Short Story: Dead Man Walking

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About this Short Story

Written by
Desmond Kelly

A man finds himself caught between two sisters. A kind of downbeat 'romance' or a study in human relationships.

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“You’ll never believe….me.” She smiled.

I knew not to respond. It was going to be another of those elaborate stories I’d heard before.

She hung there, fragile and beautiful, with the light streaming through thin summer clothes as the bouquet she clutched danced delightedly in her hands.

“Who gave you those?”

“A man.”

I paused. “What man?”

She sighed. “A tall dark stranger. Says he’s fallen in love….with me.”


Her smile faded; she was no longer beautiful and I felt rewarded.

“You always do this….” She gestured.

“Do I?”

“Destroy….me….just when I feel….”

She allowed the bouquet to fall at her feet, trampling it slowly.

“You’ve killed it.”


She departed the room as I felt sadness tinge the air. I knew we existed in a permanent state of madness in which we must hurt one another to survive. I hated her; she hated me. It would end badly, but equally we both knew we needed one another and couldn’t live apart.

The cat came in,…

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Adam West Guest Editor said "As this is just shy of 4k words I downloaded it, Des, fully expecting to read it in two sittings but of course I read it one. It's a measure of how well something is written (and the nature of the story, too, is a factor) how quickly/easily you read it.This has all the hallmarks of your best stuff IMO - an effete male lead manipulated by strong(er) women and on this occasion SPOILER ALERT~~~sleeping with both of them. Now that should get your comment-read count up a bit Des. If you read between the lines in many of PKD's science fiction novels - in particular, Flow My Tears The Policeman Said and also in the only one of his non science fiction novels to be published during is lifetime - the wonderfully named Confessions of a Crap Artist, there is much of the same bitter battle of the sexes with all manner of change in direction plotting such as you fashioned here. It really is a quick 4k read folks and a good one too - many thanks, Adam"
4 years ago
Desmond Kelly replied saying "Adam, thanks for the kind review. This was surprisingly easy to write, and I imagine to read as it ran along tracks of its own devising. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Des"
4 years ago

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