From time to time, I intend to release a complete short story for you to read. Today’s story is entitled ‘Judgement day’ and is one that I wrote a number of years ago, partly in response to a competition run by Chapter One Promotions (now defunct) and judged by Tom Chalmers of the wonderful Legend Press. I was delighted when it ended up in the anthology! It was, however, also partly in response to a previous story I had written a year or so earlier, called ‘Casualty of a situation’.
‘Casualty of a situation’ tells the story of a woman, Suki, brought to England by an older man who agrees to pay for the upkeep of her boyfriend and schooling for her son in return for her hand in marriage. As time goes by, and when her husband promises every year to let her see her family but never allows it to happen, Suki becomes more desperate for those she loves. When she becomes pregnant, a string of events leads to a devastating conclusion. (You can find this story in my collection, The Reason for Everything here).
‘Judgement day’ takes a different slant on Suki’s story and is told from the viewpoint of a novice priest who is doing his job in the confessional box for the first time. He is full of his own sense of pride and power as he sits down to listen to the woman who has come in for… what exactly has she come in for? Forgiveness? To unburden herself? Whatever the reason, her harrowing story has a profound and long-lasting effect on the young priest and his own pride, and makes him rethink his own motivations.
I’ve changed Suki’s story a little bit in ‘Judgement day’, mainly in details of her life with her husband and in the way she is treated when news of her pregnancy hits her husband’s ears. Both stories are equally devastating, both have their moments of poignancy. As I have not included this version in my collection and it is out of print elsewhere, I thought it would be nice to let you read this one, too. (And if you’re a writer, it shows how you can take one story and rework your initial idea to make it a completely new piece of work). I really hope you like it. You can read the entire story on its own dedicated page here. Alternatively, you can access it through the ‘Read a story or excerpt’ page, where you can also find other work.