A Lie in the Waikato

A Lie in the Waikato

A Story by William Richards
"

The art of deception.

"
'Everyone lies,' Lizzie said. She took another gulp of pale ale and handed it back to Peter. They laid side-by-side under a kowhai tree in the twilight.

Peter had bragged to Lizzie that he found the ale hidden behind the sofa at home. Surely getting into trouble for her was attractive.

They liked to meet here, on his dad's large farm--it took a drone thirty minutes to cover. It had been passed down from generation to generation. They were free out here, away from the confusing world.

Lizzie made him nervous. Amazing that they were dating at all. She was so stylish, with her sunglasses pushed onto her head keeping blonde hair off porcelain skin, and the green blouse and designer shoes that were the same colour as her eyes. Had she realised they were matching?

'I'm a good liar,' he replied. He swigged the ale. It tasted bitter; he tried not to gag. Why did his dad like it so much? Still, Lizzie seemed to enjoy it. He placed the bottle aside. He did not want to get her drunk.

'In what way?' Lizzie asked. She traced the tips of her fingers over the zig-zag scar on his forearm. She soothed the memory of the pain of the nail that tore his skin as he fell from a roof he should not have been on. Despite the numbness, it felt electric.

'I don't make it blatant by being super serious or too wimpy,' he said. His abilities would impress her.

'Well, most people know that already,' she said, leaning on her side to face him.

He played with one of his blonde dreadlocks. She was not easy to impress. He would have to try harder. She might get bored with him otherwise. 'I'm just real casual about it, you know. Just slip it in, no big deal.'

'Like what?'

'Like tonight. To get out here. To be with you. I told my dad I would be in my room studying. He’ll have my guts for garters if he works it out.'

'But it's the holidays.'

'But we have Level Three exams next term. So, I told him what he wanted to hear. He bought it.'

A nearby cow's moo echoed around the billboard rock formations and steep slopes that surrounded them. Opposite, across the floodplain, lonely pine trees stood in single-file like in an identity parade.

The small groove at the tip of her nose twitched. 'Were you lying when you said you loved me?' she asked.

Peter suddenly noticed the tone of her voice had changed from playful to concerned. She grasped his arm now, rather than stroking it, and her expression resembled a Tui trapped in the rain.

His face reddened. 'No, of course not.'

'But you said you were, "a good liar". You could just lie to me so I'd kiss you.'

'You said, “Everyone lies”. I was just agreeing with you.'

'But I meant white lies. Lies to not upset Aunty Bronwyn about the scarf she knitted. My mum says white lies stop us from being rude.'

'I guess that sounds about right.' Peter slumped onto the cold ground. She did not appreciate what he had done to be with her. That was clear. Now she wouldn't be able to trust him anymore. That sucked.

'Never lie to me,' she said looking serious, 'except if I ask you if my bum looks big.'

They heard a whirring sound. One of his dad's drones flew over the edge of the surrounding steep hill, straight over the yellow blossoms of the kowhai tree. It whizzed past, its camera pointed in the wrong direction to see them.

They sat upright. 'Bugger! My dad's looking for me.' Peter’s heart pounded. 'Run!'

They ran up a gently sloping area in the surrounding steep hills, and then onto flatter grounds with numerous fields. Hand-in-hand, they jogged beside the fence-lines. Dairy cows, bewildered by the commotion, anxiously mooed. After several minutes, they found cover behind a hedgerow from where they could see Lizzie's house a hundred yards over an empty paddock. The drone was no longer in sight.

Panting, Lizzie managed to smile, showing slightly wonky front teeth. 'Not such a convincing liar, after all. There's hope for us yet.' She looked at him and he knew this was the moment to kiss her. His stomach twisted but he drew his face closer. Their lips touched. They kissed. When she finally pulled away he was mesmerised.

Peter watched her run home and then negotiate the back door of her cottage. Satisfied she was inside safely, he strode homeward with a walk similar to his dad's swagger. Despite worrying what he would say to his father, he whistled. Lizzie liked him even though he'd been a clown. Neat.

