The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Dragonflies Cannot Tell Lies
by Melissa R. Mendelson
As he made his way through the bar, nobody paid any attention to him. Glasses clinked. Women laughed. Billiard balls smacked one another, and a drunk nearby talked loudly about being fired.
“I’m here for the dragonfly.”
The bar went silent.
“I’m here to see the dragonfly.”
The bartender fixed him with a hard stare. He looked him up and down, and even the drunk stared at him. The bartender glanced at the drunk and then nodded over his shoulder. “Back room,” he said.
“Thank you.” He made his way over to the back room.
The back room was dim with a table and two chairs in the middle of the room. A large man that could’ve been mistaken for a biker sat in one chair. He gestured toward the other seat.
“You the dragonfly?”
“I’m one of them,” he answered.
“I need the truth.”
“Hundred dollars? That’s a heavy price to pay.”
“That’s why lies are cheap.”
“Fine. A hundred dollars.” He fished into his pocket, pulling out a bunch of twenties.
“One truth.” The man took the money from him.
“Hey, the truth doesn’t come easy or free.”
“Fine. One truth.” He sat down in the empty seat, eyeing the man in front of him. “Who am I?”
“Don’t you know,” he asked. His response was a shrug. “You won’t like my answer.”
“I’m a good person.”
“Sure you are, but saying it doesn’t make it so.”
“I am a good person.”
“Well, if you want me to lie to you, I don’t need your money.”
“I need to hear you say it.”
“Dragonflies don’t lie.”
“And if they did?”
“They die, so no, I won’t say it.”
“Not even for your daughter?”
The man shot up to his feet, looming over him. His eyes shined from the dim light nearby. A buzzing sound filled the room. “Excuse me?”
“My buddy’s outside right now. If I don’t text him in the next five minutes, he’s going to slip something into her drink, and she won’t see it coming. Am I lying now?”
“No, you’re not.” He sat back down in his seat. “Why are you doing this?”
“Because we control the truth not you. You keep it for yourselves, dishing it out a little by little like we can’t handle it.”
“You can’t handle the truth.”
“Time’s almost up. What say you?”
“You think you’ve won, that the truth is yours to do with as you please. The truth is for your money’s worth that you’re wrong. The truth won’t die with us, and eventually one of us will catch up to you.”
“I guess you’re not all a good person then.”
The man stared at him for a long moment. “You are a good person.”
His body slumped over. His head fell against the chair. A pair of wings arched up from his back but then fluttered down to the ground.
He stood up from his chair, leaned over and ripped off the man’s face.
A dragonfly stared back at him.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:
Melissa R. Mendelson is a Poet and Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Short Story Author. Publications featuring her writing can be found here: https://linktr.ee/melissarmendelson