“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot  believe anyone else.” (G.B. Shaw) Mar23


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“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” (G.B. Shaw)


Julia chewed her nails as if truth hid under the keratin. The confidence with which he stepped through the front door; no guide dog, no stick. It was a polished act but she would expose him. Julia understood the price of lies. She folded her clothes, placed them on the kitchen counter and stepped into the garden. Goosebumps rose on her bare flesh in the autumn chill. God how she hated a fraud.


The dense vibrations of perfect intervals played over and over at full volume shuddered through the glass wall of the living room. The piano tuner hunched over the instrument only a few feet away, the furrows on his brow set in concentration beneath a crown of white hair.


She stood, unavoidably, in his line of sight, fists clenched, the apparition of her athletic body reflected in the panes.


“Oi oi!”

“Bit cold for sunbathing innit, love?”


Stiffening, she glanced towards the jeers and remembered the construction site – a Victorian school being turned into apartments. Colour rose in her cheeks and she fled inside, crashing the door closed as she went.




“So, how did you lose your sight?’


She spat the question like a pointed finger. The noise stopped. Into the pause she poured her suspicion, willing him to come clean.


“It was…a long time ago”


She squeezed the orange in her right hand until her nails dug into its skin and waited for him to go on. The silence was banished by the heavy chords of Chopin’s ‘March Funèbre’. A challenge, defying her inquisition. The same music that stood open on the piano! It was an impossible coincidence.


The orange exploded on the white wall next to the piano tuner’s head. The flesh splattered wide, onto the spines of hardbacks that bowed the bookshelf. His ears seemed to search the air for explanation. Julia stalked from the room.




She had never liked the chandelier hanging over the hall. Her husband insisted they keep it: “a period feature”. Leaning far over the bannister, she undid the screws holding the wrought iron fixture to the ceiling while the piano tuner played his final, pounding notes.




Julia’s husband returned from work to a quiet house and a strange smell. His footsteps rang out on the tiles as he marched down the hall. He froze. There, on the floor, imprisoned in a mangle of metal and glass; the truth.

Writer: Olly Davy
Artist: Nigel Davies