Home came into view. It was modern, designed in the shape of a clover. The kitchen, dining room, and living room were the three leaves of the shamrock. A thick stem consisted of a hallway and adjoining bedrooms and toilets. He shook his head while entering the vestibule. They did not need such a big house now his mum had left with his sister. Gone back to Ireland. Something his dad did. He never found out what. He placed his shoes on the shoe rack.

'Is that you, Peter?' his father called.

'Yeah, Dad, I'm back.' Peter walked through the hallway into the living room and sat opposite his father: a chubby sixty-year-old man with a balding scalp and shaggy beard. Black-grey chest hair shot up from the collar of a green T-shirt. His hand rested on brown stubbies as he cradled a bottle of the home brew.

'Did you get her drunk like I said, boy?' he asked, fixing his bloodshot eyes onto Peter. ‘I tried to see how you were doing with the drone.’

'No, I didn't get her drunk.'

'You should have. Always worked for me.'

Images of Lizzie flashed into his mind. The small groove on her nose. Her slightly wonky teeth. Her pale skin. Running through fields while holding hands. The thought of misleading her punched at his gut. He focussed hard to stay calm.

'Yeah, nah, that's not right, Dad.'

'Why not? She won't like you unless you impress her, you know.'

But she had kissed him, hadn't she? She had kissed him and said there was hope for them yet. And that was despite the plan he and his dad had come up with to impress her.

His father’s words bounced around his head. They sounded thin, like a cry echoing about the countryside, and damaged, like the scar on his arm. The farm may be passed down to him, but he could be his own man.

He headed towards his room for the night. On his way out, he said: 'We don't lie to each other, Dad. It’s not who I am. And she’s too good for that.'

© 2016 William Richards


Author's Note

William Richards
Thank you for reading. This is a work of fiction and all characters and events are fictional. All constructive comments are welcome. Image is from Wikipedia.

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Featured Review

That's a good story to tell.
Its both entertaining and educative. Exactly the type that I like.

Your writing is descriptive enough to immerse, yet not too much to the point where it makes the reader just want to skim through paragraphs. I really liked this story, especially the ending.

It caught me by surprise, I think the Dad's kinda cool, even if he is misled. The idea of him giving the son the ale and having him lie about it is both whacky and endearing.

Thank you for the story, it was lovely.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

William Richards

3 Years Ago

Cheers for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)



Reviews

The young man's superior attitude to his father at the end was perfectly human and real. This was a great read - short, and sweet. The drone? Clever clue about the "when" without stating it. I like this. A lot.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

William Richards

2 Years Ago

Thanks Carol, much appreciated your gracious comments and pleased the drone helped with establishing.. read more
Interesting tale and good characterisation and description. Kept me hooked as a short story.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

William Richards

2 Years Ago

Thank you John. I'm pleased it was interesting :)
This is good writing. The dialogue between the two is very natural and believable - not an easy thing! In a laid back way you've made an enjoyable story about how we all bend to truth to suit our purposes.
Well done,
Alan

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

William Richards

2 Years Ago

Thanks Alan. I appreciate your praise of the dialogue in particular. Thank you for reading
That's a good story to tell.
Its both entertaining and educative. Exactly the type that I like.

Your writing is descriptive enough to immerse, yet not too much to the point where it makes the reader just want to skim through paragraphs. I really liked this story, especially the ending.

It caught me by surprise, I think the Dad's kinda cool, even if he is misled. The idea of him giving the son the ale and having him lie about it is both whacky and endearing.

Thank you for the story, it was lovely.

Posted 3 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

William Richards

3 Years Ago

Cheers for the review, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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Added on May 7, 2016
Last Updated on June 18, 2016

Author

William Richards
William Richards

Hamilton, Waikato, New Zealand



About
I am a guy who enjoys writing. I dunno why. It's just a thrill when you create something believable which conveys emotion and to know you made it all up. I have a wonderful wife and blessed with a .. more..

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