Friday, 13 April 2012

April A-Z blogging challenge 2012 L is for Lies


L is the next letter in the 26 short stories of 250 words or fewer about Alice’s life and times.
L is for Lies

Lying is not always wrong but it can be misleading when used to alleviate others’ concerns. Ruth was so accustomed to fielding questions about Daniel that she didn’t even have to think before she trotted out the well-worn phrases.  ‘He’s fine,’ was her usual response to friends’ inquiries. To more searching questions she replied, ‘I think he’s improving,’ or ‘He’s much happier.’

Faced with her challenging gaze anyone doubting her veracity kept their qualms to themselves. Only Alice knew the truth. Ever since John and Ivy’s Ruby Wedding Anniversary Ruth had trusted her.

Every day Ruth withstood a barrage of physical and verbal abuse. Daniel didn’t care that Alice was in the room when he set about his wife. She saw the strain on Ruth’s face and knew that matters were far worse when she wasn’t present. He controlled himself when his parents visited but as soon as they left he got up on his artificial legs and started again, screaming, throwing things at her, punching her where it wouldn’t show. After each attack he ended up sobbing and apologising.  

Alice told Ruth to seek help but Ruth refused. ‘I love him,’ she said. ‘He loves me. He’s suffering.’

Alice was frightened by Daniel’s mental deterioration and feared for Ruth’s life. Reluctantly she broke Ruth’s confidence and told her father. He contacted the doctor who took charge. Ruth was incensed; thereafter there was coldness in her manner towards Alice but Alice knew she had done the right thing. 

15 comments:

  1. Yes she did do the right thing in getting help because sometimes those closest to the problem can't reach out and ask for help.

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  2. Yes, she did possibly the only thing, but what of Ruth, was that an example of lying not being wrong? (As opposed to being right, perhaps?) Fascinating dilemmas you have unrolled here.

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  3. Oh my God, Janice this is just heart breaking. Absolutely fantastic job with this challenge.

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  4. Oh wow, what a position Alice was in. I do think she did the right thing though, and hopefully eventually Ruth and Daniel will understand that. I think a lot of time women make excuses for an abuser. In this case, look what Daniel went through. But eventually they have to realize there is NO excuse at all and take some kind of action to protect themselves.

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  5. Thought-provoking scenario. I think Alice did the right thing though.

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  6. Whoa. That's powerful. Well done. I'm with Alice!

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  7. Interesting treatment of lies and lying. Nice to meet you.

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  8. Lies make for the best novels! I use them all the time!! Great post!

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  9. This is a good idea, little snippets each day! I was hooked after the first line, which hasn't happened on most of the other 'part stories' I've been seeing. Great!

    If you are interested, I'm leaving you my A-Z link as blogger always identifies me as my shared blog with other poets - my A-Z is this one: http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  10. Interesting story that elucidates how telling truth vs. lie can be tricky in relationships. For an outsider like Ruth, it's always a judgment call.

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  11. Yes, she did do the right thing. It is never healthy to cover up something like this.

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  12. Good for Alice, someone had to step in before Ruth got hurt seriously or worse. I hope she will eventually realize Alice was trying to help her.

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  13. Hi Janice .. difficult choices .. I wonder where you're taking us .. cheers Hilary

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  14. Ruth was very brave to step in, I think.

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