Truth or Falsehood

  • 02 Sep - 08 Sep, 2023
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

My brother Gabriel was locked inside a room. His hands and legs were tied on the chair where he was seated. He wasn’t resisting at all. As a matter of fact, he was sitting really calm.

Someone entered inside the room. Two men followed that person. The three of them stood in front of Gabriel. One of them asked him:

“Do you have any idea what you have done?”

“…I am not afraid of you people,” my brother answered after a while. “In fact, I welcome death. I would rather die out of your hands…”

One of them punched him really hard on his face and exclaimed:

“You have broken our rule. Our family rivalry has five rules…”

“I have not committed any crime,” Gabriel spoke bravely. “I did not break any rule.”

“Shut up!” one of them yelled hitting him on his face.

“Liar!” the other guy commented.

“I am not a law breaker,” my brother replied. “I do not violate my family rules and values. I am not afraid to die out of your hands. But before dying, I want to speak the truth. And the truth is that I did not murder your relative.”

“The gun was in your hand…”

“But it was not…”

“Just shut up!” one of them slapped him. “You Gabriels are liars. You guys have no conscience. We don’t need to hear your lies anymore. You are disgraceful like your ancestor Gabriel.”

Enraged Gabriel yelled out and spoke some bad words. This compelled the three of them to hit him so brutally for a whole one minute that he fainted from the injuries caused by them.

He was lying unconscious on the ground and one of them spoke:

“That’s enough for today. We’ll deal with him tomorrow now. We cannot kill him since it’s against the family rules.”

“Well, he killed our relative,” the other one replied.

“But we won’t. We have to prove them that we are better than them. We are more honourable and justice loving as compared to them.”

Lindsay was in the kitchen when she heard her father coming inside. She turned and looked at him. He said to her:

“My dear, I think your marriage was a big mistake.”

“Dad, please don’t say like that!”

“I mean it Lindsay. Your husband is a nice man. I like him as a person. But his family has become a problem for us.”

“Dad, you must also realise that our family is also not peace loving. We are also aggressive and violent like them.”

“I know my dear, but there has got to be a solution to this problem.”

“That’s what we’re trying to find,” she replied spontaneously.

“Either you need to annul this marriage which is an easy solution. Or you need to bring an end to this family rivalry forever.”

“Oh Dad, with all due respect, you need to understand this. No matter what happens, I shall never annul this marriage. So please don’t ask me to.”

“So what are you going to do? Bring an end to this family dispute?”

“Oh yes, we might. That’s what Aaron and I are planning to do.”

She walked to leave the kitchen but before she could finally step outside, her father said:

“Mark my words Lindsay. It won’t be easy. You might have to sacrifice something that is really close to you.”

She heard him and then walked out of the kitchen.

Next day’s morning while outside home, I was listening to some debate. It was a debate between Gabriels and Hectors. The four members seated on the ground of Gabriel team were completely new to me. And opposite to them, the three members of team Hector were seated. Among Hectors only Lot Hector was the one I was familiar with. The other two were new.

A bundle of books was kept in front of both teams. The leader of Gabriels team was Anthony Tribiani. He was speaking from their side. The leader of Hector’s team was obviously Lot Hector. He seemed well prepared and confident. Anyways, Mr Anthony began:

“Hello, to begin with I would like to introduce myself. I am representative of Gabriels here and I’m here to debate on the topic: ‘Who was disgraceful?’ And I’m going to prove that Hector was it…”

Someone from team Hector interrupted:

“…And I guarantee, you won’t be able to prove it.”

“No don’t interrupt please,” Anthony spoke angrily.

“Go on, carry on,” Lot said stopping his team member from speaking.

Anthony began pointing his finger towards them:

“Now, if you’re going to interrupt then we will also speak in between your turn. Do you understand that?”

“Okay, continue what you were saying,” Lot replied.

“…Alright, as I was saying our point of argument here is that the person with bad character in the tale of Octaland was Hector.”

“Okay, are you done now?” Lot asked.

“No, let me finish please…”

“Okay, go on….”

“These books that I’m going to show today were written by Tribianis. Tribianis from Gabriel side. And lastly we are also going to prove that books written by Hectors were mostly lies and fabricated tales.”

“Alright, can we begin now?” Lot asked.


“Our motive here is to prove… who is honest and who is disgraceful. But I want to tell you something first. We are not going to prove through books written by us, by our ancestors, no. We are going to prove our argument through books written by your ancestors and elders.”

“Okay, we’ll see!”

“Let me finish. Your elders have written in their books. They have accepted that Gabriel was a rebel. They have also stated that he was not willing to share the piece of land that belonged to both brothers.”

I paused the video here. I spoke by myself:

I just hope that this debate ends up with a logical conclusion. And the right and wrong are exposed as clear as crystal.

But unfortunately this was not the case. I played the video and watched the entire one hour debate. There was constant interruption of speech between the two parties. They were not even letting the opponent finish his speech. Both the parties were attacking each other personally which made me realise how uneducated they were.

