The Ephemeral Lie

image of tumbleweed for week 6 in the 10 week series exploring old blog posts. this week's entry is a post inspired by a prompt with 7 words, and is titled 'the ephemeral lie'.

This week’s edition in our 10 week sojourn through the tumbleweed is a post inspired by a writing prompt that required seven specific words be included (actually called ‘seven stupid words’ by the prompt creator). Each word had a way of leading my imagination along twists and turns until I found the path that allowed each one to fit in with some semblance of a cohesive story.

If writing in response to prompts were a sport, this prompt would be considered an extreme sport. What were the words? Well, that would be telling! I’m interested in knowing if you can pick the words – particularly if any of them stand out as being contrived, in amongst my usual vocabulary. I won’t be offended if you get the words wrong!

Click on the image to be transported through the tumbleweed. Watch your step, and be prepared to broaden your linguistic horizons! Oh, and pack a dictionary! That is, if like me, you have no idea what ‘fealty’ means (well, I do now, and I’ve just given away one of the words). Bonus points if you know what a pineapple is, and move to the next level if you do your take on the same challenge and post a link in the comments- go on, what have you got to lose?

If you want to read other posts in the series, look in menu item ‘travel through the tumbleweed’.

Enjoy the ride!

The Ephemeral Lie

“I got a call from Tristan earlier. Said he’d received an interesting message from you”

Janette picked up on the challenge in his tone, even though he was trying to be nonchalant. They’d been married 14 years, and she knew all the nuances of his voice, and what feelings were bubbling below the surface, regardless of what the words may imply. Sometimes the most banal things he muttered had an insidious undertone.

“Oh, right. Didn’t know it was that interesting, I just sent him a pic on Snapchat of the cookies I baked for the Jamboree”

Tristan was the scout leader and had recruited as many parents as possible to volunteer for the upcoming Jamboree- baking, donating items to be auctioned, sewing costumes and all manner of ways in which they could raise money. Janette had done her bit and baked a large batch of triple chocolate chip cookies- sans the weed she normally put in them for the occasional garden party with the ladies.

“Don’t play dumb with me” Bryan didn’t bother hiding the emotion now.

Janette continued with the task at hand, finely chopping carrots, slightly irritated by Bryan’s insistence on talking and pussyfooting about. Dinner was at least 30 minutes off, meaning she’d be there for a while and an unwilling audience to Bryan’s BS. Sighing, she replied “Bryan, just spit it out, what are you getting at?”

“Really? Really Janette? You have no idea? Can you do better than tell me it was a picture of cookies?”

The saucepan of water she’d put on to blanch the carrots was bubbling and boiling vigorously. Without the exhaust fan on, a whirl of dense steam cut through the terse exchange between the two of them. Janette really had no idea what he was on about. The truth was, she thought she’d sent the picture of the cookies to Tristan.

Thrusting his phone in her face, Bryan revealed a damning screen shot of a Snapchat message. Janette’s hand dropped the knife with a clang on the wooden chopping board, sending neatly chopped carrots flying. Betraying the ephemera of Snapchat, the screenshot showed Janette’s hand in frame beside a mirror, a rolled up pineapple, a credit card, and a few lines she’d prepared earlier. Her secret was out. Bryan wasn’t meant to know about her dabbling in narcotics. His role was to fund her lifestyle; come home to dinner, and the charade of a nice middle class family; and, ask no questions. Hands trembling, Janette felt her world unravel. He wouldn’t stand for this, and he would destroy her now, pulling the rug out from under the comfortable lie she’d been living all this time. That message had been intended for Trent, her dealer, who was also Bryan’s best friend. She’d sworn fealty to Trent, using him as her sole dealer, provided he kept Bryan busy when she was partying. Trent was key to keeping her two worlds separated, but now it was crumbling, just like those damn cookies that she must have sent in the chat to him instead of to Tristan.


Broaden your linguistic horizons and use these seven words in your story: insidious, blanch, narcotic, fealty, jamboree, ephemera, pussyfoot (prompt from here)