Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Microstory 1572: Honest Eyes

My car broke down in the middle of the road, and there was no cell service, so I tried to flag down another car, but the only person who answered was...

...you guessed it. Joe. He was driving a brand-new Mercedes, and the song on the radio was about partying until dawn. So we went to the Sunset. And that’s when I discovered the first little side effect. Joe isn’t normal. He’s supernaturally enhanced. I knew it at first sight when he was throwing back shots and hooking up with other girls. But I figured it out later; he’s got these—what do they call them—veins in his neck, and when he’s all strung out and drunk, his eyes go silver. You think they do that with meth addicts? I mean, it’s genetic, right? He knows everything about me, because, right after we met, he dug deep into my past, and I was too afraid to tell him my full name, or where I went to high school or if I ever drank vodka in my bedroom as a teenager. Instead, I told him that I grew up in Seattle, and that I was in college, studying journalism, working on a story about SeaTac, the airport outside of Seattle where most of the charter flights go. And then I told...

...him that I worked for a reputable newspaper, which contradicted what I said earlier about being a college student. So he caught me in a lie, but he was fine, he just told me I had to tell him the truth from now on. That’s his power. I don’t know if the first and only lie was what bound me to his demands, but I’ve been telling him every little thought that pops into my head ever since then. There are no secrets between us, at least not from my end. He claims he tells me his own thoughts as well, but they could all be fabrications, or embellishments for all I know, because I’m not the one with a special ability. I’m ashamed to tell Joe that the reason my car broke down was, not because there’s something wrong with it, but because I purposefully let it run out of gas. I honestly don’t know for sure why I did it. I imagine it’s self-sabotage, because I have a really important meeting with my boss tomorrow and I can’t lie to her either. If I tell her I can’t make it because my car doesn’t work, my car has to actually not work. I remember one day in high school when I didn’t feel very well, but could have probably pushed through, and gone to my classes. I didn’t want to, though, so I blasted the air conditioning on what would turn out to be the coldest day of that winter, and then stuffed my face with doughnuts once I arrived. If I was feeling all right before, I sure as hell wasn’t now. Now I really did have to go home, and instead of being able to enjoy my day off, I retched every couple hours, and came this close to accidentally making my mom think I should go to the hospital. Joe says it’s okay...that’s it’s not a problem to lie to other people...that I’m just not allowed to lie to him. I couldn’t if I wanted to, I joke with him, and he responds by turning his eyes silver. “We are now equals,” he tells me, and I think he’s not wrong, because I can feel my own eyes change as well. They’re probably just as silver. “Now you can compel others to be honest. What are you gonna do with that?” I smile, and say, “I’m gonna spread it around. One day, the whole world shall tell the truth.” He smiles back, and then he drives us off to find our first convert.

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