The Trusted Liar
By Alice Flynn
I’m going to tell you a story. Well, more like the fourth or fifth draft of a story because writers happen to live in this world where a single ill-placed word will somehow shatter the entire concept of language itself. So we write, and rewrite, and edit, and scrap entire sentences, paragraphs, chapters, arcs, characters, et cetera, until we are satisfied. The final draft is little more than a fabrication of a story—fictional or otherwise—that has been contorted, and rewritten until the brutal reality of language is made pretty.
And so the story I weave for you now was lost quite some time ago, and now suits the title you see above. A tale of a liar, whose words are silver, and whose heart is gold. He is a good man, or at least he tries to be. For he cannot help but lie. His every utterance is a falsehood. And when disaster strikes his home, and people who might help ask what is wrong, it is through burning tears of frustration that he can only spit out…
And you may pity the liar.
But that is the liar’s story. If I told you the story of the liar’s wife, you would see a very different man. One who chooses to design his words so they drip with honey, and flow into the ears of even his closest friend. When disaster strikes his home, and the liar tells helpers nothing is wrong, it is his wife who suffers for his lie.
And you may curse the liar.
Does it bother you, dear reader, that I am the only person who speaks to you in this world of liars, and their wives, and unspecified disasters? That any semblance of connection you may have with one person’s story is by my hand?
Do you trust me?
Because you shouldn’t.