Speaking EvilPaul Beckman
"Don't speak evil of the dead," my dead Mother said.
"Since when is telling the truth speaking evil?" I asked her.
"Listen, don't play games with me. There is a difference and you know it."
"Give me an example of my speaking evil of the dead. Who?"
"Me. Your Mother. That's who."
"There you go again, Mom. I never spoke against you."
"Last night," she interrupted. "You did it again last night."
"You mean my telling the story of hiding from you under the bed? And you jabbing at me with a broomstick so I would get out from under the bed so you could give me a real beating?"
"Yes. That story."
"Well. Did I lie?"
"It's how you tell the story."
"Did I lie or embellish the story?"
"You didn't lie, but you made me sound evil."
"I was eight years old. You were jabbing an eight-year-old boy with a broomstick as hard as you could. You could've poked my eye out."
"I would never poke your eye out."
"What could an eight-year-old boy do that was so bad to get treated like that? Make me understand and I'll never tell the story again."
"How can you say I'd poke your eye out? What kind of Mother will people take me for? The dead have enough problems."
"Mom, tell me. Is it OK for the dead to speak evil against the dead?"
"Go. I won't bother you any more. Tell everyone. Say anything you want."
"I never tell anyone about the iron, Mom. Doesn't that count?"
Copyright ©1998 Paul Beckman. All Rights Reserved.
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