Originally Posted at Tangent Online, April 30, 2018
“Salt Lines” by Ian Muneshwar
Before I dig in, I have to say this story wasn’t written for me. I’m a cis white guy and I don’t think the ending is meant to speak to me on the same level as it would someone like the narrator, Ravi. That said, there’s much to love here.
The tale follows Ravi as he’s chased by a jumbie, which is a somewhat generic name for spirits or demons in some Caribbean countries. Through his flight, we learn about Ravi’s upbringing as well as his current family life. All of these seem literally to feed the jumbie, until we reach the climax of the story. It’s this ending that lost me, but up until the last few paragraphs Muneshwar had me enthralled. As I said above, I don’t think I’m the target audience for this ending, so take that disconnect with a grain of salt (that’s a pun if you read the story).