Curious Matters

Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly challenge to write a 200-word story based on a photo prompt.  This weeks photo was taken by myself at a bar crawl in Cozumel Mexico. 

Bar in Mexico
Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one the greatest sources of happiness in life*.” Xavier peeled an orange deliberately, as if exposing a deep secret.

I never felt the need to satisfy my curiosity. But when I received a call from Xavier’s personal secretary requesting a meeting, I was intrigued. My brother had not spoken to me in 20 years and threatened to kill me the next time we met.

I was told to meet him at a bar on Calle Obispo. When I arrived, the place was empty except for Xavier, sitting in a dark corner. Unquestionably, Xavier arranged for the privacy at an attractive price to the proprietor. I ordered a drink.

“Why am I here, Xavier. Are you finally asking for my forgiveness?

“Forgiveness? No, Matteo. What you did to my wife was unthinkable among brothers. But perhaps we can forget for a brief time?

“It’s business, then. I am surprised a man like you wouldn’t have his own resources for solving problems.”

“This I could not trust to anyone but family.”

Once again, my curiosity piqued. Why did my brother need the services of a world-class assassin?

“Who is the problem?” I asked.

“My wife.”


* The quote is attributed to Linus Pauling

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