I’ve decided to actually do some outlining for Solomon, since long-term survival of a story is one of my primary problems. In the meantime, I’ve written two versions of the prologue for Liar, the book manuscript I’m working on. Only one of them appears here. The following story is also posted on the Blogger site, but I don’t know how many of you check that. I should be able to do some outlining for Solomon this week, hopefully getting the next chapter posted by Sunday.
Side note, if any of you guys are WordPress Wizards and could tell me how to get a “previous/next in this category” button for my posts set up, that’d be great. Otherwise I’m going to have to start doing some serious reorganization of the site to make it more new-user friendly. This will probably involve each story getting its own subdomain. That would be a lot of work for me. Anyway, get back to me on that if you have any ideas.
by Andrew Blatt
My name is Allan and I’m a liar.
I remember the first time I told a lie. What it was is irrelevant, the important part is the feeling. It was a rush, sweeter and more profound than any sensation or drug I’ve experienced before or since. And like any drug, it’s never been quite as good as that first time. And yet I was still hooked.
Enough of that, now that it’s established that I’m a liar, you know the most important thing about me. And that’s that I’ll lie to you. Don’t worry, I’m convincing and I’ll try to be entertaining.
Anyway, her name was Emily and she was beautiful. She was in high school, I was in college. I majored in English. Not great for job prospects, but great for dating a certain kind of high school girl. Guys who are English majors are good with words. Most of my male peers were liars like me, though none quite of my caliber.
Now, let’s play a game of spot the lie:
It’s a full moon on a mild Indiana night in late May. Two moonlit silhouettes—one man-shaped, one girl-shaped—make their way through a sparsely wooded park. The trees here are thin enough to let in the moonbeams, but thick enough to hide the two of them from the prying eyes of Parks Department Security.
She stops him and looks up at him, tears in her eyes.
“I have something I need to say.” She chokes on her words, hesitates.
He knows what she wants to say, what she should say. She’s finally decided to take the advice of her friends and parents. To free herself from this older boy, whose intentions, they say, cannot be wholly pure.
And he knows how to stop her.
“If you don’t mind, I’ve got something on my mind, too.” He smiles at her nervously in the silver light of the moon. His façade is perfect.
The relief she feels is immediately visible on her face. Maybe he’ll want to break it off first? She’s young, unused to such difficult emotional decisions. Breaking up is easier to think about than to do.
“I know it hasn’t been too long since we’ve been together.” Punctuate the comment with a pause, a deep breath. “But I can’t pretend any longer.” Another beat, let her anticipation build.
“I love you.”
And now their positions are reversed. She’s hooked, instantly. She’ll stand by him right up until he discards her. And when he does, she’ll be left feeling jaded, cynical, and used.
Did you find it?
Those of you who guessed “I love you” receive one point. Those of you who thought the whole story was a fabrication receive ten points. Those of you who realize that nothing I say is wholly fact or fiction, you win.
I’m trying to change, though. Not because I feel guilty, but because I don’t. I’ve hurt so many people. I’ve broken hearts and ruined friendships, and never felt any guilt or shame.
Like any drug, after a while, the high gets further from you. After a while you do it because you have to, not because you want to.
So I’m getting help. I’ve started therapy. That’s what all this is. I’m supposed to write down how my problem has affected and shaped my life. My doctor says this journal will be a map of my road to recovery. I think she’s full of shit, but I’m paying to see her, so it’d be pretty stupid of me to just ignore her suggestions.
She says I can lie in here as long as I tell the truth eventually, but that once something’s in here, I can’t change it. I guess we’ll see how it works out.
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