Within the first few paragraphs of Paul White’s novelette, Miriam’s Hex, I hated Miriam Chapman. She was the epitome of every nagging wife I’d ever read about. Her husband, Peter, plagued by Miriam’s demands, is a weary hard-working fellow who can’t seem to catch a break. Obviously under-appreciated at work, besieged by his wife’s demands at home, Peter elicits sympathy. What follows is a delightfully twisted tale of a woman who gets exactly what she asks for, though not always in the way she hopes.
Miriam wants it all and she wants it now; a country house, expensive women’s accessories, the latest electronic gadgets, and more. Peter does his best to keep her happy and fulfill all her demands even as he bemoans some of her purchases. Somehow, he manages to remain calm and pacifying when she rails about his lack of success in his profession.
It seems even Miriam’s most casual retorts, “I hope you cut your bloody throat”, take hold and become reality. Is this coincidence or has the shrew got some magical ability? It’s apparent she has some soft feelings for her harangued spouse, but it doesn’t prevent her from pressing him to seek recognition and a higher salary at work. Part of her resents the fact he is overlooked by his employer, feeling as though he is not receiving the credit he deserves. She encourages him to be more aggressive in demanding appreciation for his contributions to the company. But, Peter is not a pushy guy. He is wiling to wait for the big payoff. I had to feel sorry for the poor guy. Nagged at home to be more successful, under appreciated at work, he somehow can remain even tempered.
Even strangers strike out at poor Peter. When he accidentally knocks a young girl off her feet, he is physically attacked by the group she is with, resulting in his own embarrassment. Humiliation is a way of life for Peter.
Throughout the story Miriam tosses out casual, if furious, remarks like “I hoe you choke”. People do this sort of thing every day. But when Miriam does it, things seem to happen. Is she deliberately causing her husband to have accidents or are these occurrences simply coincidence?
This is a darkly amusing tale with a conclusion that is unexpected. White has done an excellent job of developing his characters. In a story that is typical of the irritating wife and a harassed husband, he has tossed a cautionary tale; be careful what you wish for.
I highly recommend this book as a quick read. It will make husbands glad they aren’t married to a “Miriam” and, hopefully, wives will think twice before they speak.
A word about Electric Eclectic Novelettes:
‘Electric‘ because they are ebooks, digital… electric.
‘Eclectic’ for the various styles, genres and authors who write them.
All EE books are ‘Novelettes‘ as not to mislead readers they are anything other than short, sample books; introductory books to new authors and new genres.
Electric Eclectic books are written by some of the best indie authors in the world, each Electric Eclectic Novelette delivers wonderful and entertaining storytelling to a high standard.
People searching for their ‘next favourite read’ can rest assured in the knowledge that Electric Eclectic Novelettes have undergone a rigorous selection process, ensuring the stories meet our exacting standards.
This means you do not need to read through a bunch of ‘hookey’ or substandard books or spend out on a random book hoping you will enjoy its content.
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