Fifteen Minute Fiction – Inkling (pt. 10)

“Secrets aren’t the same thing as lies.”  But they can be.

As always, you can catch up on the entire story (for free!) here: Inkling


An Ongoing Flash Fiction Serial

Reesa Herberth


“I know my family.  I made contingency plans.  But I’m not lying about this.  There’s no magic left in my body, and we’re close enough kin that the contract between us should be binding.”  Unconsciously or not, Collin scratched his arm, over the tattoo Grays had seem him rip off his flesh and use in a decidedly non-mundane fashion earlier.  Not saying anything might have been smarter, but there was the taste of a lie in the room, and Grays didn’t owe him anything.

“What about in the parking lot?  That wasn’t a flaming hubcap that you tossed at the nice doggy.”  He stood up straighter, shoving the hair out of his face because his Mom was forever telling him that he didn’t look convincing with blue-tipped bangs obscuring his eyes.

Collin expelled a breath, looking frustrated, but it was Emygdia who spoke.  “He’s built from secrets more than any flesh and bone.  Don’t go expecting the truth from a Bastion.”

Collin spoke again, low, though he glared at Emygdia as though he’d prefer to yell.  “If I was lying, I never would have come here.  You might not trade in kind with the family, but there are plenty of people in the valley who know my name, and would throw their lot in with me just try ousting my uncle.  I could lie, say I still have the power for it, but I don’t.  And I don’t want that.  He promised me a life, free of his interference, and that’s all I need from him.  If he finds out what I’ve done, dying will be the least of my worries.  If he thinks someone else knows anything…”  His cadence didn’t change, but his gaze dropped, until his final words were addressed more to the floor than either of them.  “Secrets aren’t the same thing as lies.”

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