Spot 038: Without a Word of Lie


by Sandra Davies

‘The whole thing was a lie, we know that!’
‘Yes, but you and I know a different lie to the others – after all, we told the first, the biggest lie, and although at the time they were exhausted enough not to question it, to accept it at face value, you can bet your sweet life, once they’d got home, had a bath, been fed …’
‘… and got over the fucking nightmares!’
‘They’d not’ve been so bad for them as it was for us!’
‘Still bad though … but Stu … he was always the weakest of the lot …’
‘Which was why we did what we did! He was obviously the one most likely to, so it made sense to offer him up as a scapegoat …’
‘An apparent scapegoat, don’t forget – there was never any intent to … though he obviously didn’t trust us any more than he trusted him.’
‘We couldn’t have told him the truth, he didn’t have the balls to pretend …’
‘Nor the brains. Didn’t have the sense to keep quiet either.’
‘And it was our ill-luck that he had a brother with both brains and balls. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t be in this mess now!’
‘Potential mess …’
‘All the more potential for you being so intent on getting your end away. Christ almighty, man, this is the second time in a month a fuck of yours has landed me in deep shit – I’ve a mind to cut it off for you!’

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.



by Gita M. Smith

We were in the crowded elevator, and they were standing two layers of people away from me. They talked in low tones, but I mean, come on. Who doesn’t hear a conversation in an elevator?
I could smell Helen’s scent, her old standby Shalimar, through the double-wall of bodies, and I could hear Calvin’s murmuring, low and insistent.
“A quick dinner, then, say 7-ish at the Tavern?”
TAVERN? Tavern on the Green? I had begged him to take me there on our anniversary. We’d ended up at Fu-Chow’s (as always) for the tired mandarin beef and kung-pao chicken.
I strained to see whether Helen was nodding or shaking her head. Nodding it appeared.
“Great, I’ll see you there.”
The door opened, Calvin strode out of sight and the crowd reshuffled.
I eased forward and tapped Helen on the shoulder blade. Hard.
She turned, eyes widening with a quick intake of breath. So predictable, the eyes, the breath, the 20-year old “signature” perfume.
“I hear you may have dinner plans,” I said.
“Not.. no, not if you’d rather…”
“Yes,” I said cheerily, “I’d love to go in your place.”
I almost said, “Let it be our secret,” but I remembered where we were.
Eleven riders were looking somewhere else. One was texting, even though there was no signal in this elevator shaft.
Helen departed on floor sixteen, and I continued riding.
“So,” I said, digging in my purse for my wallet. “What’s the going price for silence nowadays?”

See Authors page for Gita’s bio.



by Paul de Denus

Lying in the emergency room, I find no solace in God. He’s hanging there on the wall, a golden sliver on natural wood, silently watching over the gurney, half-naked, stripped – much like me – to his skivvies. Through puffy eyes, I hone in on the middle part of his thin chest, just below the ribcage, silently seethe – ‘right there asshole… that’s the spot… feel that!’ I asked you for a bit of help last week… remember… reluctantly of course… when all other natural options for relief failed. I thought I’d give you a try, even threw in an Allah or two and a Shiva for good measure… just in case you were all on the same frequency.
Your silence is killing me.

My wife slumps in the corner. Her eyes look like they’re going to fall out of her head. We’ve said little.
“How do you feel?”
“Fine,” I lie.
“Don’t worry,” she lies back. “You’ll be okay.”
We should be talking more but I’m afraid I might cry.

Where the fuck is that goddamn doctor anyway? I’ve pissed in a bottle and passed the EKG. That was two hours ago. I tilt my head and stare at the golden boy. He doesn’t look in pain though I imagine his circumstance could be much worse than mine. Maybe that’s why they put him there?
“Hey buddy, look at this poor schmuck! You ain’t got it so bad!

“Are you praying?”
“Me? No.” I lie.
“Well… only for a doctor.”

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.



by Michael D. Brown

The panel comprises four former politicians, two lifetime reporters, and the host. All are now considered political analysts, although the host is usually referred to as a pundit, given he has such a way with words. He’s been a moderator for years now, and is good at cutting off speakers who occasionally veer off topic. The one to watch, however, is Adela Richardson. She’s done prime-time news for all the major networks and freelances with specials called “slice of life” investigations where she never pokes fun at her unfortunate subjects. Here, she’s a regular and about as popular as the host, who can frequently be caught smiling while she has her way with these good old boys and gals. As loud as they raise their voices attempting to override interruption, she dances over their words. Even Ryan Burrows, the other reporter, knows enough to let her have her head. He admires her. She’s good. She knows these newly appointed experts have lost their “lie-ability,” a phrase she is granted with coining, and though they are no longer afraid of her, they still respect her many years at the helm. Many credit her influence in having that old pervert Egon Murvitz almost admit what he’d done with those Congressional pages before stepping down, and, I kid you not, for turning four Senators into respectable citizens in their retirement. But these guys, and Olivia Harrington—they’ve never had proper changes of heart. They remain fair game under her cleaver every Saturday afternoon.

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.



Illustrations for Spot 038 supplied by Sandra Davies.


5 Comments to “Spot 038: Without a Word of Lie”

  1. Lying and truth and fiction — shades or degrees of the same thing? Michael tickled my “wry” bone with his distinction between commentator and pundit. Politics is such a rich vein when it comes to lying, isn’t it? And egos.
    Sandra, I had not heard that term “have his end away” in 30 years. It is never used in the USA, although it was in Canada. Funny. Your two desperados were suitably argumentative. I always think of criminals as arguing amongst themselves.
    Paul’s man on a gurney made me squirm. He must have been in a Cathoilic hospital because the ones around here have no religious icons on the walls. I can’t think of much worse than being in pain and having one’s gaze fall upon a crucifix. Bleh.
    We may be a small band but we write like the pros.

  2. Gita – that ‘getting his end away’ just came to me as I was typing this, but did get changed to the equally old-fashioned ‘shagging’ when the piece arrived at its final destination. I need to get out more … And the potential for fiction in an elevator is exploited to the full here – the ’20-year old “signature” perfume especially telling.
    I too squirmed at the idea of lying under a crucifix in hospital, and the seen-to-be-necessary lying reassurances, too close to home to be comfortable with, and Michael encapsulates precisely why I do not watch ‘Question time’ late at night. Gita, Paul and Michael – different voices, equal talents.

  3. unfortunately, my story happened to me last weekend- a real wake-up call-
    @Gita- yes it was a Catholic ER /hospital- I will try to continue here when I can.

  4. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Paul. Been there. Shaking hands with one’s own mortality is damned scary. I really really really LOVE the illustrations, S. And, again, what a treat to see everyone’s mind at work!

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