Exaggeration

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Narrator faces habit of exaggeration and its cost

Exaggeration

She was always over the top  The way she would tell it, it was either a world of lollipops, unicorns and rainbows or sour milk, mildew, and snapping dogs.  A bump would become a shove and a smile a romance.

It wasn’t that she didn’t know the difference.  Her scales were weighted properly.  She just enjoyed the drama of exaggeration and it became the path she trod by choice, for entertainment.  Therefore, it wasn’t until her mid-thirties that she understood that this path of choice was a toll road and there was payment due. 

She learned this in the single moment when she opened her mouth to speak the words, “I do.”  No, not the wedding vow. “I do.”She was wedded to John and had been for fourteen years.  Together, they had three sons and a daughter, aged twelve, ten and seven, their third pregnancy delivering to them twins - their third boy and first girl.  No. This was not a vow.  An oath, rather.  To tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. 

In the split second before speaking, she realizes - the more potent the exaggeration, the more dilute the truth.  And she wonders if she does take this oath, can she honestly remember the truth?  Will she be able to recall the true specifics of that night? Without her usual rewriting? Or have those details permanently morphed into the sugared version she has told, again and again, making it a story to dine out on, setting the gossip circuit humming, adding a bit of embroidery here, a touch of tat there to keep interest focused on what she can add or confide or tell.  Now it has all turned deadly. 

She coughs and pauses to sip from a glass of water placed next to her, wondering what exactly truth is and where it lives at present.  When, she asks herself, had that whisper of tires on the tarred lane in back of her house happened?  Was it before or after midnight?  Was it even a truck she’d thought she glimpsed?  She knew that pointing a finger at the local clam digger whose interest in the lady at the end of the lane had been well known was her usual way of playing with what she always considered to be boring truth. 

Now, again, she raises her hand, preparing to take the oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, wondering as she does if every truth she’s ever experienced hadn’t been lost to her a long time ago.


Submitted: October 26, 2011

© Copyright 2022 Wilbur. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

moonphish

i love the way you weave words

Sun, December 25th, 2011 10:46pm

Author
Reply

Woven words - wonderful word picture. Thanks once more and then once more again. All best to you, moonphish, and kind regards, Wilbur

Sun, December 25th, 2011 3:09pm

jdcantel

I'm left wanting more, and yet loving how you again capture a lifetime in a moment. Well done!

Sat, February 4th, 2012 11:57pm

Author
Reply

Many thanks for your kindness.
Best regards, Wilbur

Sat, February 4th, 2012 4:15pm

Helena Parris

OH, wow. 6 small paragraphs that gently pull the reader in and softly wrap around us, and then Bam! the floor drops from under us and we're left dangling, wondering about this unforgettable character you didn't even name. Who was she? What did she see? D

Fri, February 17th, 2012 4:51pm

Author
Reply

You know, I don't know who she is or what she saw. I tend to write what comes and then take it out of the oven as done.
I've wondered myself, but more I like the warning about the addiction of decorating truth. Thank you for the comment.
Kindest regards, Connie/Wilbur

Fri, February 17th, 2012 11:27am

Helena Parris

(Sorry. Little Ms. Butterfingers at the keyboard here.) Does she even remember what she saw? Like jdcantel, I want more!

Fri, February 17th, 2012 4:53pm

Author
Reply

S'okay - butterfingers one of my Familiars. C/W

Fri, February 17th, 2012 11:28am

CAROL MEINGART

"This path of choice was a toll road..." one of many wonderful, imaginative lines in this story. Having been down one of those side roads, I found myself, I must confess, relating.
You had the reader from beginning to end...surely the sign of a great story teller. I'm looking forward to reading more. Carol

Mon, April 9th, 2012 8:05pm

Author
Reply

You've been poking around in the archives. How complimentary that is.
This was one of the earliest things I posted. Such a tricky one - the path of least resistance - embellishment.
Thanks for the read and always for your comments. It's like having a new friend. Many kind regards, Connie

Mon, April 9th, 2012 3:48pm

Steve Balsky

Captivating and brief. That is something special indeed.

Thu, April 12th, 2012 3:13am

Author
Reply

It was interesting to write. Kind of told itself - without exaggeration!
Thanks so much, Connie

Wed, April 11th, 2012 9:02pm

Bill Rayburn

"the more potent the exaggeration, the more dilute the truth"....evocative...could prompt a story in and of itself....

why do people tend to do this? To piss on the flame that springs from truth, to lessen its impact with unnecessary hyperbole (urine?); to SELL it when it needs no selling; to not let the truth lay on the ground before us all, and then watch how OTHERS react to it?

The human reaction to the rawness of real truth is fascinating....a seat perched on the fishbowl of life, for even a few moments, can be worth everything...watching how others cavort, distort, report...the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God....indeed

A nice walk, this piece hath provided.

Bill

Sun, May 6th, 2012 2:36pm

Author
Reply

Good. I think like any habit of behavior, it slips past the guards as innocuous and isn't seen for its darkest side until - well, until a moment like this one. It takes a sharp stick to get our attention -- and the universe does provide one. What happens in denial? Guess there's no stick sharp enough.
Thanks for the read and comment. Welcome, Bill
Kindest regards, Connie

Sun, May 6th, 2012 8:24am

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