what just happened. The gun was still in your hand, you had to bury the evidence. You found yourself in an alleyway almost stumbling over cobblestones that stuck out. You breathe loudly in, and out. You seem to be an expert at picking out dead-end streets. The sirens blasted in your ear, they were close. And many other amazing pieces of innovative writing here. I'm not sure I get the story in detail but maybe I'm not supposed to. Which is interesting in itself. (Although I'm not that swift in following comp...

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Charly Woods
14:59 May 09, 2023

Thank you so much for the amazing comment! I always strive to make something different and new with every story. Thank you so much! 🤩

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R W Mack
09:52 May 09, 2023

While the writing isn't bad and I'm partial to people getting gorey rather than the usual fluff we get on Reedsy, there's an issue I can't ignore when I'm judging a story early on: repetition. The first two paragraphs kept using the same word to start sentences one after another after another. Sure, the overall writing wasn't bad throughout the body of the story, but the hook needs work. Still, this was better than a good few I've judged this week, so I'm positive I'll see plenty more great work.

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