Friday, 23 October 2009

Accidental Fiction...'Accidental Death'...

One of my 'rarely-actually-written' pieces of fiction, born of an exercise for the Leeds Writers' Group. The exercise specified a piece entirely in dialogue. So, there's no description of anything outside speech, (between you and me, that's probably why my goldfish-like poet's attention span held long enough to write it!) and the characters have no names as their conversation never calls for them... You should feel free to name them though, if they remind you of someone!

Accidental Death

“Oh my GOD, OH MY GOD! What did you do?!”

“What?! Would you please just calm down?! I can’t change it now, can I? Just shut up! Shut up! I need to think…”

“But…oh my God! I think I’m going to be sick!…oh, yep, I’m definitely going to be sick. How could you? How could you just…keep going like that?! ”

“Would you get a grip, please?! It’s not like I set out to do this! It was him or us, alright? By the time I saw him, it was already too late to brake! You weren’t wearing your seat belt…if I’d tried to stop, I’d have thrown you straight through the windscreen! Would that have been a better outcome?!”

“No! God, no! But, oh Jesus…look at him! I don’t think he’s breathing! There’s…oh God, there’s blood…I think he’s dead.”

“Well of course he’s dead! His neck is broken. I’ve never seen a head at that angle on anything living! But I’m not sure what you expect me to do about it now! It’s happened, hasn’t it?! We just have to calm down and deal with it.”

We?! You were driving! Don’t drag me into this. I’m not taking the blame for it!”

You weren’t wearing a seatbelt! You’re the reason I hit him! I’m not dragging you into anything…you’re already in! You owe me for this! I put myself on the line for you here…in that moment, when I could’ve braked? It was him or you!”

“Oh God!”

“Will you stop saying that?!”

“I can’t help it. I think I’m in shock! What do we do now? What do you do when this happens?! Should we call an ambulance?”

“Are you crazy?! An ambulance?! What good is an ambulance? Look at him! What would they do for him? No. We’re not calling anyone.”

“What? Surely we should at least call the police? To report it? We need to explain what happened. Someone will have to move the body. We can’t just leave him here! You can’t just drive away! He might have a family…and they’ll miss him sooner or later. Come rush hour, someone will see him. I’m definitely calling the… Oi! Give me the phone!”

“You’re not calling anyone. We can’t report this. You know how my driving record looks! I’ve got points already!”

Points?! Screw your points! This is a life we’re talking about!”

“Exactly. I don’t know what they charge you with or not when something like this happens! We can’t report it. What about my life? What about our lives? I need my license for work! No work means no house, no car, no more of those weekend mini-breaks you like so much, no more fancy shoes...!”

“My God, you think I care about that right now?! That I’d be shallow enough to consider how this affects me, how it affects us, above doing the right thing?! Anyway, they’re not going to take your license. This was an accident. A pure accident! It’s dark…there aren’t any street lamps, and he wasn’t wearing anything that showed up in the headlights. I didn’t see him either. Not until…well, you know…and it’s 1.30am…what was he even doing out here on his own? People will understand. The police will understand. Please, just give me the phone…we have to tell someone! What about his family? …There could be kids expecting him home!”

“Oh great! A ‘kid’ guilt trip! Nice one! Just what I needed…because I don’t feel bad enough already! You’re really helping, aren’t you?! If you can’t make yourself useful, just go and wait in the car!”

“Useful?! I was trying to… Stop it! What are you doing?”

“Well, one of us has to be rational about this.”

“No! Don’t touch him! You can’t move anything until the police have seen it!”

“I’ve told you. There aren’t going to be any police. I’ll deal with this myself. Now either get hold of his legs at your end and help me move him, or get out of the way so I can drag him off the road.”

Drag him off the road? Do you hear yourself right now? You’re like some sort of amateur gangster! What do you think you’re going to do?”

“There’s still a spade in the boot from last weekend. I’m going to bury him in the woods back there.”

“Oh my God…you’re serious, aren’t you?! Who the hell are you? Because you’re certainly not the same man I got in the car with this morning! How can you be so cold about this? Give me the phone! I mean it. Give me that phone right now! He has a family somewhere who will look for him tomorrow, who will miss him! And it’s not a guilt trip…there really could be kids who’ll…”

“We don’t know that! You can’t know that! There could be no one who’ll ever miss him! You have no idea if he has…if he had…a family. What if he has no one to care? What if he just lives out here in these woods?”

“Don’t be stupid! Does he look like he lives in the woods?!”

“I don’t know…I didn’t see him before we hit him, and I sure as Hell can’t tell now! Just imagine it turns out that no one would ever have missed him? But you had to go and report it, so I ended up with no license, and no work, and we couldn’t pay the mortgage and…”

“And you think you’re the one being rational here?! Look at him! Just look. You killed him and you don’t even care who he is! He has a name, and people who’ll miss him, and you’re talking about dragging him off into the woods, burying him in a shallow grave, and driving away…for the sake of your license?! It was an accident! A pure accident! Everything will be okay. You’re being ridiculous!”

“Me? I’m being ridiculous? I’m not the one getting hysterical about his home life! You don’t even know if he has a family…I keep telling you, it’s impossible to know that! And if I lose my license, all those things I said before…the house, the car, the money…all that is a reality…”

“Oh, for God’s sake, would you just wake up?! Of course he has a family! Can’t you see he has an ID tag on his collar? And seriously, when was the last time someone got charged with an offence after hitting a dog? Put the shovel down, Jason Statham, and give me the damn phone!”


  1. Wow to the twisty end!

    Dialogue worked very well.

    Just a small point: You spelled 'brake' several times as 'break'

  2. Oh no! *blushes* Thanks Marisa...I think I've fixed it now...

  3. Nicely done, all the way to the twist! Welcome to #fridayflash!

  4. Intense with a twist - enjoyed! Envious of your ability to storytell with 100% dialogue. Welcome to #fridayflash. Peace, Linda

  5. Loved it. I agree, some of the dialogue is spot on I could hear the snatch in “Oi! Give me the phone!”. Other bits like “Oh God!” “Will you stop saying that?!” also felt perfect.

    This also reminded me of a time I had to drag a dead fox off a road in the middle of the night. The sound of teach on asphalt has never left me. But that, as they say, is another story. ¬_¬

  6. So does he dump her after all that hysteria? LOL

  7. He probably should, she's a bit neurotic...but I think he's too deeply financially invested! He needs help with the morgage & the payments for all those mini-breaks! ;)

  8. Great (and very amusing) twist at the end. Very well done - the Leeds Writers Group is definitely churning out some talent these days :-)

    Was it actually Jason Stratham or was she being sarcastic?

  9. Definite sarcasm, Clive.
    Thanks for the encouragement everyone! Great feedback for a poet who only dabbles in 'accidental' prose! :)

  10. Great dialog. As a dog lover, not to happy with the ending, though I suppose it beats the alternative. ;) Welcome to #fridayflash.

  11. Heh. Nice ending. Although I'd been fine with the alternative. Yes, ignore me. I think in horror. >.>

  12. Oh, the poor dog! :-( That being said, great use of dialog to tell the story. :-) Very well done!

  13. I read this fast and furious! I wanted to know what was going on! Loved the dialogue and the clever ending. Poor pup!

  14. Great use of dialogue for storytelling, and what a super twisted end!
    Glad you posted this Amy.