What Pegman Saw: Honor

“I am a man of honor,” her father said.

“So we have your word?” the officer asked.

Diana waited breathlessly in the back of the squad car. Could it be true? Had the families agreed to let her marry? It had been wrong to try to elope, but there had seemed no way to secure consent between the families. Harsh words were spoken. Threats were made. By the time the police had drafted the agreement to secure Diana’s safety, gunshots had rung out at her beloved’s house.

Her father extended a hand to the policeman. “We have all agreed. The marriage can take place.” At that, his eyes slid to her.

Could she trust him?

It was a hope so sweet it was worth believing. Because if there wasn’t love, there wasn’t hope. And if there wasn’t hope, life wasn’t worth living.

He was a man of honor, after all.

150 words

This has been an edition of What Pegman Saw. To read more stories inspired by the prompt, click here.

This story was inspired by a real-life Romeo and Juliet tale out of Lod that is every bit as tragic as Shakespeare’s take on forbidden love:

18-year-old Israeli Arab Woman Shot Dead While Shopping for Her Wedding

The UN estimates that around 5,000 women and girls are murdered each year in so-called “honor killings” by members of their families.

20 Comments

  1. This makes horrific reading, though I have seen documentaries covering the subject. While elsewhere woman cry rape just cos a man looks at her with ‘his toxic gaze’?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honor killings are indeed an awful act that is still going on today. Women are subjected to a lot, but murder would be among the worst of it.

      I hadn’t heard about the ‘toxic gaze’ thing. Where is that happening?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mostly California, but the States generally. Part of the #MeToo movement.

        Like

      2. I cannot think of a single example of it. Sounds like divisive rhetoric to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think it’s abyssmally stupid.

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      4. Go to YouTube and key in Male Gaze, then take your pick. Some of those videos hit new depths of craziness

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      5. Actually what was saying was I couldn’t think of an example of a man being charged with rape for looking at a woman.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. No, I don’t know anywhere where the law bends tor this. But that doesn’t stop a few(?) insecure(?) hysterical(?) attention-seeking(?) females from going public with their unrealisatic accusations which (in my opinion) works to make a mockery of far more serious offences

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      7. By the same token, I wonder how many women who are raped never come forward. Like me.

        Here are some actual statistics, as opposed to just things you believe(?).

        https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

        Liked by 2 people

      8. I am personally aware there are women who don’t come forward; I remember the days when the police and the courts made it such an ordeal that it was easier to keep quiet. And I do not believe in the reality of the *toxic male gaze*, which was my point. I am also personally aware of how false accusations can destroy a man’s life, his marriage, his career, even into his in-laws’ lifes. Again, this is my point: while horrendous abuses against women continue, a handful of women, for whatever causes, continue to press fictional charges, and in this are supported.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The first part seems so sweet, but the denouement is grisly indeed. Of course, Romeo and Juliet has a pretty raw ending too, so there’s that. Great story. You capture her naivety very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m not sure if the real Diana was so naive. It’s likely she felt she had very little choice. Local authorities and family members negotiated her fate.

      Her own mother was murdered sometime after she left her abusive husband (Diana’s father). The murder remains unsolved. Diana avoided going into the women’s shelter, perhaps to avoid the fate of her mother. It also sounds like women who take shelter may also risk ostracization by their communities.

      She had few options. I wanted to give this Diana love & hope for as long as she could have it.

      Like

  3. I’ve read about honor killings and heard stories on NPR. They make no sense to me. What honor is there in killing someone because they fall in love? Your story riled me up! In a very good way. Well done, Karen.

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    1. Thanks Lish. Honor killings are a tragedy for sure, so I guess riled up in a good way is a good thing. Thanks for reading.

      Like

  4. ‘Honor’ killings – what a loaded, misinformed phrase society uses for such a dishonourable act. You write so sadly, such a heartfelt story and tragic that it’s based on reality. Well done Karen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too have always found such irony in the word ‘honor killing’. Diana’s story was such a big one and I wanted to do it justice. It’s gratifying to know it worked for you! Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure. You handled a difficult subject very well

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  5. No honor in his intentions. Hard to understand what conviction would bring a man to arrange for the murder of his own daughter. Purity can be a dangerous ideal.

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  6. Dear Karen,

    This is a mindset I’ll never understand. Honor? Where’s the honor in murdering your own daughter? As always, so well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    I’m late, but I made it. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, it means a lot, coming from you. Great to see you this week!

      Like

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