A reader of this somewhat intermittent column found my small collection of short stories, written some years ago now. I have been so far removed from reality for the past three years, I had actually forgotten they existed!
I am so pleased that a new reader likes them. Indeed, I now plan to introduce each one individually so that a few more readers may have the opportunity to try them out. They are all so different, best to introduce them one by one.
The chosen favourite of my Special Reader is the longest: Through a Glass Darkly.
In this a suffering husband writes to his wife who has walked out on him, taking the young children with her. She has apparently tried to explain to him what led to this drastic step, but he claims not to understand. Indeed, he pleads with her to get help, so that she can once again be the supportive wife he needs. Her backing is essential if he is to write the plays they all depend on for their income.
But as the story progresses, it becomes clear that her departure was an act of self-preservation. She spells out for him what he must surely have understood: she can no longer tolerate his intolerable behaviour. He is so angry with her, he does fantasize killing her – and then discovers a new twist for his next collection of plays and stories. Victim becomes the perpetrator. He is delighted. She has saved him again.