Liar.

Short Story for Pretty little Liars competition.

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1. Liar.

 

 

“You’re such a liar,” my little sister yelled, smashing her hand on the table, “You always lie, I’m seven now and I want to know where they are really, how can two people be on holiday in Africa for three years?”

“C’mon Liz…” I said automatically, c’mon Liz was becoming my saying, c’mon Liz this, c’mon Liz that… If I wasn’t careful I’d forget how to say anything else and then I’d end up in the loony bin, wouldn’t be too bad though, I thought grimly, we could have a family reunion.

“Well actually, they were about to come home…” I put down the spoon I’d been eating with and stroked my chin, trying to think of something plausible, “… and just as they were boarding their flight there was this dust storm, that just came out of nowhere. The plane was tipped on it’s side,” I threw myself against the table to demonstrate.

“And two of the wings bent. The pilot got hit by a piece of shrapnel from the wing and bits of his brain were leaking out…” As I pretended to push brains back in I snuck a look at Elizabeth, her arms were folded across her chest and she gave me a dead expression.

Usually she’d be leaned forward, eyes shining. Something’s different, my mind whispered but I ignored it, I’ll just have to try harder.

“The moment the plane settled Mum was out of her seat and had run to the pilot, she took a knife out of her pocket and thrust it right here,” I shouted, pointing to my chest. Lizzy’s mouth hung open and I blinked, shit,shit,shit. An image of a Mum and a meat cleaver chopping at something on the table flashed though my memory. Shit,shit,shit. “Um…”

C’mon, she can’t know, she can’t know… “And ah… She cut the pilots shirt into strips, our Mum is really clever Lizzie, after that she tied them together to make a long strip of bandage, got Dad to push the brains back in and then wrapped the guy up!”

For a moment Liz smiled, it was fleeting though. That’s the trouble with kids, they want to know everything.

Another picture from the past, this time, I’m slightly closer to the bench and I can feel my legs tremble a little. I’m scared. “What are you doing Mum?” I ask, there’s blood on her gloves, blood on her apron, blood in her eyes. Dad puts a hand on my shoulder and he’s bloody too, “It’s just chicken,” he says with a snicker, “If you be good you’ll get some tonight too.”

“What happened after that?” Liz asks, bringing me back into the present. I stare at her ears, and the little flaps that wiggle when she speaks. I lower myself into a trance, speaking without thinking. It’s what I do best.

“And when the storm had cleared Mum and Dad helped everyone back into the airport, as they were carrying an old frail lady back a bunch of Zulu’s surrounded them. The Zulu’s wanted to kill the old lady with their Meat Cleavers…

The picture in front of my eyes changes, I’m 8 again. Dad puts me to bed but I really want to see what Mum’s doing, and Lizzie keeps crying. I get up, sneak into the kitchen. Everything is clean, a bottle of bleach, and a few cloths sit on the bench.

Lizzie’s quiet and I’m about to go back to bed when I see the rubbish bag in the corner. It’s full and I decide I have to see… Because kids just want to know everything.

I walk up, look inside…

“And then Dad befriended the Zulu leader, who took such a liking to him that he offered Dad his favourite daughter to marry, but Dad loves Mum so much that he declined the Zulu’s offer. At the moment Mum and Dad are writing down the Zulu tribe’s music to bring back so they can play for us.”

I stop, my story is finished and Lizzie gazes back at me with her sad little eyes. She sighs and then holds up a flyer from the funeral, it has a name on the front:

Brandon, Elm Peters.

Born 29,01,2008

Died 30,02,2014

 

“Where did you get that?” I snarled, grabbing it from her, Lizzie just shrugged, “I looked in your box, I found his birth certificate and everything. Ben,” she said staring at me, “If you’re not going to tell me what happened to Mum and Dad, at least tell me what happened to our brother.”

My lip bled, I wanted it to keep bleeding so I’d faint and wouldn’t have to tell her. But blood only flows well if you use a Meat Cleaver. “Ben,” she whispered, “If you don’t tell me I am going to ask Aunt Merdith.”

Her threat was valid, Aunt Merdith would tell her. She’d act all sorry about it, but she’d tell Lizzie all the same. She explained it all to me in it’s ‘glorious’ detail. The court ruling and the evidence and…

 No, better it come from me.

“Lizzie,” I said, breathing deeply. “Brandon was special, he was the happiest kid I’ve ever met. Wouldn’t harm a fly. In fact there was this one time-“

“Ben!” She scolded, “Don’t talk your way out of this.”

“Okay, okay…” I shudder, “When you were four, Brandon was six and I was eight, I couldn’t sleep one night.” I try my best not to glare at her, It’s not her fault, It’s not her fault, It’s not her fault.

“And I got up, went into the kitchen, saw a rubbish bag.” A few tears start to fall, Lizzie stares for a while, then shuffles over and hugs me, I let her for a moment then push her warm little body away. She wanted to know.

“And inside the rubbish bag was Brandon. All chopped up into little pieces because he had weird bones and a weird brain.” I screamed in my quietest voice. “He’s in a river or a lake our something, just a little pile of weird bones and maybe a weird tooth or two.”

Lizzie backs up against the wall, she’s scared, she’s crying.

“And that’s why Mum and Dad are never here, they’re not in Africa, they’re in a place with bars.” I shouted at Lizzie, for some reason resenting her, “And they’re never coming home.”

She glared back, through the tears in her eyes and whispered, “You’re such a liar.”

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