I Am Not A Liar.

Submitted into Contest #156 in response to: Write a story about a pathological liar.... view prompt

20 comments

Funny

I am not a liar. That’s the truth.

Well, I mean, in all honesty, we do all tell little lies, little fibs, half-truths, or omissions. But those aren’t real lies. They don’t make you a liar.

You know what I mean; when you tell a girl her dress looks well, or that she hasn’t put on weight, or that you’re still attracted to them. Those little white lies don’t count. 

There’s lots of different types of lies too. 

Sure, look at my tinder profile for example. It’s not exactly the most accurate representation of myself but I’m not really lying. 

Am I six foot three? No, I’m five foot seven. 

Do I enjoy swimming? No, I can’t swim at all.

Am I single? No, I’m married. 

But those aren’t real lies, the Internet isn’t a real place. So they don’t count. Some would call it cat-fishing, some would call it adultery. But no one would call it lying. Because it isn’t. I am not a liar. That’s the truth. 

And little white lies and half-truths are better for my wife really because the truth would only hurt her. So I hide the whole truth from her for her own good. It’s what any good husband should do. Let me give you a few examples, so you can judge for yourself:

If she knew I didn’t love her any more it would break her heart - so I tell her I do. 

If she knew I was sleeping with other women she would be upset - so I don’t tell her. 

If she knew the state of our finances she would worry - so I tell her everything is fine. 

Can you see how considerate I am now? So those don’t count as lies. How could they? Because I don’t lie. I am not a liar. That’s the truth. 

But isn’t lying a funny thing? All the religions of the world tell us to seek truth, how the truth will set us free, blah blah blah. 

But there is such a thrill with lying, and I mean proper lying, not the little fibs that I might tell on occasion. 

Proper lies makes you feel giddy. Sometimes your palms sweat. Sometimes your heart races. Sometimes you blush. Sometimes you can’t look at the person in the eye. 

But that’s just for amateurs. If I ever had to tell a lie, I wouldn’t react at all. I’d be as cool as a banana in a fridge. 

But I don’t lie. I am not a liar. That’s the truth.

“Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.” That’s what the Bible says, if you believe that. But I have never bore false witness. I mean, thankfully I’ve never been called as a witness, never even been inside a courthouse would you believe. But if I were I would never bear false witness. Goodness no! And especially not against my neighbour. Because I rather like Bob. Mind you, I like his wife a lot more, wild redhead thing she is. 

I’ll tell you a little secret my wife doesn’t know. If you sit on my garden seat and lean back you can look straight into their bedroom! And let’s just say she doesn’t always close the curtains, if you know what I mean!

Of course Bob doesn’t know that, I’d never tell him even if he asked. He’d only get mad and he’s got a gun. So that wouldn’t be a lie neither. I don’t tell lies. I am not a liar. That’s the truth. 

Now if Bob didn’t have his gun, then I’d take him no problem. Did I ever tell you about the time I knocked out McGregor in a pub in Dublin? He had been mouthing off so I stood up and told him to shut it. One thing led to another and before you know it we were outside brawling. He got three good punches off before I let fly and knocked him out cold! Flat on his back he was! 

But that’s hardly surprising because Mike Tyson once saw me training in the gym and told me I had the strength and ability of a world champion boxer. But at the time, I was just newly married and had other priorities so never pursued it. The things that pass you by, eh?

But Bob? Bob wouldn’t have stood a chance, if it weren’t for his gun. Actually, now that I think of it, I could probably knock the gun out of his hand before he could pull the trigger. I’ve fast hands. Lightening fast. Probably the reason I’d make such a good boxer. And that’s no word of a lie! I don’t lie. I am not a liar. That’s the truth. 

Nah, I don’t lie, me. 

I mean, I did tell my boss that I was sick, and while that’s not exactly true, I don’t consider it a lie. I’m just taking what I’m owed. You see, I’ve been working so hard, so so hard and he just doesn’t appreciate it. So what’s a little fib to take what I’m owed? 

Sure, you might say I didn’t have to say that I had cancer. But I deserved at least six months off after working to the bone for the past year. Cancer was the only thing that would guarantee that. And, as an added bonus, when I’m miraculously cured it will be such a feelgood story it will boost the morale of everyone in work! So, really I’m doing them all a favour! 

I mean, some might call it dishonest, some might call it fraud. But I’m just taking what I’m owed. It’s not a lie though. I am not a liar. That’s the truth.

Here, while we’re talking about lies, do you know that game ‘One Truth and Two Lies’? No!? Ah come on, it’s very simple: all you do is say three statements about yourself - one of which is true and the other two are lies. I love that game. It’s a great icebreaker! 

So for example, I could say: 

Number One - I’m a swimming instructor at the local pool on the weekends. 

Number Two - I am undergoing treatment for cancer. 

Number Three - I have never told a lie in my life. 

You can see which one is the obvious truth. Because I don’t tell lies. I’m not a liar. And that’s the truth.

