“What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is three truths
and a lie.” The prosecutor turned to me;
narrowed his eyes. “Ain’t that right,
Cassidy Jane?” He placed a hand across
the witness stand. His fingernails were
polished and buffed. “Cassidy Jane?”
I bit my lip. “My
daddy always said, sir, that two wrongs don’t make a right.”
He nodded. “Go on.”
“But two negatives do make a positive.” I smiled.
“I learned that in school.”
“We ain’t talking school, are we Cassidy Jane?”
“No sir. But in Manhattan,
I’m told, two rights’ll get you to the same place as two lefts, and just as
The prosecutor laughed long and loud, showing me his horsey
teeth. “Them people in New York City got
nothing better to do ‘n lay out their streets with a ruler, now, do they? That wouldn’t work here in West Virginia. Sides, Cassidy Jane, we’re talkin’ threes
here, not twos.” He held up three
fingers. “Three truths. One lie.”
He took my hand in his own.
And—I swear I couldn’t help myself—I flinched at the lack of bone and
muscle in that old dead fish of a hand.
And then the jury and the rest of the courtroom and I suspect even the
judge laughed, too.
“Cassidy Jane.” He
turned and spun. “Miss Myrtle Greene hid
you in her basement after your daddy took ill.
Your daddy was poisoned by mushrooms that grow in these-here mountains. You put those mushrooms in your daddy’s
dinner.” He lifted three fingers into
the air. “Three truths. And now for the lie. You
poisoned your daddy.” He leaned in
close. “It was Myrtle who did it, wasn’t
it? Myrtle who gave you them mushrooms
just to be, shall we say, neighborly-like?”
I shook my head. “No
sir. That ain’t right at all.”
“Oh, really? Tell me
where I’m mistaken.”
“Truth is, sir, them mushrooms were meant for you, on
account of the baby growing in my stomach as we speak.”
Labels: fiction Trifecta Writing Challenge