Friday Fiction…Etta and the Lie

How in the name of all that is alive in this universe do you
expect me to choose between a Friday Fiction prompt like this
and sitting in the sunshine. It is just too hard!!!
Etta is a character that I have written about
for months. Going back and reading the previous stories might be helpful.

Sketch out a character with wildly bad luck.

Make it a character you like,

as we will use her again.

Etta had just moved in with Jeffery when the lying began. She had told people that she was childless, married for money and lived a upscale life style. The trouble was she could not remember what was true and what was not. She knew she had a family of children but when she told Jeffery she had 10…where did that come from? Ten!!! She knew it was not true. She knew that no man would get started making babies and not stop until there were ten while married to her. She would have not been that good of a mother.

She did know that she came from stock that did not see the fault in telling lies, using people and getting what they wanted without a thought about the consequences.

Her sister, Mary, had never left the home place on the other side of the swinging bridge. She did not see the need for it. She was much older than Etta and had endured her childhood with an eye to survival.

Mary had kept a place in town on the corner of a block near the church and close to the last child in the family. Blanche was the one that really made the money. Several men were left with a dime in their pocket and Blanche had it all.

So Mary’s house in town was beautiful, white with grand trees around it. The community had come to call her Aunt Mary and she wore a bun on the back of her head that was white and perfect. The antiques in her house were exquisite. She was a member of the local sorority ladies and invited speakers, pianist and men with authority to come and make a presentation afterwards. Local teachers boarded in the upstairs corner bedroom, down the hall from hers and respectability oozed from every pore.

In the little community where Etta, Mary, Blanche and Wesley were raised there was a history, a lurking under current of evil that one could only guess at. The people lived with it like those people that live close to disaster zone live…aware and blind at the same time. Third and fourth generation families were living there and if a new comer asked for the truth, there was no way to explain it all. What was, was.

So as Etta began to think about home… she knew that there she could be herself if she wanted to. She could let her guard down and choose to tell lies or not. People there were accustomed to the unlikely and warped.

Jeffery and his wife were beginning to be suspicious. While Jeffery wanted her to be his mother, live in the back room, his wife was not for it at all. They had both made it happen but they were beginning to wonder if they would live to regret it. If Etta were to go as she had come, without warning or notice, they all knew there would be a sigh of relief. And Etta knew that it was what she had always done…when things got uncomfortable, when she made her own bad luck, she left and created a new personae. Maybe the time had come. There was only one thing she needed to do before she went…she needed to tell the truth just this one time.

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8 thoughts on “Friday Fiction…Etta and the Lie

  1. I LOVE the opening line. It works on a couple different levels. At first I was expecting the lies to come from somewhere else. Etta is pretty fascinating, especially considering that she seems to be losing herself in her own lies.

  2. This is also my first encounter with Etta, so I also expected something different from the first line!I like the route that the bad luck doesn’t just happen, but is a consequence of Etta’s own decisions to lie, whether or not she understands why she does it.

  3. I am meeting Etta for the first time too, I know that liars often have trouble with the lies. I think you told it well, that Etta was concious of the lies and could at times be human enough to feel guilt about how the lies affect others. Being from the south, I often am told things about folks that I’m not supposed to tell- which makes me a part of a living lie. like knowing who shot their husband, but since she wasn’t found guilty, it was like it didn’happen when we all know it did. There are a lot of unmentionable truths in the south that we all choose to cover up with lies.

  4. There were two powerful images that I really enjoyed. I loved the undercurrent of evil and living near the disaster zone. I also loved how you described Mary with her white hair pulled into a bow. Etta is very mysterious. I’m curious as to how she came to live with Jeffery in the first place.

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