Monday, March 22, 2010

the lie and how we told it: The Truth by Erin Mahoney

Today starts off a new series here at two hands radio. I've asked a few friends to come down and share a little story with us. Works are completely fiction and there's pretty much only one rule: Keep your stories under 800 words. It should be pretty fun and I'm looking forward to reading all of them. We're gonna run this until I stop getting submissions. If you'd like to submit one, send a story over to me at zuhair.zama [at]
The Truth
by Erin Mahoney

I've never told a lie in my life. I have no interest in falsities. Half-truths never make it fully out of my mouth. I sure hope you believe me. Honest, I do!

I am not a lawyer giving my final arguments, convincing you of my client's innocence. I'm not a doctor telling you your prognosis and what I sincerely think your chances are. I am not selling anything, I don't represent anyone, and I have nothing at all to gain from this.

I know I am not alone and that despite all the fuss about white lies, and innocent deceptions, and all the other garbage people use to excuse themselves for dishonesty – despite all that, there are actually a few folks out there who have taken the same path as me, who retain a golden tongue. I wonder if they are as lonely as I am. If we ever met, I wonder if we'd get along, or if our truths would rattle together incessantly, like the box of dishes in my backseat, until they drove us apart.

I believe that always telling the truth allows me to gauge when others aren't. I am not the dough-eyed picture of naivety so-often depicted in movies and novels, who is so pure she simply cannot conceive of why someone might want to lie to and take advantage of her. I am practical, realistic, and perhaps even a bit cynical. I can read body language, detect facial tics, record idiosyncrasies. I'm a library of telling mannerisms.

I can also tell when someone thinks I'm lying - like you, for instance. You are looking at me like you have some sort of secret knowledge, privately inverting everything I say into what you can believe. I will not argue with you. What is the point?

Living like this is not exactly a choice for me, as I am not that good-hearted. In the past I have tried to cover my tracks with lies, but the mere utterance filled me with such dread I had no choice but to immediately come clean, shaming and embarrassing myself while others would have happily whistled away.

I can tell that you're wondering why I am revealing all of this to you. Frankly, I am not entirely sure. Maybe it's because you seem like the sort of person I can talk to and really open up about myself. Like I said, mine is a lonely existence. Maybe it's because I noticed how awkwardly you were standing here, alone in a room of people, stuffing crackers in your mouth to avoid meaningless conversation.

Truthfully, though, it's because you stink, and the smell was bothering me so much that I just had to be honest with you. You really stink.
This isn't Erin's first post here at two hands radio. If you're interested, check out her Year in Review post she did for our last series.


  1. I can relate to this on two levels one as a cracker lover, and two as a man who sometimes forgets to deodorize.

  2. It's just past 3am and I was about to leave for work when I decided to check my email. Found your comment in here, Joe, and realized that I, much like you, forgot to put deodorant on. You sure did save me a smelly shift!

  3. this is good in that it brings the reader in and makes them think about themselves in a clever way..whether they wanted to or not....and it ends leaving me feeling guilty..for something i did not do (ok i did)...