Tag Archives: lie

Short Fiction Sunday- The truth about Lies

THE TRUTH ABOUT LIES

I walked up to the woden shack and peered inside the smoked-glass window.  I had a date to meet my writing buddies and loyal followers of my literary journey through the metaphorical woods. 

Okay, not so metaphorical.  I swung my canoe up and out, stopping briefly at the shoulder, then hip.  I propped it against the log building and wiped the sweat from my brow.  The woods were hot, as only a humid summer day can be in the Midwest.  I needed a drink and a break from the swarm of mosquitoes that had followed me along the path.  I was also late for my meeting.

I pushed my way inside and bellied up to the empty bar.   

“Tequila,” I said.  “With a clamato chaser.”

The barkeep eyed me skeptically.  “Odd drink of choice.”

I shrugged.  “I’m a writer.”  As if that would explain everything.  And it did.  In a sense.  Why else would I be portaging the BWCA?  I had something important to reveal and it had to be done in person. 

However, a quick glance around the room showed I was alone in the Cyber Cafe.  Alone with the multitude of stuffed, porcelain and painted calves that decorated the bar. 

“”Three seventy-five.”  The barkeep slammed a glass down in front of me.  Amber liquid sloshed over the rim and dribbled down the etched likeness of a cow. 

It was like a bad omen and I shivered slightly despite the summer heat.  I dug in my backpack for some change.  Organization had never been my strong suit.  Not since my big sister ran over my head with her blue banana seat bike.  I sported tire tracks on my forehead for days after that.  However, in moments like these, I felt my sis might be right that the damage was more than skin deep. 

I sighed and began emptying my bag onto the counter.  The barkeep blew out a sigh to rival my own as he watched the growing mound of junk.  Hair clips, chapstick, Kindle, trophy, kleenex…. 

“What’s this, eh?” 

I peered out from the depths of my backpack.  The barkeep held my blue and silver trophy in his hand.  His eyes gleamed for the first time.  “Oh, that’s nothing.”

“A tro-phy, eh?”  He reverently ran his fingers over the molded calf on top.  “Says ro-de-oh.”

My cheeks grew hot and I tugged at my collar, embarrassed that I felt the need to bring my trophy at all.  Yet I had a nagging suspicion my cyber buddies would have more than a nagging suspicion if I revealed the truth without proof. 

I reached for the trophy and popped it back in my bag.  I fished out my cash and dropped it on the counter, stood and scanned the room for my friends.  Their lateness had passed rude and was dangerously close to impertinent.  “What’s the name of this place?”

The barkeep shot me a look that said he was still unhappy about me pulling the trophy out of his hand.  “The Cyber Cafe.”

I paced.  Jean’s voice had been exactly how I pictured it when she explained the directions to our meeting place.  At the time, she had begged me to divulge my two truths and a lie.  I refused to give in.  Yet now, as I paced the back woods bar, my imagination took hold.  Maybe she was miffed with me for not telling her.  I shook my head.  Surely that wouldn’t be enough for her to misdirect me.

Eventually, the tequila ran right through me and I made my way to the restroom.  After washing my hands, I noted a sign on the door.  Thanks for stopping by the Cyber Calf.

A bad feeling settled over me as I made my way to the counter.  “What’s the name of this place again?”

The barkeep froze, his rag mid dry on the shot glass.  “I’ll tell ya for that neat little trophy you got.” 

I weighed my options.  I could hand over my championship trophy and figure out where the heck my journey had taken me, or I could stubbornly hold onto the only tangible evidence of my first place win (not second) and stay stranded forever. 

After adding to the barkeep’s growing collection of calf paraphenalia, I hoisted my canoe and made double time through the woods.  The trail ended beside a well-kept log cabin.  The Cyber Cafe.

It was with great relief that when I entered this bar, a crowd of familiar faces sat at a table with an open seat.  I dropped my backpack and plopped into the chair. 

“Sorry I’m late.”  I scanned the crew, putting faces to names in real time. 

Jean smiled, raised her margarita and said, “Must’ve made a pit stop at the Cyber Calf, eh?”

Welcome to Canada!

 

I cannot tell a lie…

As writers, we have the innate ability to bend the truth, create amazing characters and weave together fact and fiction.  As humans, we often tell fish tales to make ourselves or our situations sound better, worse, happier, sadder or more thrilling than reality. 

In light of our propensity for falsehoods, I present to you: 

Two Truths and a Lie

The object of this game is to bluff your way through three statements.  Two of them must be personal facts, while the other will be a fib, exaggeration or outright whopper.  Commenters will then try to guess the  lie.

My Two Truths and a Lie

  1. I can deadlift a canoe–pick it up from the ground and carry it over my head–solo.
  2. My sister ran over my forehead with her bike–it left a dent, but didn’t seem to leave lasting brain damage.  At least not that I know of…
  3. I won a second place trophy in a real live rodeo–for keeping my seat on a calf for 1 minute 8 seconds.

