Lies & li(v)es
Friday's 100-word story + more on Murdering Meena + an apology
Lies & li(v)es
The middle-aged bachelor next door visited his village, returning with a young bride. She’d smile at us, but barely talk. Months later we stopped seeing her.
One morning there was frenzied activity outside. We ran out to see the husband with another man bringing the wife out on a stretcher, loading her onto a truck. My mother rushed over. He muttered he was returning to the village with his sick wife.
“Go to the hospital first,” my mother pleaded. But they drove off.
A couple weeks later, he returned, a widower. With a new bride. He’d married the younger sister.
-reena | 11-03-23
This story’s based on an incident I heard about as an impressionable kid (it didn’t unfold exactly this way). The man was an Army officer stationed in the same town as my father. No one ever found out what he got away with. Or perhaps he was wholly innocent.
But imagining the worst made me wonder if justice catches up with people? The uncomfortable answer is of course: not always. I think life is beautiful, and deeply flawed. Both are true, and perhaps intertwined. The universe pretty much maintains an indifference not caring a bit what we think. I also read somewhere that an expectation of a “fair” life is reflective of a sort of entitlement, good fortune and a naive optimism. Possibly, I’m guilty of all three. And that inability to forget!
One of my 100-word stories Murdering Meena struck a chord with many of you. A fellow-substacker, and one of my earliest friends on Substack,who writes the insightful psychology blog Life Intelligence took my story and analyzed it more fully. Thank you Valentina! I love her ominous title too.
My previous 100-word story about the two flowers on a hill had a typo — a few perspicacious readers pointed out that I had my flowers a bit mixed up. I can’t edit the email version, but the story’s now fixed and you can re-read it here:
Aside (self-promo warning!)
If you’re looking for greeting cards or even gifts for the coming holiday season, do consider custom ones based on my photographs.