Spot 043: Reasonable Doubt


by Sandra Davies

‘You mentioned ‘damage’. Is that … I didn’t think you would ever damage her.’

‘Who the hell else would I be damaging? Apart from you?’

‘But, Christ, man, you can’t expect to hold on to her by hitting her – she’ll not stand for that!’

‘No? No, next time, she might not be left standing, her blood will be on your hands too.’

It was too soon to say whether the damage and the hurt had been mended by what came after. Better to have the one without the other, the mending without the damage, but in all their previous coming-togethers they’d never had a night like that, and to do so after, what? six years of marriage had been … invigorating, if that was the right word. He could only hope that it was enough, for her, could only be even halfway sure. Because this had been the third time she had … not talked him round exactly, but had sought to lay enough blame for him to forgive her, although he had done a better job of deflecting, disguising the fact that he knew what she was up to this time. Could he do it for a fourth time? Without compromising himself, his own principles? Jesus, he sincerely hoped so, because he knew his life would not be worth living without her. Just as he knew there was a limit beyond which he would not tolerate her behaviour. He just had to make sure she never reached that limit.

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.



by Paul de Denus

I, the accused, have come to my own verdict. What I’ve told is the truth though I had to convince myself to really believe it. The way I see it, I never harmed anyone, just did what I was told. It was a good thing… is a good thing. I’m not guilty by any means. But oh I suffered for it. I did my best, took the stand and stood by my convictions, convinced those who’d listen with my words and actions.

Still, there remains one holdout. He hasn’t decided yet. He’s having doubts about my story. I understand. I will show him, just as I was shown. Tomorrow I will pull Thomas aside and reveal the lance wound, let him prod the nail marks in my hands, let him physically feel and if he still has reasonable doubt, well then… there is nothing more to do.

This is not an easy thing to accept, to believe. Even though something incredible has happened to me, I still wonder.

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.



by Michael D. Brown

I doubted I could write without telling the stories of my family and having everyone angry with me for giving away secrets.
I doubted I could succeed at something satisfying and retire at an early age. I would be working a hum-drum job until I dropped from exhaustion. They would carry me away from an unstoppable conveyor belt or assembly line and that would be my ignominious end.
I doubted my parents respected me as an adult, or as a child for that matter.
Twice I took a hiatus and did temporary work while attempting to write the Great American Novel. Reams of typewritten sheets sit in drawers and I understand why consistent achievers do not respect me.
I doubted my doctor advising me to exercise; I was sedentary; my cholesterol was high, and the ophthalmologist saying I was developing glaucoma. I figured he was in league with the optometrist who wanted to sell glasses. Strange, how I started using them for reading and now have to wear them watching movies.
Lately, I am having doubts about my doubting, using reverse psychology on myself. If I question something, that’s a good thing, but if I think it is good, the doctor will say it isn’t, and past transgressions have led me to the ornery position I am currently in.
I live alone and write most evenings, still trying to complete that novel, but doubt I will. All I’ve read says write what you know, but nothing ever happens to me.

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.


Illustrations for Spot 043 are reasonably doubtful.



4 Comments to “Spot 043: Reasonable Doubt”

  1. I was having doubts about writing too but your site keeps me coming back and piquing my interest- Sandra too is the other consistent one- I have no doubt we’re on the right track.

  2. Sandra dove into the space between two brothers who share a love for the same woman, and though she has not mentioned names here, familiarity with her work tells me these are old acquaintances with whom I am comfortable despite their trials and tribulations. Paul, on the other hand, has brought us close to a more divine individual (?), about whom I always enjoy reading. Isn’t it strange how two of the most influential figures in history, about whom we know so little, and who inspire the most speculation, represent complete opposites of the spectrum? And while I will read fiction about Hitler from time to time, I will always be open to stories about Jesus.
    I do wish more of the “regulars” were in evidence from issue to issue of MudSpots, and especially want to thank the few who have consistently contributed to make this a going thing, but appreciate all who have made a showing large or small. I’ve been remiss in commenting, but will grab a cup of coffee, and sit down to reread a bunch of these pieces, and already know I won’t be disappointed in finding they are as good as or better than I remember each.
    Please don’t pack up your stuff yet. Remember, it ain’t over ’til…well, you know…

  3. Rather than write what I know, I consider writing as the tool to enable me to write what I wished had happened, to offset the regret I feel at having chosen path A over paths B, C, D and E. Inevitable but I suppose re-writing is as good a way of dealing with it as anything.

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