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Death is Either Certain or Unexpected

Ten short stories with death as the common theme …

I Will Never Kneel Again; Guatemala, 1951 – 1971

This story is based on a true event that took place in Guatemala in 1971. The execution of the culprits was widely publicised, and most people seemed to welcome their fate. What were the reasons behind their heinous crime? There must be some logical prequel to events that trigger meaningless crimes like this.

Blood Tide; Brasilia, 1982

A Brazilian ghost story in which the protagonist turns out to be the unexpected game. The tide turns against the intruding civilisation by devouring it under primitive rituals. The short sentences have no subordinate clauses, to make the text more forceful.

The Soul Exchange; New York City, the 1980s

Unexpectedly the devil finds a new game to play, arguing that evil is more fun – and besides, it pays better. A strong but wicked character becomes a new challenge for a wasted soul as a down-and-out drug addict shapes up his body and his life.

Virtual Heaven Norway; 1996

A placid man, a jealous wife, and a mother-in-law with a venomous tongue . . . after the countdown of the last hours in Ole Olsen’s life, his accidental death comes to him as virtual relief.

The Moment of Truth; Mexico, 1926 – 1976

Don Rafa is a highly likeable man, yet he can neither live with nor tell the truth. The only truths he recognises are those of male friendship and beauty. Beauty, as he sees it, exists in women and bullfighting. While relationships with the former can be based on lies, the moment of truth lies in the slaying of a bull.

The Thorn Tree Exchange; Nairobi/Paris, 1980 – 1982

A seemingly unimportant incident can many years later suddenly appear in a different light. It might kill you, and it might give your future a new direction.

Dedicated to Survival; The Indian Ocean, circa 1920

This tale is about a man who does not give up despite overwhelming odds in the face of nature. His journal shows him as a resourceful person whose ingenuity lets him stay alive yet another day. Even though the forces of nature threaten his survival, he appreciates its immense beauty while using it to his advantage.

The Embrace; Russia, 1901

With the knowledge that death is close at hand – and with the means to fully appreciate the hours that remain – how can one embrace this very limited resource?

Struck by Luck; Malaysia, 1965

Two peasants challenge each other as a result of their superstition and extreme poverty. The twist of fate distributes the rewards haphazardly, which proves that luck has many faces.

The Escape from a Prison of no Escape; Chongqing, 1962

The Chinese invasion of Tibet was, and is, inexcusable from every aspect. This story shows how will eventually triumphs over brute force, how reason wins over ignorance, and how the most important freedom is that of your mind. 

Click on the link below to read a sample …

Excerpt: Death is Either Certain or Unexpected