Story for the young at heart!
The Colour of Lies
The author’s note: “This story was written in good faith, only meant to be read by ‘little people’ under the age of fourteen. And under no circumstance admit to reading it. If you do by chance, lie about it.”
In a cramped and ugly room, the brickwork, sloppily painted and crumbling, dust littered the bare concrete floor.
“Do you know why you are here?”
“I know nothing.”
The lie detector continued with its job. The black line jerked up and down. Scrawling its route to the truth.
Aoife, young and beautiful studied Ciara the frumpy policewoman who had her chained to the chair and clipped to the infernal blinking machine. Unblinking, Aoife asked, “When are you going to release me?”
“When I get some truth from your cute pink little lips,” the experienced woman had heard it all before, guilty children lying as if their lives thrived on falsehoods.
Aoife bounced her ginger ringlets and smiled, sunbeams flicked across the ceiling, illuminating the room as outside the window, storm clouds parted, the sun had a clear route to earth, the girl’s eyelashes caught fire as the sun turned them to liquid gold, the smile broadened as if Aoife controlled the weather.
Ciara walked around behind the girl’s glimmering hair.
“When will I get the truth?” she said, cracking her knuckles.
“I always tell the honest and full truth.”
“There you go, that is a lie, I can tell even if this machine cannot.”
“If you are so clever, why not unplug it?” asked Aoife.
“Are you scared of it?”
“I am afraid of nothing.”
Her heartbeat was steady at sixty-five beats per minute, blood pressure unmoved at one-hundred and twenty swore the machine.
“I know you are lying,” said the woman in the unflattering plain clothing.
“Why do you think I’m lying?”
“Everybody is afraid of something.”
“Well, I’m not.”
“The chocolate factory owner complained to us. He was in tears, devastated. His pride and joy broken into, and forty-two cartons of their best confectionary stolen. It is my job to catch the thieves,” she snorted.
“I am only twelve. How could I carry that load?”
“You are eleven and a half.”
“And, at under twelve, you should not chain me up.”
“You are not chained.”
“Who is lying now?” smirked Aoife.
Ciara drew back her hand, then thought better of slapping the child. She walked around and knelt in front.
“Help me catch the criminals, and you can go,” she said.
“I don’t know who did it, or anything about the chocolate.”
“There are four colours of a lie. White, grey, black and red. White lies are told to help others, even if there may be a loss to yourself. A grey lie helps the other person, but it may help you too. Then we have black. A black lie is told by someone who wants to get out of trouble, to gain something, or to harm the other party. Last, we have the red lie. Spite and revenge. Carved in blood, maybe? Retributive lies told by someone betrayed.”
She waited to stare deep into her captive’s eyes, “What colour lies are you telling me?”
The older woman’s eyes flicked to the detector, heartbeat sixty-five, BP one-hundred and twenty, straight lines. Looking back at the girl, no sign of panic, Aoife just smiled childishly.
“All children love chocolate,” the policewoman continued.
“Now you are lying, some children hate the stuff,” laughed Aoife.
“We are not here to discuss likes and dislikes. I have a serious crime to investigate.”
“What is so serious about a few bars of chocolate going missing?”
There was an urgent tapping at the door. “Come out here,” said a more senior officer.
“What? I’m getting there, okay slower than I hoped, but the girl is cracking,” said Ciara to her boss.
“Now you are lying. You are getting nowhere. Throw in a tidbit and get her talking.”
Ciara unhappily marched back in, “There is no good smirking at me, you’ll be here longer if I’m upset,” she said.
“I’m guessing, you are in trouble?” asked Aoife.
“Listen and listen carefully. They destined some cartons for England. The missing ones.”
“The chocolate was… Tampered with.”
“You need to tell your accomplices not to eat any, or give any to friends.”
“Because it is not normal chocolate. Do not eat it.”
“Now, who is lying?” the young girl grinned as if a clown dropped his trousers.
“Please, believe me, there is a good reason that chocolate was to be sent to England and only England.”
“Oh, yeah, and what is that reason?”
“I’m not at liberty to tell you, but you must believe me. We need it back.”
Aoife was enjoying herself, smiling, sitting relaxed and keeping eye contact with Ciara.
“You are looking stressed,” said the older woman. “Would you like a drink before we continue?”
“You must release me, I’m feeling the strain,” she smirked. “And yes please, I’d love a hot chocolate,” she laughed out loud.
The door burst open, two angry men hurried in.
“We are taking over the interrogation, you are getting nowhere, get out!”
Head ducked Ciara stomped to the door, “Good luck, Sir,” as she slammed it shut.
“Right young lady, we’ll be straight with you. We need you to be honest with us, okay?”
One man stood on either side of Aoife, both peering closely and directly into her face. The girl’s head turned to look at each man. The smile gone disappeared as the sun ducked behind a cloud.
“What is this all about?” she whimpered.
“The stolen chocolate contains a falsity drug,” one of the stern men said.
“A falsity drug, whatever is that?” she asked.
“Dear child, you will not be aware of the problems our neighbours across the Muir Éireann, or the Irish Sea they know it. They are struggling with something that has never happened before, English kids only ever tell the truth!”
“Image, how could a parent cope with that?” said the other man. “None of the ‘I’ve got a headache’, on school mornings, ‘I’ve forgotten my homework’, or worst of all, ‘It wasn’t me!’ Picture the agony mums and dads are going through,” he said shaking his head from side to side.
The men both stood back, hoping for an answer.
Aoife looked at both men again, shook her head and said, “We Leprechauns never lie. Especially about the English! Let me out and I’ll take you to the chocolate.”
It was then the officers knew they’d never recover the chocolate!