Killing a Dead Man
When 10-year-old Danny is murdered, Jordan’s world is torn apart – until Danny returns as a spirit, bound only to his grief-stricken twin brother. The problem is … nobody else believes he is back.
Weighted by guilt and anger, Jordan continues life as an outsider. Danny may be around, but Jordan wants to know who killed him and why.
That’s when, five years after his brother’s death, Danny reveals his murderer.
With only his dead brother’s guidance, Jordan travels across the country to seek revenge. Nothing will stop him. Whoever killed his brother is a dead man walking.
“Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!”
The class gathered round for a piece of the action, encircling me and Matt. Mr Anderson had only left to fetch extra copies of Othello but that’s all the time Matt would need to plant a few swift punches in my sorry face. I looked from the grinning crowd to Matt’s hard stare.
“What’s the matter?” he snarled. “Afraid I’ll smash your face in?”
My mouth was as dry as the dust under the supply cupboards. I watched him outstretch his arms and flex his fingers. The gesture was saying come and get me, but I wasn’t taking the bait. He was far bigger than me, the result of his deep-fried diet.
“Where’s your imaginary friend now?” he sneered.
“I don’t have an imaginary friend–”
“Liar. Kevin said he saw you talking to yourself again in registration this morning. That’s why you don’t have any real friends!”
He cracked his knuckles, and as I scanned the kids around us, searching for a gap in the crowd, Matt took a step towards me.
He shoved me in the chest and the crowd made a noise.
“Come on, wuss,” Matt said, looking me up and down. “Fight back or I’ll kick your teeth in.”
My palms grew moist. You’ll kick my teeth in no matter what I do, I thought.
He outstretched his arms again, this time as if offering me an easy shot. I didn’t move. Surely, he wasn’t serious.
Matt shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
His beefy knuckles slammed across my face and the crowd cheered again. Fucking… Ow! I stumbled but managed to avoid the humiliation of falling over. The gloves were off.
I saw Matt ready himself for another punch but when it came, I somehow dodged it. That’s when the air turned cooler, thicker, beside me. My forehead tingled and my body buzzed with a new energy. Although I couldn’t see him, there was no mistaking Danny’s presence.
And there was nothing I could do to stop him intervening. He felt colder than usual – a sign I’d come to recognise as him gearing up for something.
Please, I thought, directing it to Danny. Don’t do anything dangerous …
He’d already left my side, though
Interview with Jordan Richardson
Gaming – Mostly PS4, sometimes on PC. I like to hit 100% on all my games.
Gaming, I suppose. Or watching films. Sometimes I babysit for Mum and Dad.
My new phone – which is my dad’s old one. There’s also some loose change and… a crumpled-up tissue with dried baby vomit on it. And in my back pocket I have a blue crystal on a chain. I bought it last week – It’s something new I’m trying.
- Hmm…Well, I’m definitely a good gamer. I thrash pretty much everyone online.
- Football trivia. The only person who could top me is probably my dad but even then, he struggles to remember the more recent players and team changes.
- Does talking to dead people count?
- I suck at so many things, but I’ll try to narrow it down to three. I suppose the obvious one is socialising. I can’t seem to be normal around people. I either piss people off or they think I’m a complete weirdo.
- Maths. Algebra and the Pythagoras theorem shouldn’t exist.
- I can’t climb. Whether its ladders or mountains – I don’t wanna know.
‘Skills’? You mean like, talking to spirits? I dunno. I’ve read a lot of stuff online but most of it I figured out myself through trial and error with Danny.
I like that he’s an honest guy. What you see is what you get. Oh, and the fact that he carries a knife. I mean, that’s pretty frickin’ bad ass. I don’t like how short-fused he is, though. If he disagrees with something – which seems to be most of the time – he’ll let you know.
I have no idea. My favourite subject is Psychology – I liked looking into everything Dr Ashton diagnosed me with, so I guess I’d like to study that at Uni and see where it takes me.
God, I hate this question. Um… maybe at Uni. Hopefully I’ll be able to drive by then and I’d definitely like to have a beard. Actually, I’d also like to understand the whole ‘communicating with spirits’ thing a bit more.
Besides the obvious when I went after my brother’s killer…?
Hmm… well, I may have stolen a belt from some ‘designer’ clothes shop when I was thirteen. Looking back, I don’t know why I did it. I was caught by security before I reached the end of the street. The whole thing was frickin’ embarrassing. I would never have worn that stupid skull and crossbones belt anyway.
No. I’m still paying back Mr Butch though…
Cillian O’Hagan. I don’t want to talk about it.
Peacefully, in my sleep. Family around me. No regrets. Old.
‘Live in Peace to Rest in Peace’
Or is that a bit cheesy?
Interview with Mr Butch
Not really. I like watchin’ TV and goin’ to the local pub. I did go through a phase though a few years back where I played a lot of online poker.
Not too long ago I’d be taxiin’ drunks in and out’ve town. Nowadays though, I’m either at home lookin’ after my mother or I’m at the pub downin’ a few pints.
A scuffed, fake-leather wallet with hardly anythin’ in it, my out-dated phone with a recently cracked screen, a Snickers wrapper and a folded job advert I’d cut out my aunt’s newspaper.
- I’m good at most DIY – I can build IKEA furniture in a matter of minutes.
- I’m a pretty decent cook.
- I handle a firearm really well. In fact, I can still assemble one blindfolded.
- I’m not good at holdin’ my tongue. Then again, if someone’s mouthin’ off, why should I?
- I’m really bad with technology, that’s why I still use this old brick of a Nokia.
- I suppose I’m not the best with money, not that I have a lot of it…
That’s an easy one. Army. Fitness, stamina, will-power, survival… every life skill I have was drilled into me during my days in the TA, now known as the Army Reserve.
Actually, my mother taught me some real important lessons too – it’s thanks to her I can cook better than most men I know.
He’s a good kid. I’ll admit I misjudged him at the start but can you blame me? He acted so bloody guilty. I like his determination, though – you can’t teach ‘guts’; you either have it or you don’t, and he’s got it. What do I like least? Well, he’s a kid, ain’t he? Doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. And he still can’t follow a single damn instruction.
I’ve always wanted to be a soldier – except when I was twelve, when I wanted to be a fighter pilot. That ended straight after I went on some ‘X-treme’ rollercoaster at a crappy theme park with my mates. I threw up half way through the ride and was ill for the rest’ve the day. Nerves, I can handle, but my body didn’t take well to G-force. I went back to wanting to be a soldier again.
This question is pointless. Life takes you in so many directions. Do you mean where I’d like to be or where I’m likely to end up? Because I don’t see any drastic changes happenin’ to me between now and then. I’m almost 40; if I can keep my health and actually land a job that pays enough and doesn’t make me wanna off myself then, great.
Honestly, you don’t want to know. Sergeant’s orders – no questions; you just get it done.
Why d’you want to know?
I dunno. I hate most people but that’s different to despisin’ someone, ain’t it?
Sacrificin’ myself for a good cause. I’d like my death to have meanin’, even if it’s only on a small scale
I don’t want a headstone. I want to be cremated then scattered wherever. Could be the nearest beer garden, for all I care. I’ll be dead – what does it matter?