Lies Travel Like News

Submitted by Autumn Burke to Contest #12 in response to: Write a story that takes place in a small town where news travels fast.... view prompt

I felt the truth lay heavily on my shoulders. Despite the news traveling fast because it was a small town, I was the last to hear about it. My parents were part of a plane-crash. The police officers looked worriedly to me, thinking I was going to break into tears.


but...


I couldn't.


I just... smiled.


I smiled because my parents were dead.

As I raised my head from looking at the ground the police officers saw my smile and looked concerned as I calmly replied with, "Thank you for letting me know,"

The officers looked at each other and then at me, the Sherrif asking a concerned question, "W-we don't have any remains for a funeral... are you... alright with that?"

I tapped my finger on my chin, "Did they fall on land or on the sea?"

"Sea, ma'am,"

"Then, I'll have a small funeral on the beach for them, that'd be close enough" I continued smiling, while the police officers seemed to grow more and more concerned. I couldn't frown, despite the fact that seemed to be what they had wanted to happen. They must think I'm crazy. They smiled awkwardly and made some more apologies as they walked out.


I closed the door behind them and sighed, I didn't understand why I wasn't sad, but it didn't bother me much. I walked to the counter to cook myself some dinner and hoped for the best.


The next morning I walked outside to go to Highschool and realized everyone was avoiding me as I walked. I sat down in class after putting my extra things in my locker and waited for class to start. No matter what, though, I was never called. This repeated for the whole school day. Why was everyone acting so strange?


I walked home after this bizarre thing, but it wasn't different for the neighbors around me. What was going on...? I walked to the store and picked up a newspaper, wanting to know if something had happened. The words showed, "Soulless Girl Loses Her Parents" with a picture of me next to it. Wait- what?


I read through the article. Apparently, because I didn't show any sadness for my parents passing away, I was considered a "soulless demon" and to stay away from me at all costs. I growled a bit as I put the paper back on the rack, not even bothering to go and buy the food I was originally going to get after I checked.


I thought for a bit while walking. A lie would suffice, just change everyone's minds. The news, after all, spreads fast. News can lie without realizing it. The news can lie while realizing it but hiding it as well. All I had to do was find a way to show the lie.


So, the first thing I did was talk to the newspaper editors. I talked them into letting me have a job. I created a whole page for the paper about how I wasn't soulless, and cast it out. The next day people had started talking to me even more than they did before!


News travels fast, but news always hides lies. That, my friends, is an advantage for those who wish to paint a better or worse picture of themselves or others.

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