Dead for Good

There was once a man I needed to have be dead. I got as far away from him as I could get, and told myself that was far enough. Then time went by, years, and whenever he came into my mind, which was less and less over time, I told myself he was surely dead by now. 

I didn’t know it, but it just made sense. It was the way of the world. He was an old man and now he had to be gone.

But last night as I was falling asleep, a voice said you don’t know. You don’t know for sure he’s not drinking a beer right now. People can live a surprisingly long time. 

He could be alive.

You don’t know. 

I managed to fall asleep by telling myself I could find out. I could type his name into a search engine and surely if he was dead I would find evidence.

So when I got the family out of the house and I calmed myself, I thought of his name.

His full name.

I would need the full name because he was so ordinary in his name and in every way. 

Ordinary in his hate.

Ordinary in his ugliness.

Ordinary in the way he hurt his spouse and his children and anyone who dared to care about his spouse and his children.

I focused and forced myself to think his name, then to make my fingers spell it on my keyboard. Somehow after so many years he was still the reason I did things I didn’t want to do, because I had to do them to move on and to get away from him.


And he is.


And there wasn’t much anyone said about feeling for him, only what he liked and what he wanted when he was alive. That seems about right.

I have evidence now that he’s dead; but I need him to be more than dead, and I see that’s my job, finding out how to put a final nail in the coffin lid he keeps lifting.

It’s on me now, to make him dead for good.

Hamilton, VA, USA. Elizabeth Gaucher earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a concentration in Creative Nonfiction. She is the founder of and editor-in-chief for the online literary magazine, Longridge Review. Follow her on Twitter, @ElizGaucher.

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