Pants on Fire by Jill Waters

The girls stared at each other across the table. ‘You know Mum is going to kill you, right?’ Frannie watched as her sister Harriet cried ‘Tell me again what’s going on, this ridiculous dare thing.’

‘Well, there’s this gang at school. All the cool girls are in it, and I wanted to be cool. Don’t look at me like that Frannie, I’m not like you. You always had friends. Everyone says, “You’re not much like your sister, are you?” Even the teachers.’

‘Okay. So, you want to be in this gang. But I don’t understand how THAT led to THIS…’

‘So, you have to do a sort of initiation thing. To prove you’re…’

‘What, cool enough?’ interrupted Frannie, ‘For God’s sake, Harry!’

‘Anyway. Thing is, they dare you to do something, and if you do it, you can be in the gang.’

‘Do they give you a frigging T-shirt? Just so everyone knows?’

Harriet tried to wipe the snot from her nose with a balled-up tissue. ‘I know it’s stupid, but, but…You’ve got to help me. Frannie, please.’

‘Calm down, Harry. Tell me again. What was your dare?’

‘I had to get through a whole day telling just lies. I got two detentions because I said I hadn’t finished my English or French homework, and Alice isn’t speaking to me, cos she asked me if I liked her new haircut, and I said no.’ More tears poured down Harriet’s face.

‘I get that you had to lie at school, but that doesn’t explain this.’

‘I thought it was a test. A set up. To really see if I’d do it.’

‘So, a random man knocks on the door and says, “Is this your dog?” and you said?’

‘Yes. I said yes. And now we have a dog.’

Selected - Weekly Write - Week 9

Published in Issue #27

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