The Fragility of Goodness


Our short story of the week is a story about luck from the writer Omar Sabbagh.

Omar Sabbagh is the author of Minutes from the Miracle City, published by Fairlight Books on 11 July 2019. Born in London, Omar now lives in Dubai, where he works as an Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at the American University of Dubai. Omar holds a PhD in English Literature from King’s College, University of London. Omar is widely published in both fiction and poetry. His collections of poetry, My Only Oedipal ComplaintSquare Root of Beirut and To the Middle of Love are published by Cinnamon Press. Omar has also published several essays and academic papers.

The Fragility of Goodness takes a philosophical look at a man’s shifting fortunes.


Amr was cogitating on Time – or to be more precise, timing. Like most gamblers he had a very large and capacious mind, and could think his way round to the latest cutting-edge research, say, on unicorns and UFOs. The way he figured it, standing there in the small, square, white-walled kitchen, was as follows…

The roulette table was spinning, spinning continuously, if periodically. So that the exact time he left his flat, caught a cab for the short ride to the casino, and arrived at the roulette table – made all the difference! If the small cream-coloured ball (that god on his pyre!) was at this moment landing on, let us say, ‘3’, then ‘31’, and so on – then the exact time he left and arrived would entail a wholly different scurrying run of numbers. The pattern would change, for better or worse, depending. However, by the end of these ruminations, he realised the paradox, that it all came to the same thing – if all was well with the world and if God indeed was in His heaven.’ Read more…