Any one is welcome to participate in this game.  To play, simply follow the super cinchy directions–or as many as you feel inclined to do.

  1. Leave a comment guessing my lie and your reasoning behind it.  Snickers of disbelief are acceptable.  After all, I am a writer of fiction.
  2. Show off your believability quotient by posting this game on your blog.  If you’re so inclined, you can link back to my blog.  If not, that’s okay too.
  3. Let us know in your comment if you are posting and leave a link.  We would love to harrass you learn more about you.

Just an FYI, about everything I ever write is a fib of some kind.  My life really isn’t as exciting as I try to make it sound. 

Or is it?

 

My Holiday Gift to You

Two things struck me this morning as I got ready.  One, I’m a liar.  And two, I’m a creature of habit.

I think all writers are, by nature, liars.  Or at least fibbers.  We have to be to make all these things up.  Yet I’m guessing that not all writers or even liars, and certainly not good moms, teach their children to lie.

Last night I lied to my Middle Son right in front of Youngest.  And Youngest caught on admirably for his wee age and joined me in the ruse.  Oh Hannah, slap on the shackles and take  me away to the naughty mommy farm.  I don’t deserve these precious kids.

Anyway, we were in the store picking up last minute gift tags, tape, school holiday gifts and a present from Youngest to Middle.  During the “what to buy the school kids” debate, both boys decided they wanted a Bakugan–for themselves.  (Which could be spelled wrong, as I don’t really know what these things are, other than a boy game with little balls that smash into each other and “break”.)  Middle in particular wanted these delightfully expensive toys.

When he walked around the corner, I whispered to Youngest that he could get one for his brother for Christmas.  Like all kids with big ears, Middle returned and demanded to know what I had whispered to his sibling.  With a straight face, I said, “I told him I would buy it for his birthday.”

Youngest, with an equally straight face, continued.  “I really want this and it might not be here for my birthday.  Mom says I can’t open it until then.”

I worried that he believed my lie and I was now locked into buying this set of “broken” toys for a January birthday when all I really wanted was to get out of the store with my Christmas shopping done. 

Youngest turned to me and winked.  What a LIAR HEAD!  I had never been so proud of his cunning.  Then I panicked.  Maybe lying is genetic.

 Truly, I think it might be.  At least the propensity for it.  Otherwise how would he have done it so smoothly at the tender age of five?  Without prompting? 

I won’t get into the moral issue of fibs, white lies, exaggerations, sarcasm, falsehoods or whoppers, in part because I don’t know if one can truly distinguish one from another.  A lie is a lie no matter how small and regardless of purpose.  Or is it? 

The Easter Bunny.  That dress looks fine.  I like your new haircut.  Nope, I’m not mad.  The fish was this big!  Need I say more?

I’ll just say that I’m less concerned with the collusion that Youngest and I perpetrated than with habitual lying.  Partially because habits can be troublesome if they are of the wrong ilk.  I like some of my habits.  For instance, I don’t have to remind myself to brush my teeth.  It’s one of those good habits.  Followed by shuffling into the kitchen to  make coffee, getting the kids up and blogging (when Real Life does not intervene.)

This morning, I shuffled and measured.  Mindlessly.  DH is gone and yet I, a creature of habit, didn’t adjust for his absence with the coffee.  I still made ten cups, because to do otherwise would actually call on brain cells that otherwise don’t get activated for this task.  Hence the word habit. 

I am a creature of habit and I lie.  This morning, I choose to applaud these quirks.  I think they make me a better writer.  I write (or engage in other writerly activities) almost everyday. 

Without this habit, my writing would still be in the “hobby” stage rather than the “serious-about-getting-published” stage.  This habit has made me a better, stronger and more active writer.

Now for the lying.  Not quite so easy to justify, though if I creatively give it another name I can tweak it to sound amazing and admirable.  Please follow my logic:

  • Lie
  • Fib
  • Fabrication
  • Imagination
  • Creativity
  • Fiction
  • Novel
  • Publication
  • Author
  • Best-seller

Okay, you get the picture.  Writers are amazing at conjuring up what if scenarios and pairing them with endearing characters and enticing plots.  All made up in our heads.  And if it is not real, then it must be false and any falsehood, by definition is a lie.  See how this circle works?

By nature, writers use their gifts to tweak reality and stock shelves across the world with fiction.  We expand on the truth, for every book has a small kernel of it, and give our readers a delightful surprise.

Imagine how thrilled Middle Son will be to tear away the wrapping from his gift and find his heart’s desire.  That is how writers want their readers to feel.  When we can elicit that same excitement from between the covers of our books, we will feel the heady rush of joy that Youngest will feel on Christmas Eve. 

My gift to you this season is the permission to lie.  Habitually.  Use your talent to expand on reality and create magical worlds with endearing characters and enticing plots.   Believe me when I say that in the world of writing, fabrication is a good thing.

What gift do you wish to pass on to your fellow scribes?

~cat