Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Certain Lies (495 words)

Callista leaned out over the railing, her eyes on her namesake, the stars of the constellation known as the Big Dipper or the Mother Bear. She thought it was fitting that the two names sounded like they were arguing between a great insult and a great compliment. Her whole life seemed to be wrapped like a poorly woven maypole in lines of idiocy and brilliance.

She was getting tired of it. Bone-deep weary from believing she was right and suddenly realizing she was an idiot. Exhausted even from thinking she’d been walking a line of stupidity and then looking up to find it had been brilliance. Callista wanted flat certainty.

But she wasn’t even sure she was looking up at the right stars.

Callista tilted her head, tried to pin the faint dots in their places in the sky, and glared.

“I think if you stand on your head, you can turn Erasus the Conquerer into an exploding pineapple,” her brother said, somewhere behind her.

Callista glanced over her shoulder without bothering to ease her expression. “Wouldn’t an exploding pineapple look the same as an exploding anything?”

“Nope,” Nich said. “Exploding pines are more splinter-y. Exploding apples are more saucy. Exploding pineapples are just sort of stringy.”

Callista blinked at him. “And they all probably look mostly like big clouds of flaming black ash.”

“Well, yes,” Nich said. He nodded, looking at her with narrowed eyes as if that was only half reasonable. “Splinter-y, saucy, and stringy clouds of black ash.”

“Clouds are clouds,” she said.

“Well, yes,” he said again. “But the flames–”

“Flames are flames,” she said.

“Well, yes…”

She waited for him to tack on his next argument, ready to argue down his absurdity again. She leaned into the balcony rail, watching the shadows on his face for a long, steady moment before she realized he was smiling.

“But?” she prompted.

Nich’s smile widened. “Nothing,” he said gently. “You’re all right.” He nudged her with his elbow.

She blinked, almost missing his statement in the way he slid the words together.

“You don’t know…”

“I don’t have a clue,” Nich said happily.

“You haven’t heard…”

“Anything about anything,” he assured her. He leaned against her again. “I don’t have to. You’re still all right.”

Callista stared him. Looking away, she shook her head. She stumbled over anything to say in response to that. Finally, she stuttered through, “That’s not really helpful.”

“I know,” Nich said.

“It’s probably not even true,” Callista said.

“I do lie a lot.”

“Always.”

He tilted his head, weighing that uncertainly. “Less than that.”

She conceded with a nod. “Almost always.”

“Closer to never.”

“You’re an idiot.”

He laughed. “Hey, look, you lie, too!”

“Whatever,” Callista said. She rested her head against his shoulder, and wrapped her arm through his, hands tightening around his sleeve harder than she’d expected. “Just tell me where the Big Dipper is.”

He laughed quietly and pointed upward. “A little to the left of the exploding pineapple…”

I’m a thief. I stole the first line of this piece from my friend, Kathryn. Be sure to stop by her blog tomorrow to see the original story she wrote.

One thought on “Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Certain Lies (495 words)

  1. Pingback: Challenge: Legal Theft: Man Overboard (517 words) | Nine Pages

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s