One of my most vivid memories from childhood is of being caught in a lie. I’d gone into the shed, somewhere I wasn’t supposed to go, and my father asked what I’d been doing in there and who had been with me.
At first I blamed two of my cousins. Then just one of them–the one I didn’t like. I remember imagining them fading in and out of my story, the three of us standing in a black abyss that represented the shed in my memory, then just two, then just one. I don’t remember if I ever fessed up that I was lying, but I knew he knew. I don’t even remember what the truth was, only that I lied, only the way that I lied. It was so clumsy, so obviously a child trying to hide the truth.
I’m a good liar now. It’s frightfully easy for me to get away with it, which is why I rarely do it. Maybe if it makes for a better story I’ll fudge the details, and I don’t mind telling white lies to spare somebody’s feelings. I look back at that instance of me, too small and young to know that changing my story was practically confessing I’d done wrong, I think about how easy it is for me to do it now, and I wonder what changed along the way.
Anyway, here’s a drabble.
(Noun) From Latin mendācitās, for falsehood, and –loquence, to speak.
The ability to tell artistic, flattering lies.
The duchess was a storyteller first. She captivated every noble ear in the palace until someone convinced the duke to marry her just so she’d have a spot at court, just so she’d share the next part of the story.
Around the nobles, her stories took on a new dimension. Filled with half-truths, with dashes of invention to keep them guessing, her stories guaranteed she’d never want for a dance partner. She became quite adept at whispering behind fans, behind fingers, in moments when a twirl brought her close, each story like a drop of poison in your ear.