The Truthsayer

coast road

© Anurag Bakhshi

Jeremiah Pierce negotiated the curves on Highway One just past Stinson Beach toward San Francisco, and the first leg of his journey to end the ridiculous mess he’d been hired to clear up. He’d been called many things over the years including the human lie detector and the truthsayer, but his gift, based both on psionics and his ability to see neural activity in the brain, certified him as the only person to always know if someone was lying.

A middle-aged woman said she had been sexually assaulted as a teen by a boy who now was being considered as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. He denied it, and the Me Too supporters automatically believed her, regardless of the presence or absence of actual evidence.

In a few hours, he would be at the Federal Building where she was scheduled to be interviewed by FBI agents, but only because of the death threats against her. After he had spoken to her, Jeremiah would fly to Washington D.C. and hear what the Judge in question had to say. Then, he would know. Then the world would know for sure. No more nonsense based on rampant emotions and political interests.

I wrote this in response to two online writing prompts. The first is Sunday Photo Fiction where writers are challenged to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 198.

The second is Sunday Writing Prompt hosted at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The suggestion here is to craft a poem, short story, or some other creative piece based on the following:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools…

-from “If” by Rudyard Kipling

The poem fragment reminded me both of News and Social Media and the Kavanaugh hearings, which I’m sure everyone knows about in great detail. I decided to give in to a bit of fantasy and create a character who can always clear up these “he said, she said” debates to an absolute certainty rather than responding with rampant emotionalism or political jockeying for position.

To read more stories based on the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt, visit InLinkz.com. To read other stories based on the Kipling piece, go Here.

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25 thoughts on “The Truthsayer

    • No, only one side wishes for this person, because the other side will be exposed. However, as I mentioned in another blog post, if Kavanaugh was really “falling down drunk” at the time of the event, even if it occurred, he might not remember it at all, so saying he wasn’t there or it didn’t happen would be the “truth” for him.

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      • By both sides I’m referring to the fact that I’m sure both believe they are telling the truth. As you say, even both telling the truth might not resolve this issue!

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      • It is true that we will never know the objective facts related to the allegations, but ultimately, Congress is going to have to make a decision, which unfortunately, will likely be based on political affiliation and emotional content.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, even your psionic neural-activity visualizing seer could only detect whether each interviewee believed unquestionably that they were telling the truth insofar as they could confidently remember it. Perhaps the interviewer could even measure any difference between levels of certainty less than 100 percent. But while he could rule out lying and political chicanery, he might still be unable to determine the truth that two drunken interviewees could not actually remember accurately or at all.

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  1. Even if there are more specifics of what party after the fact, the timeline matters. If the guy said, when there was no clarity (in the public venue) of what party, how could he say he wasn’t at that party? He wouldn’t have to not be at the party to not be a rapist. There are two possibilities. Three. One: he doth protest too much. Two: he’s speaking stupidly. Three: the friend in the room (or someone in the know) clued him in.

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    • Certainly, the third possibility doesn’t preclude the first (over-denial in the face of guilt) and second options. In fact, I’d say either one the first two has to be so (either one of which makes him undesirable as a top decider) OR (and, again, and/or) he is indicating there is greater knowledge of what happened or when/where it happened (or a plan to “get the story” worked out among some people to cover).

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      • I think you’re making arguments about gnat’s eyelashes, Marleen. None of this has anything to do with the man’s ability to discern the meaning of the Constitution or any other laws. The accusations themselves have no legal standing at this time, and are merely a qualitative smear upon a candidate for an advanced judgeship. Under the circumstances, attempts to recall accurately events of 36 years ago, regarding which party on what date, and who was where at what time, must be given the widest possible latitude and leniency regarding how well or badly any given comment about it may be expressed off-the-cuff. None of these statements reflect the precision required of a legal brief or a court’s decision; and no judgments may be made from them.

        I daresay that neither of us could answer such an accusation based on some singular event that long ago. I, myself, have the advantage of having never been drunk (nor stoned); but my memory of who was where at what time for any given party I may have attended, or if I might even have missed that party altogether, is not reliable. I could say also that I’ve never been guilty of sexual coercion, and know it to be true; but how could I prove it if some woman were to become convinced that she has a memory of my doing such a thing? Apparently I could be deemed guilty on mere say-so, rather than being presumed innocent until proven guilty. Could I say that you, in a similar vein, had been guilty of stealing hundreds of dollars from my wallet that was in my coat in a separate room that I remember seeing you enter, and have you deemed guilty just because I said so and seemed convinced of it? And would either of us, faced with an unfair, unjust, untrue charge against our character, with our entire future hanging in the balance, have a continual sense of calm and presence of mind to face reporters badgering away at us at every opportunity for days or weeks on end, so that every statement was a model of clarity and coherence? Somehow I doubt it.

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      • And, it is true, deciding on whether to promote someone is different from deciding on a case of guilt and criminality. The Senate doesn’t decide if he’s guilty. (They also mostly don’t seem to care.) One of the things that bothers me about the current topic is the forgetting of what we already knew about him.

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      • There’s also the fact, whoever you believe in Thomas he said/she said situation, that there is credible evidence that Kavanaugh has lied to Congress under oath in the past. So this whole 35 year old party question may, indeed, be an argument over a gnat’s eyelashes, based upon his questionable behavior and his history of misrepresenting the truth, the man should not be elevated to a seat on the highest court in the land.

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  2. This Jeremiah gentleman is awesome. He can figure out if someone is lying or not? What is the proof what Jeremiah saying is correct? I agree one should not be prosecuted merely on the basis of an allegation, but based on a probe. If more people come up with an accusation, better it is as it strengthens the case.

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    • My story presumes that Jeremiah’s abilities have been extensively tested over time and proven to be infallible, thus his testimony in any situation is certified to be factual, at least to the best of the ability of the interviewees to recall.

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