Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Microstory 1778: Bullsh

I was a terrible liar when I was young. I would keep doing bad things, and trying to hide it from my parents, and they always realized right away that I wasn’t telling the truth. I just kept trying, and they kept seeing right through it. My father would get angry about it, and my mom was always disappointed, but not in the way you think. She too was a liar, but an expert at it. Over the years, I learned more about who she was, and what she did behind everybody’s backs. She shoplifted, pulled mean-spirited pranks on complete strangers, and cheated on her husband more times than want to think about. I was basically just like her, except that I wasn’t good at keeping secrets. Seeing my potential, she took special interest in me, but you wouldn’t know it if you were looking from the outside. She treated our lessons just like she did anything else, as nobody else’s business. Mother was a grifter before she met dad. He was the first man she met who she didn’t want to screw over, so she gave up that life, and settled down. She couldn’t let go of her compulsive habits, but she was no longer taking thousands of dollars from her victims. He provided them both with more than enough money, and that was really all she cared about, unlike the con artists you see in the movies, who apparently mostly do it for the thrill. She couldn’t be sure I would grow up to be a functioning member of society with a decent job, so she felt that she needed to teach me her old ways so I would have something to fall back on no matter what. It wasn’t normal, and it wasn’t moral, but she taught me that everyone has to come up with their own set of morals, and I believed her without question, because I couldn’t tell when she was lying. I’m better at spotting it now that I’ve gone through all my lessons, so I know that she legitimately believed that. Before she passed, she lived her life with no regrets, and she wanted me to live mine the same way. I have, but not as she imagined. I use my powers for good.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has an entire division dedicated to fraud, and that’s all well and good, but they don’t do what I do. They investigate crimes with forensics, by hunting for, and searching through, evidence. They don’t know what a grifter looks like. They just know what their victims look like when they’re done with them. It’s really obvious too, when a corporate executive turns out to have been embezzling, or cheating their customers out of the product or services they paid for. How do you find out which ones are bad, and which ones are good? Simple: they’re all bad. Every single one of them is a devil, and they’re not even in disguise. What I do is go after the people that are in disguise, or who work in the shadows. They make small scams here and there, which add up to a lot, and ruin a lot of people’s lives without anyone ever knowing their true identities. I can practically smell when someone is getting scammed. There’s a certain lightness in the air that most people can’t detect. I can teach you to find these people too. I believe everyone at this continuing education seminar can help me grow my team of investigators, which focuses on stopping the fraudsters that aren’t out in the open, and don’t ever end up in the news. I know I can do this for you, because not even work for the FBI. I made this badge in the bathroom this morning, after waking up and deciding on a whim what I was going to do today. I’m that good. Your real teacher will be coming in soon, but don’t tell her that I was here. She’ll ground me for a month if she finds out that I snuck into her building yet again. Parents just don’t understand, right?

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