Lie to Me

May. 31st, 2010 10:26 pm
[personal profile] lettersforblood
This is set in the 'verse of my story Pantheon. POV is that of Timothy Carpenter. Prompt is from [community profile] musing_way.


I’m a child. No matter how old I get, I’ll always be a child. So very few people believe me when I say that I’m there to bring them to the beyond-world.

With children, it’s easier. I can tell them anything, and they believe me. But it’s also harder. I can’t answer all of their questions, because there are things about the beyond-world that I simply don’t know.

I met Susie at her mother’s funeral. It was a very nice ceremony; there were flowers sending fountains of scent into the air and people crying quietly and other people hugging them. No one noticed me. Just another little child dressed in somber colors, waiting to pay his respects to the dead. His mother must be around somewhere, they supposed.

My mother was with Susie’s mother. Where I’d taken Susie’s mother after I’d paid my respects. I had nothing to say to the shell in the casket. I was here to talk to the woman’s daughter.

Susie looked over when I came close. She was clinging to her father’s hand, but unlike most of the other people there, she didn’t look like she’d been crying. Her chin was set and her eyebrows were pulled down. She looked determined, not sad.

I watched her for a while. She went over to the casket at one point, still holding on to her father’s hand. Then she looked at him and asked him, point-blank, “But where’s Mommy?”

I smiled.

Her father had been crying. He looked confused at her question. “What do you mean, sweetheart? That’s Mommy. That’s all that’s still Mommy.” He started to cry again.

“No,” she said. “This isn’t Mommy. Where did Mommy go?”

I went over to her. “Someone nice took her away,” I said.

Susie looked at me. She was about six, her eyes already dark and much older than she was. “How do you know?” she asked.

“I was there.”

“Young man,” her father said, his offense overriding his grief, “I really don’t think—”

“What were you going to say?” I looked at him, letting him see just a fraction of what I am. “Were you going to tell her about Heaven? Make up some fairy tale about how everything will be all right, because Mommy was a good person? You don’t know that. You don’t know where she is or if she’s anywhere. That’s why you’re sad.”

Susie stamped her foot, calling my attention back to her. “Where is she?”

I could have lied. Lies were easy. Lies made people feel good, like they knew what was coming. Lies comforted the people who’d been left behind—they were a good person, they’ll be fine.

But I’m not anyone else. I don’t lie about death. And she would have found out in a while anyway. “I don’t know,” I said.

“Why not?” she asked.

“That’s someone else’s job.”

“Oh,” she said, and as I looked at her, it finally hit me that this was her. This little girl, Susanne Williams, was going to take over for me. Maybe in a month, maybe in five years, but I was done.

I was going to the beyond-world. And I had no idea what would happen then.

I wished someone would lie to me.



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