Death by Madness

By Cicely Bradley. Cicely, 13, lives in Letchworth, UK. She is a student at St Francis' College. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Blood. It was everywhere; snaking patterns across the floor. It was black, at least to me, as it was tainted with the evil of human nature. Its oily feel and ruby gleam coating my hands. These hands, that had committed the most abhorrent crime, the monster I’d become.

I couldn’t tell how long I’d been just sitting there, in the empty, silent night. How could it be so silent? When there was such a roaring filling my head, threatening to break me in two. Then, the hush and calm before a storm of accusation, I heard the distant thunder of guilt and self-hate. I felt it slowly creeping up on me, like a tiger about to pounce; its presence starting to consume me, thrumming through my blood, my very bones, trying to find a way out; to release the pressure building up inside me.

I sluggishly dragged my eyes toward the lifeless body sprawled across the ground. Milky eyes stared, unblinking, up to the sky. There was blood on his body too, pooling around him. A little voice, inside my head, whispered into the darkness: he deserved it. The sound made my skin crawl let alone the heartless words. But then another soothing voice – that made me think of beautiful, glassy water with the glistening sun up above – said don’t worry, you may feel horrible, but he was a bad man.

Then the final voice condemned me: you can’t stay here or they’ll catch you, you’ve done it and there is no going back, move on. That voice was common sense and told me the sensible thing to do, which was always a problem, because I never really had any sense. Sense had never been my companion and so madness had taken its place. Madness. It took three forms: one evil, one good and understanding, and one direct and instructive.

Before long, sirens filled the air, almost screaming at me. The sound of rumbling car engines reached my ears. Brakes screeched to a stop outside the roofless, decrepit warehouse. My hands started desperately scrabbling and slipping through the slick puddle of blood on the floor. I didn’t have control over them.

There was shouting and rough hands gripping my shoulders. They startled me out of my trance. They were hauling me over to the car. A low, dark, hollow chuckle escaped into the night. With a small amount of horror and shock, I realised that laugh had come from me. They pushed me into the car and I never saw the stars again.

Nevertheless, I got one more look at the crime scene that had been caused by me. There, drawn rather crudely in the blood, a picture of a young man. The son of the tyrant ruler I had just killed. However, his son was not cruel. He stood for all that was good in the world. He would become the ruler now that his father had died. Or been murdered, by me, was more accurate, I suppose. I realised that I could live with going to prison, or worse, if it meant that my country would no longer be oppressed by that malicious man. So I smiled; a wild, savage smile, and fell asleep.

11 comments on “Death by Madness

  1. Vicky Bryan on

    This is a wonderful work of contrasts, in which an apparently passive narrator has been rendered this way, as a result of his violent actions and it is only when he sees the result of his action that he takes a less passive role in deciding to sleep. It is written very well and is very suspenseful. Fantastic!

  2. Patricia Bradley on

    I love the vivid descriptions in this story. The powerful use of vocabulary conjures up an eerie scene. Well done Cicely!

  3. Felicity Mackrory on

    A gripping read from the off that compels you to carry on til the last word is devoured. Dark imagery takes you straight to the scene of the crime. Beautifully written demonstrating a ferocious talent for story telling.

    • Mavis Moore on

      What fantastic writing from a 13year old. It’s mature in both content and vocabulary, compelling yet revolting, imaginative and fluent. I look forward to reading more of her work and following her work as a budding author.
      ( What is NUHA?)

  4. Rebecca Dalaison on

    What a wonderfully well written piece ! Both the initial scene and the perpetrator’s subsequent emotional turmoil are vivid and gripping. Cicely is clearly a very talented girl !

  5. Hedy Fletcher on

    What a gripping and intense story! Well done Cicely! 👏👏👏 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. Are you going to enter it into the short story Radio 2 competition? X


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