Posted: November 7, 2007
Category: Short stories
Mute is a nice little tale about a man, Monette, and his struggle with his wife’s recent betrayal. After 26 years of marriage she has now confessed to him that she has had a lover for the last two years, that she has stolen money from her work and that she is leaving him.

Monette confesses all this to a priest and during his confession he tells the priest about a deaf-mute hitchhiker in old clothes and dirty sneakers that he picked up not long ago…

Once Monette picks up the hitchhiker he tells him his story. It really doesn’t matter that his new friend can’t hear a word of what he is saying. It’s just nice to say it out loud. While Monette visits a restroom along the way the hitchhiker leaves with out a trace and without a goodbye. The only thing that really shows that he has been there at all is that a St. Christopher’s medallion that he stole from the cars review mirror is missing.

Monett get’s it back though but only after his wife and her lover are found murdered in their hotel room, beaten to death with a pipe. The police think it’s the deaf-mute hitchhiker that has done Monette an unwanted favour and are now looking for him.

That is the story as we read it. However, if you look at the illustrations/photos that accompany the story you will find one of the priest on his side of the confession booth and one of Monette on his. And if you look closely at Monette you’ll se that he wears old clothes, just like the hitchhiker did, and a sign saying “Mute”. He probably also have dirty sneakers but those we can’t really see.

This leads me to think that the deaf-mute hitchhiker and Monette are one and the same. That is why he kills his wife and her lover and why he can disappear so completely while Monette is in the restroom. And why else would he have the deaf-mute’s sign?

Lilja's final words about Mute:

I like that Mute is so open for interpretation and regardless if you agree with me or not about the ending it’s a very good story that grabs you right from the beginning and doesn’t let go until you’ve finished it.