Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Game of Lies

The Liar was getting bored. He didn't know who had come up with this brilliant idea of recruiting more Liars, but when he found out, he was going to strangle him. He had gone through fifteen people today, and it was five more minutes until the end of his shift. Those fifteen people had either been blatantly obnoxious, cracking very bad jokes or very, very bad liars.

But the Liar was very good at his job, and he made every one of them think they were going to be chosen.

Last one, the Liar sighed to himself, crossing another name off his clipboard. He read the last name there. "Come in, Visere," he called.

No one entered, and for a second the Liar thought 'Visere' had grown tired of waiting and gone home, which suited everyone perfectly well. But then, slowly, the door opened, and a boy peeked inside. He was barely into adolescence - probably ten years old or so - with a head of untidy brown hair. But the Liar was immediately drawn to his eyes, which were a steady, unwavering green.

"Come in," the Liar repeated, motioning to the chair facing him.

Visere darted in and sat himself down very gingerly on the chair, looking not at all comfortable. His gaze was locked firmly onto the Liar.

Confident, thought the Liar, scribbling the word down. Though the boy was giving some opposite signals... Either confident, or frightened out of his wits, he added. "Well, Visere," said the Liar with a smile, "so you want to join the Diplomats."

There was a brief silence. The boy was taking his time, and he knew it. The Liar crossed out the last phrase he had written on the sheet of paper. The kid wasn't frightened. He was supremely confident. He was just acting.

"I do want to join the Diplomats," Visere said, in a fairly neutral tone. His voice didn't waver. "But I don't just want to. I will join."

The Liar's eyes narrowed. "How old are you?"

"Ten. Which is why I'm suitable."

Yes. Start training from a young age. The Liar made a note on his clipboard, then looked back up. "What if I told you there was hard work involved? It's not all fun and games."

Visere shrugged. "I know that."

Actually, thought the Liar, you have no idea. He grinned to himself. "What if I told you we're not serving the King?"

Visere's eyes widened. He realized his mistake a second too late. "Who are you serving, then?"

"The Queen."

"She's dead."

The Liar raised a patronising eyebrow. "I know that." He waited for a response, but the boy didn't speak. "Well then, Visere, what if I told you that we're not actually serving the Queen?"

"Who are you serving, then?"

The Liar allowed a smirk to play on his face. "The King."

Visere's face coloured. He made a move to stand up, but thought better of it at the last moment. "Two can play at this game," he hissed. "What if I told you I was an orphan?"

Good, thought the Liar, but not good enough. "Truth."

"What if I said my parents were killed in the almost-rebellion?"

Too easy. "Truth."

Visere's eyes narrowed. "What if I told you that my dream is to assassinate the King?"

The Liar's smirk turned into a grin. "Well then, my protege, we'd better hope that's a lie."

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