So in short, watching this long debate was a total waste of time. There was no positive outcome or end result of this debate. So these debates were also not a solution to this family rivalry.

The solution that I constantly used to get in my mind was the one which people recommended, and that was personally visiting the Octaland. The truth about Octaland could only be found there.

Do I have the guts to go and visit that place? I don’t think so.

That night, I was reading the book ‘The Prince and Rebel of Octaland’ when I heard my phone ringing. I answered the call from an unknown number:


I heard some old woman silently weeping. I understood that very moment that it was my mother’s call. So, I spoke up:

“Mom, is that you?”

“Yes,” she replied with a tender voice.

“Is everything okay? Why do you seem upset?”

“I’m… I’m so afraid. I’m getting a feeling that these Hectors will kill both of my sons.”

“No mother… Don’t think like that. Hope for good. Everything shall be fine.”

“Your father is so upset. He is so worried about Gabriel. He wants to know if he’s okay.”

“Don’t worry about that. I can assure you that he is fine. He’s nothing more than a prisoner. And my father in law has promised me that he will get him out of that.”

“…I hope it happens so,” she spoke feeling agitated yet hopeful.

“Yes… I’ll come and meet you some day. I promise.”

“Yes, please do. I miss you.”

“…I miss you too,” I replied feeling the tears in my eyes.

I disconnected the call but I was feeling deeply upset. I had to do something to distract myself, so I immediately played some debate video from my files collection.

It was a debate between Gabriels and Hectors of course. And surprisingly my uncle Ralph Tribiani was the leading representative from Gabriels side. So I gained some interest and watched the complete one and a half hour video.

Well, to be honest, I liked this one. Because this debate was not so rough and uneducated like the one I saw earlier today; secondly it had logical outcomes.

And I did not favour this video because our side of the family won in this debate, and Hectors lost. However, Hectors did not admit their defeat but it was clear enough that they lost.

The debate’s topic was about the family history. And its title was:

‘Who has broken more family rules? Gabriels or Hectors?

So through historical data and photo evidences my uncle proved that they were the ones who had broken family rules. Let me repeat the family rules once again:

1- No family is allowed to murder any member of the opposite family.

2- Involving cops into disputes is not allowed.

3- Winning is only through debates and verbal arguments.

4- Women must not be involved in any sort of fights.

5- Books and pictures are the only evidences acceptable.

So my uncle focused two points here, the first one and the fourth one. And he was successful in proving his argument.

I was a bit proud of my uncle for the moment but then I realised that truth about Octaland tragedy was still not resolved. And my mission and objective was to find the truth, that’s it. Debates should not influence my mind or else I would become like all the others.

My father was sitting next to his brother Ralph at his house. There was a silence that was broken by Ralph as he spoke:

“Look Shawn, I understand. I understand that you’re really worried about your son. But I have also been told that your son killed someone among them. And his name was Jimmy.”

“I don’t know about that. But my son was very loyal to the family rules. Regardless of all the other stuff, he was never willing to do such a thing.”

“I know and I do not disagree. But the question is then how did this happen?”

“I’m sorry, I don’t follow.”

“What I’m asking is what happened out there? Jimmy died and there was no one else besides Gabriel who was holding the gun.”

“Yeah, so?”

“Do you want me elaborate further? Or do you think my point is clear now?”

“No Ralph, don’t think like that. My son cannot kill anyone. He can’t be a murderer.”

“Shawn, don’t get biased. We shouldn’t be stubborn like this. We need to find out what happened.”

“…How can we?” my father asked after thinking for a while.

“The only way to find that out is by asking the ones who were already there.”

“You mean…?”

“Yes. Aaron and Lindsay!”

Next afternoon, I found another debate video between Gabriels and Hectors. And the topic was: Whose story is real? On one side there was Lot Hector and his team and on the other side someone I never heard of. Each team had more than five members. The leader of team Gabriel seemed a little too old but the scenario appeared interesting.

The sixty minute debate began. Let me summarise the entire debate before you so that you have a clear idea.

The topic of the debate meant that whose history was true. The history Gabriels tell their children or the history Hectors teach their children. Now both the parties had to explain their history through either books that were more than hundred years old or through pictures that were of the time when Hector and Gabriel were alive.

Lot Hector really impressed me this time because within very short time he proved Gabriels wrong and justified that his’ point of view on history was correct. But at the same time I knew that what he was saying was not completely true. Lot Hector had only won a debate and nothing more than that. He had not proved what was true or what wasn’t.

Why, because the debator on Gabriels’ team was weak. He had very poor communication skills. And the reason why Lot and his team won the debate was because of their rival’s poor communication skills.

Anyways, the conclusion of the debate was that Hectors are on the right path and Gabriels were wrong. But this doesn’t matter to me.

What matters to me is the truth. And I’m on this mission to find the truth about Octaland.

I will find it even if I have to personally visit the island and risk my life.