July 28, 2022 23:08

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20 comments

Michał Przywara
01:29 Jul 29, 2022

Heh :) This was an amusing story. I like the repeating mantra about not being a liar, and "Am I single? No, I’m married." made me laugh out loud. It's great, and insidious, how he rationalizes things. He paints himself as a hero, and that he's just collecting what he's owed. People like this exist. The ending is great :) One truth indeed.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:59 Jul 29, 2022

Thanks so much Michał, as you say people like this exist… maybe I should tag it as horror! I think that those sorts of people have to rationalise their lies, create their own narrative and see themselves as the “wronged”.

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J.C. Lovero
00:14 Jul 29, 2022

Hi Seán, What an interesting story. It's always intriguing to follow an unreliable narrator, and I found my head spinning with all of the lies (or truths) littered throughout. The narrator also has a unique voice. If I didn't know any better, he seems like a likable person. Or maybe he is, because he will always tell me exactly what I want! There were a few minor typos that you could clean up with another editing pass, but nothing major. I enjoyed it! Fave line: Because I rather like Bob. Mind you, I like his wife a lot more, wild redhe...

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:03 Jul 29, 2022

Thanks so much JC! Yeah, I imagined him as a man who’d tell you what he thinks you want to hear, smarmy git we’d call him here!

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Zelda C. Thorne
20:05 Jul 31, 2022

Hahahaha what a deluded creep. Enjoyed seeing him justifying everything. I laughed and rolled my eyes at him a few times. "But those aren’t real lies, the Internet isn’t a real place. So they don’t count." - omg I bet a staggering number of people feel this way... Nicely done👍

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Jay Mc Kenzie
02:23 Jul 29, 2022

Here is a classic example of a character we love to hate. Obviously, he's a total jerk, but he's quite charming and witty and you've written his voice so well. I could see this performed as a stage monologue with characters coming on and doing nice things for him (giving him a get well card for his cancer springs to mind) while he smiles and charms the audience. Nice work!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
11:56 Jul 29, 2022

Ooohhh Jay, don’t give me ideas! 😂 Thank you so much though!

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01:10 Jul 29, 2022

Well that was super fun. The length was perfect. I like how the lies got progressively bigger as the story went on. A couple minor places that I think needed some extra words. Some of that could have the voice you were trying to portray. I did sent you one on discord though to correct. Overall, I loved it. Something light and different.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:00 Jul 29, 2022

Thanks so much Jaden! Really appreciate it!!

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00:58 Jul 29, 2022

A wonderful perspective and structure. A bit terrified at the "truths"(pft-) littered throughout, but honestly that adds to the story. I love the bit about the neighbor's wife, the wild redhead as well as the ending. Oddly enlightening, I'm not sure how I find it such but.. Ya know.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:01 Jul 29, 2022

Thanks so much Leo, really appreciate it!

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Sofiya Batura
02:54 Aug 05, 2022

Wow this was great! I loved reading it and would love to read more of your posts in the future. Also, thanks for the game ‘One Truth and Two Lies’? I've never heard of it, but now I am very excited to give it a try the next time I am at some social gathering.

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Seán Mc Nicholl
23:45 Aug 06, 2022

Thanks so much Sofiya! Really appreciate you reading and commenting! And yeah, it’s a good ice breaker!

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Riel Rosehill
20:25 Jul 30, 2022

Hi Seán! So fun to follow a narrator when you know you can't believe a word of the narration, it was hilarious 😂 These super-flawed characters are so much more fun as well than the prim and proper - I should really write more of them too!

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Beth Jackson
07:44 Jul 30, 2022

I enjoyed this story, Seán! It was funny but also thought provoking. I really enjoyed the unreliable narrator - and how he was so likeable, despite his obvious character flaws… I laughed out loud at ‘am I single? No I’m married’ and the line about Bob’s wild redhead wife… Great read, thanks for sharing! :-)

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Aesha Amin
23:47 Jul 28, 2022

Sean!! The inner monologue worked so well to make me absolutely despise the main character. Here are some random notes (just some typos): “… would call at adultery.” *it? I might be wrong though lol “And little white lies and half-truths better for my wife really…” *…and half-truths are better… “But I don’t lies, I am not a liar.” *lie “And let’s just say she doesn’t always close the curtains, if you know what I mean!” i wanna punch this dude. “He’s only get mad and he’s got a gun.” *He’d “He got three good punches off before I let f...

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:05 Jul 29, 2022

Aesha!! Thank you so so so much!! I had used voice-to-text to write the bulk of it, and poor Siri doesn’t pick up my accent too well! You should have seen the original draft - illegible 😂

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23:39 Jul 28, 2022

A fun and fast paced story! I enjoyed how it started with little lies and then built up until we don't know what we are being lied to about. Also its a brilliant voice this is written in, sounds as if we’re having a drink with the narrator. Good work!

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Seán Mc Nicholl
12:06 Jul 29, 2022

Ah thanks so much Scott! Wouldn’t have to be having a drink with him though!!

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Victor Kilyungi
09:28 Sep 01, 2022

I like your sense of humor man. Reading this story has definitely been a pleasure.

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