Wednesday, July 21, 2010

place mcholder

Gift - 230 words

Kevin Foster

Tom had a gift for lying. He lied regularly and about, well, everything. Tom lied about what time he would be home and what he had been doing while he was away. If you took him at his word, you might come to believe that Tom had seen every movie ever made, heard at least a few songs by every band – or at least any that you had specifically mentioned to him. Professors and employers, parents and policemen, all adored Tom – he was indeed charming – but of course, none knew of his serpent’s tongue, the one he used to turn their anger over his tardiness into pity for the truly strange occurrences in his life that could not be accounted for; he was instantly and intimately relatable. This was a gift for Tom and not for others, his friends, family.

Of course, to say that it was a gift may be slightly inaccurate; in Tom’s case, it was more a compulsion, the natural shape of his tongue and lips. He lied when it was unnecessary and even when it hurt him to do so. Tom lied to be understood, to be liked, for camaraderie, for love. Tom often looked for the truth, but found that it had left him or been misplaced. He wondered if he had ever known it to begin with and whether it really made any difference.

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