Peer Review by Princess Maria (United States)

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The Ghosts of Regret | #tirelessregret |

By: ghostybois


    You’ve failed me, Connor. A voice hisses to me. I jump and look around, but I see no one other than a few people walking on a path. I’m standing on a little wooden bridge in the park, the rushing water below my feet calming my nerves.
You could have saved me, The voice continues, its voice frighteningly familiar. What a wonderful brother, letting me take the blast, it drawls in a bitter, resentful tone.
    I recognize the voice. It’s my brother Andrei. My brother who died last year. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and whisper, “You’re not real,”
    It laughs sorrowfully. I’m as real as you, Connor, Its laugh isn’t the joyful laugh I’ve heard a thousand times, but a laugh that’s full of anger and hurt.
    “You’re not real,” I insist, my voice getting louder. I wrap my hands around my head and lean against the rough railing of the bridge. The splintered wood digs into my elbows, but I don’t dare move.
    How could you do it? I thought you loved me, the serrated voice of my brother goes on. It’s not him, I remind myself. Left to die by my own brother, what a good story that will make, Andrei’s voice is so full of grief and pain, I can barely take it.
    “I had no choice!” I yell into my sleeves. “There was nothing I could do!”
    Several heads turn in my direction, their eyes analyzing every bit of me. They probably see a high addict talking to himself. They probably see a homeless kid on the brink of insanity. While all those are true, there’s more than they can even imagine. Those people who watch from the benches or hurry their kids away couldn’t even fathom what I’ve been through, what I’m going through. How could they, when all they regret is wearing an outfit that doesn’t match or having a bit too much to drink at a party? My regrets run deeper than words and extend to the very reaches of my soul. All I’m made of is regret, grief, and a longing for my brother.
    There must have been another way, his voice says in my ear, making my shiver. The voice is so unlike Andrei, but it is him. There was another way, but you were selfish. You hid at the first sign of danger,
    “They had guns! I would have died! You think I don’t dream about that day every night, wondering what I could have done to save you? You think I don’t regret hiding every day of my life?” I scream into my hands, tears spilling from my eyes. “You think I didn’t try to save you?” I no longer scream, but whisper.
    More… could have saved me… selfish… coward… the voices ring inside my head like a hellish chorus. Their melody is sour and their singing off-key, but they drown out everything else in my head.
    I bury my face in my hands as sobs rack my body. The sickly song continues, as it has for the past year. Their sickly song continues, because the regret that makes up my soul is completely and utterly tireless. So I reach into my pocket and pull out a container filled with pills, and silence the demons in my head if for just a little bit.

For Aurelia.Valus's competition, #tirelessregret. This isn't from my perspective, but from the perspective of one of my characters, Connor. 

Message to Readers

For Aurelia.Valus's contest, #tirelessregret. This is from my character Connor's perspective.

Peer Review

You captured despair and pain very well, as well as regret. I think you did a great job make me pity this kid, just by showing what he's going through. It also was kinda creepy too.

I would recommend reworking the paragraph with the people looking at Connor. Him saying that they don't know what he's going through almost makes me not care so much about him. It is usually better to show how miserable a character is rather than having him say it, because then he kind of seems a little whiny, even though his misery is understandable. I already felt enough pity for him just with this scene, without his thoughts.

Reviewer Comments

I would love to hear the backstory behind how his brother died! Sounds interesting!