Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Entry #196

Catching Lies
by Liz SanFilippo

After we pass a 'no trespassing' sign in the sand, I tug Nathan's shirt.

"Don't worry, kid. We're just in Nazi territory."

He's always making up lies, but I know better. I learned in Social Studies that Nazis were in Germany, not Michigan. I want to catch him in a lie, like the one about finding a creek that ran with blood. He wouldn't shut up about it. But I'm not stupid.
The wind stings my cheeks. I jump over the waves, which are so loud we don't hear the buzzing noise until a go-cart rolls to a stop next to us. The Nazi found us. I'm waiting for Nathan to lie, to get us outta here, but he says nothing.

The Nazi yells, "This beach belongs to--"

A caw cuts the air. Wings flash through the sky. Before I can tell if it's a Bald Eagle - Nathan claimed he saw one - he starts pulling me along. I run with him. The Nazi is distracted by the eagle but then his go-cart pows like a gun.

We pass a trespassing sign facing the opposite way, but we keep going. I stumble. Nathan rolls after me. We splash into red water. WATER! It’s a creepy red, but it’s totally water.

Nathan's a jerk. I might be a kid, but I know better. The Nazi turns around. I shove Nathan down. He pushes back. We get soaking wet and start freezing our butts off, but I don't care.


Laurel said...

Great voice and thought process. I remember that feeling...when you are with another kid and you know they are lying about whatever they are telling you. Well, you're pretty sure. No way that could be right. But what if it was?

Deb Smythe said...

I agree, love the voice. You nailed the kid's POV.

Jean Ann Williams said...

Great scene of two friends. Very real, like when I was a child with a lying friend and the trouble we got into. Ha!

Jean Ann

Preeti said...

Sweet. Also interesting that he knows his friend's a liar yet he's all for him. Beautiful piece.
Liked. Very much. :-)

lena said...

That is some great scene. Love the voice in this one. The whole piece is very very real.

Aniket said...

Echo to Deb. Love the voice and the grasp of kids POV. The vulnerability and second guessing his thoughts. Perfect.

kashers said...

This got me thinking how as children, while able to intuitively know when people are lying, we let them carry on. But, when we become adult, we banish the liar ever thereafter... despite the fact we are doubtless guilty of the same crime at some time or other ourselves.

laughingwolf said...

good'un, liz!

Kartik said...

Fantastic POV writing. You nailed it! :)

James R. Tomlinson said...

I'd much prefer the fib being a fib. The real Nazi takes away from that, takes away from your fibbers authenticity.

Aerin said...


Something I Would Keep

I love the concept of the Nazi. I called my yoga instructor in Cali the YogaNazi. I can totally picture some guy, protective of his property, getting "those darn kids" with his go-cart.
Something I Might Tweak

I'm an idiot, but I don't get why there's red water. I know it's proof Nathan's not fibbing, but I still don't get it - toxic? algae?

Sarah Laurenson said...

Chilling. Not sure if it's blood staining the water red? Only time I've been in red water, it contained iron filings.

Great voice.

TA Novak said...

go-cart"pows like a gun" Suggest that the go-cart backfires and "it sounds like a shotgun."

Good piece, makes you think of being 10-12 with your pal doing what you are supposed to do.

Craig said...

Very convinving child POV.

JaneyV said...

Nathan sounds to me like he has a fabulous imagination and his little friend is both in awe of him and sceptical about his stories. I don't think he's a liar but I think that all he sees get wrapped up in the stories he's heard.

I love the child's voice and the way you unfolded the story through his eyes, Nathan's stories and what we the reader can see to be the truth.

Very nicely done.

pjd said...

I love the way you said it's a trespassing sign going the other way... a little twisted with the "no trespassing" sign going toward the Nazi. the Nazi is great.

I'm with Aerin. Not sure of the significance of the red water.

catvibe said...

Interesting, you have a creek running with blood, then red water at the end. It vaguely reminds me of the movie (not the book) The Shining, in which red blood was used in various scenes, including coming out of the elevator when it opened. It had no purpose in the movie (and, as I said, was not in the book except to be a metaphor Kubrick wanted to use to highlight the massacre of native americans in this country. Your water has that same kind of, hmmm, what does that mean...feeling behind it.

It makes me think. That's what it does. It makes me wonder if it's a child's fantasy, or nightmare, of something much darker that can't even be thought of, and so the water is red.

And it is a fantasy right? I mean, there is no real Nazi here, unless they went into a time machine. This is child's play, and they are imagining him, right?