Words Speak Louder Than Actions? (Writers Are Not Active)

Submitted into Contest #123 in response to: Write a story about a character practising a speech in front of the mirror. What are they preparing for?... view prompt



This story contains themes or mentions of mental health issues.

Twenty six years — I’ve heard plenty of things growing up. I’ve heard the voices in my head yelling at me for doing the right thing. I’ve heard my parents shouting at me for me doing the wrong thing. Unfortunately, my anger spoke the loudest and took me on a path that not even a poet could describe.

I’ve always been a great listener. But it was who, or what myself chose to listen to that shifted my route — taking me on the expressway to hell. “Actions speak louder than words” is a very popular phrase that never fails to intrigue me. I say sometimes, it’s accurate. Sometimes, a person’s choice of words actually does speak louder than his or her actions! Our actions are reactions due to our environment at times. Adapting, is the word. Besides, behavioral problems should be a possible exception.

Nobody’s perfect. I’d love to challenge any person to realistically use that word (perfect) in a sentence . Why would I even want to be “perfect”? Nothing is ever fucking perfect! My past sure as hell wasn’t peaches and cream, as my lengthy record and reputation for skating on thin ice has brought me to “justice”.

Spending ten years of my life in a maximum correctional facility, not too far from my hometown was never a dream of mine. Writing, and avoiding this burning society and falling generation was the plan. It was to make something out of myself and go as far away as my pen could take me. I wish my special pen was in my hands so that I could write and bleed my heart, damn! My pen should’ve been my weapon to battle my inner demons, instead of pistols and pocket knives used for robbing people of their prized possessions and gaining power. Prison and I — would’ve never met if it weren’t for my poor methods to deal with my anger towards the world.

I’m like a rash — reacting to what life gave me. Which was hot steaming piles of shit. Everything I’ve ever done was for a reason: the armed robberies, a rebellious mindset for a system that is broken, and the violence in which life had served hot and ready on my plate before walking was even knowledgeable to me. 

It was never always about the money during my robberies. It was mostly about the power — the anger — the payback to a society in which I seem to hate very much. It was taking my anger out on everybody, because I have been failed by the systems of life. The mental health system only cares for the financially stable — you get what you pay for. The schooling system is giving the kids brownie ingredients to make cornbread, and the justice system needs actual justice to be called a justice system!

It’s always been me against the world. Now it’s me against a specific division in this crumbling world — the parole board. It’s about time that I’ll get my life back. The question is would I actually be successful in convincing the parole board to let me out into an outcast’s biggest enemy (society)? 

The water only bubbles when it’s left heated for so long. I don’t have a problem unless the members of society do. But playing with the parole board’s patience while my is on the lifeline — doesn’t fall into my agenda. 

I remember the night before my parole hearing. My legs were vibrating with tension as my head joined the party with a major headache. Anxiety never fails to ruin the day (night). I’m an honest person. Remorse isn’t on my list of emotions. due to my crimes as survival and anger being mixed together made tasting “sympathy” a lot harder for me. However, sounding cruel isn’t my goal. It never was. I’m just saying that I had to do what I had to do, for the most part. The world and I are supposed to hate each other as I am society’s biggest reject! Many fail to understand me. Truthfully, fuck it. It’s fine as my uniqueness couldn’t even be reached by my imaginary twin.

Practicing my speech as sleep wasn’t easy to get, became a smart option. There was a beaten up mirror not too far from the right side of my bed. It'll do the job as practice makes “perfect”. My rough draft of a speech wasn’t bad after all.

Here we go:

“One thing I learned from my experience living inside of this maximum correctional facility, was that it’s okay to be angry. We, as humans, have the right to feel any way we want! Nobody could take that from us! What’s not okay was how I dealt with my anger (lie). I’ve hurt people — multiple people by taking their hard earned prized possessions while gaining thrill and excitement from it.

A sadist wouldn’t even have been the word to describe me as my actions say otherwise (lie). I’m a good person who’s been failed by the system of life (true), so creating my own system while getting revenge on people was my outlet. It was wrong, but it felt good! Now, my “passion” for hurting other people has been kicked to the curb by a new passion (true). It’s writing. 

Armed robbery felt like a must, since survival mode had always been on 24/7. I’m not a bad person (true), help is just much needed to me. If you give me a second chance to go back and about in the general population, I’ll show you how much ten years has changed me. 

It’s just gonna be writing and working for me, as violence will not play a role in my daily life as it unfortunately came to that point. When the judge sentenced me to a maximum of fifty years, my chapter ended. At least that’s what I thought! Now, it’s up to you to continue if my chapter will still go on! 

Please! I ask you to let me be the author of my story in which I will use to motivate others who have been in my situation, or to those currently going through the struggle. Life is not easy. Neither is talking to all of you while my life is literally in your hands as mine are tied (literally). I’ve always dreamed of talking to an audience at a library during a book tour promoting my new bestseller, in a way this is similar. 

I’m telling you my story and promoting myself as a changed human being. Allow me to make new chapters in my life. Thank you for your time!”

Welp! That didn’t sound too bad for an introvert. Here goes nothing. Let’s get some rest

December 07, 2021 21:37

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Annemarie Wall
22:51 Dec 15, 2021

Thank you for posting your story. It is incredibly powerful. I like how you revealed the character's truth before even beginning the practice speech. I also really responded to the use of (lie) and (true) in the speech. I can picture the character giving the speech and then turning and almost whispering to the audience.


Malik Coley
04:54 Dec 16, 2021

Thank you


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Malik Coley
00:14 Dec 13, 2021

Parole hearing


Show 0 replies
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.