She is dripping in lies.
There are so many that sometimes I wonder at the weight of them all. Lilac and turquoise beads decorate her wrists, amber at her throat, tiny diamonds pricking the corners of her eyes. Those last she has worn so long that I wonder if she, herself, even recognises them for what they truly are. Could she remove them? Have they become so deeply embedded in her skin that to do so would leave an angry scar?
They have different purposes. The bracelets whisper of competence and surety. Trust these hands, they say, they’ll hold you safe. There’s an emerald on one finger which murmurs, yes, yes, she can be trusted. Sometimes, when she raises her hand to her face, the green is reflected in her eyes.
Her footwear, she changes. There are some shoes that speak of elegance, and boots that shout of strength. Jewelled slippers that sigh with contentment, and simple, plain shoes that say, this story that I’m about to tell you? You’re going to love it.
Me? I have just one lie. My mother gave it to me before I left. We had not always seen eye to eye, but nevertheless, she wanted to protect her daughter. At least, I choose to believe that was her reason.
So this lie, she gave to me. Her eyes were too bright as it passed from her hand to mine. They might have been tears of relief.
It’s a flat, black disc which fits in the palm of my hand, long worn smooth from the touch of skin. I could have had it set into a necklace but… I prefer to hold it, and when I can’t hold it, I keep it in a pocket next to my body. I want to know where it is. I never want to forget it.
And I went to her, the one dripping in lies, and we’ve lived and worked and loved. Her lies are what she is and, in truth, I like what she is. She doesn’t know about my lie and… I decided long ago that it was for the best.
So I hold it, and I feel its rounded lines, and I hear its words.
I believe you.
Just an idea I’ve been playing with. By the way, did you catch my story at PseudoPod, Never Enough Pockets? I’ve also been narrating: why not listen to Food Man, by Lisa Tuttle?