Tuesday, April 01, 2008

ENG 205 Short Story

So here's a short story I wrote for English 205. It's an alternate prologue for the book I'm working on. Whether I'll use this one or the one I wrote first or something totally different, only time will tell.
-The Drewcifer


by Andrew Blatt

My name is Allan and I’m a liar.

I remember the first time I told a lie. What it was is irrelevant, the important part is the feeling. It was a rush, sweeter and more profound than any sensation or drug I’ve experienced before or since. And like any drug, it’s never been quite as good as that first time. And yet I was still hooked.

Enough of that, now that it’s established that I’m a liar, you know the most important thing about me. And that’s that I’ll lie to you. Don’t worry, I’m convincing and I’ll try to be entertaining.

Anyway, her name was Emily and she was beautiful. She was in high school, I was in college. I majored in English. Not great for job prospects, but great for dating a certain kind of high school girl. Guys who are English majors are good with words. Most of my male peers were liars like me, though none quite of my caliber.

Now, let’s play a game of spot the lie:

It’s a full moon on a mild Indiana night in late May. Two moonlit silhouettes—one man-shaped, one girl-shaped—make their way through a sparsely wooded park. The trees here are thin enough to let in the moonbeams, but thick enough to hide the two of them from the prying eyes of Parks Department Security.

She stops him and looks up at him, tears in her eyes.

“I have something I need to say.” She chokes on her words, hesitates.

He knows what she wants to say, what she should say. She’s finally decided to take the advice of her friends and parents. To free herself from this older boy, whose intentions, they say, cannot be wholly pure.

And he knows how to stop her.

“If you don’t mind, I’ve got something on my mind, too.” He smiles at her nervously in the silver light of the moon. His façade is perfect.

The relief she feels is immediately visible on her face. Maybe he’ll want to break it off first? She’s young, unused to such difficult emotional decisions. Breaking up is easier to think about than to do.

“I know it hasn’t been too long since we’ve been together.” Punctuate the comment with a pause, a deep breath. “But I can’t pretend any longer.” Another beat, let her anticipation build.

“I love you.”

And now their positions are reversed. She’s hooked, instantly. She’ll stand by him right up until he discards her. And when he does, she’ll be left feeling jaded, cynical, and used.

Did you find it?

Those of you who guessed “I love you” receive one point. Those of you who thought the whole story was a fabrication receive ten points. Those of you who realize that nothing I say is wholly fact or fiction, you win.

I’m trying to change, though. Not because I feel guilty, but because I don’t. I’ve hurt so many people. I’ve broken hearts and ruined friendships, and never felt any guilt or shame.
Like any drug, after a while, the high gets further from you. After a while you do it because you have to, not because you want to.

So I’m getting help. I’ve started therapy. That’s what all this is. I’m supposed to write down how my problem has affected and shaped my life. My doctor says this journal will be a map of my road to recovery. I think she’s full of shit, but I’m paying to see her, so it’d be pretty stupid of me to just ignore her suggestions.

She says I can lie in here as long as I tell the truth eventually, but that once something’s in here, I can’t change it. I guess we’ll see how it works out.


Benji said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. You sir, have a quite a talent bringing verisimilitude to your stories.


luckeyfrog said...

I told you already that I like this premise (for the book). It's a good idea.

I think you do a good job of breaking the fourth wall, so to speak, in your writing. I always feel awkward doing that, but you really seem to be able to pull it off and make it seem natural.