James Beach

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Nonfiction and More


Callypigianaphiles Experience Inability to Utilize Prevarication

This is a short story rough, a work in progress.

* * *

Shelly had the spell for weeks, but it took a long time to work up the courage to use it. The last straw was her brothers teasing her about the boy she had the deepest crush on. His name was Tex, he was new to town and he was dreamy. She had finally gotten his attention, and they’d started hanging out after school. It had been weeks now, but their relationship hadn’t gone to where she needed it go – for him to tell her the truth she hoped for deep inside: that he liked her.

She and Courteney had found the spell in their homeroom teacher’s desk drawer, when trying to get back Shelly’s phone. Their teacher had confiscated it for texting in class, and then died overnight. The spell itself said “This can only be used once.” It was dated from the early 1940s. So apparently their teacher had brought this with her without using it for her whole life.

They chatted on Facebook for weeks until Shelly finally declared she’d use it.

The perfect night came – her parents and brothers left her home to go to a line-dancing competition. As soon as they were gone, she broke into her parents’ liquor cabinet. A few full glass of rum and she was ready to go.

She went upstairs and logged into Facebook. As she did, she saw her butt in the mirror on the closet door. She didn’t know if her butt was too big, just right, or not big enough. She felt like Tex liked it, and her, but she knew she also wanted to believe that. How could she know for sure?

According to her smirking brothers, no guy would ever tell the truth about a girl’s butt to a girl. They were always complaining about no answer being alright for their girlfriends.
Shelly had the support of her friends at least. Most of them were stuck home tonight too, but they could chat. They were interested in this spell too.

Once she confirmed that she was actually going to cast the spell tonight, the news spread like wildfire. It had been a slow night to begin with, and not much news in general. Interest kept expanding for this teenage girl who was about to cast a spell.

She pointed her laptop’s camera for a good view of her, and pulled a folded-over piece of paper from her pocket. She opened it, revealing a torn-out notebook page covered with rainbow sparkles. It contained the spell she’d copied from an old book they’d found, underneath some scraps in the boiler room below the school library.

On the paper, in her purple ink writing dotted with hearts, was the formula of the spell:
I risk the love of my life to know if my love is real! I declare it forfeit, to make _ not lie!

“I’m still not sure if I should put his name in,” said Shelly.

“Does he like your butt?” asked her sassy friend Courteney. “That’s the question here. He should, your butt’s fantastic.”

“Thanks Courteney – but how can I know that if he likes my big butt he won’t lie about it anyway?”

“It shouldn’t be just about him either,” said Shelly’s other close friend Audrey. “What about other guys too?”

Suddenly it came to Shelly. What was that song her brother was listening to the other day? “I got it!” In her rum-drunk state, it seemed like just the thing.

Her eyes closed, she held the note tight and whispered the incantation: “I risk the love of my life to know if my love is real! I declare it forfeit, to make sure people who like big butts cannot lie!”

She pulled out a pink lighter, held her thumb down and lit the notebook paper on fire. It quickly took to flame, and disappeared in a flash of rainbow glitter.

In Shelly’s room, and then astonishingly in every room connected to the Internet around the world, a gathering force rose. It was felt first as hairs raising on the back of the neck, then goosebumps, and then as an electric current within one’s own soul – a feeling amplified by all the people now witnessing this spell. In the olden days, it would have been rare to gather as many as twenty witches for such a spell. But this evening, there were hundreds of thousands.

The spell climaxed, and crashed like thunder.

Shelly thought it was just the rum, as she passed out. But, amplified by her pure innocence, the rum, and Facebook which amplified her spell to millions, the magic’s effects spread like a shockwave throughout the world.

The next morning, and from that day forward, she found that all who liked big butts could not lie. Her brothers, and others’ brothers, could deny. But when a girl walked in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in their face they got sprung – from the cages of their own deceitfulness.

This shook society to it’s foundations.

Most children could still lie, until around when they hit puberty. For the rest of humanity, politicians and peasants, police and criminals, employers and employees, pastors and flock – whatever their station in life, whether high low or middle, the very large percentage that liked big butts were forced to tell the truth.

Judges were soon selected based on their Internet browser history. Entire political careers became based on candidates selecting the preferred kind of porn. Parties and governments lost favor because of their sudden mass inability to lie to their voters – they could no longer claim there were easy, simple solutions to any number of different problems. On the other side of power, the voters who elected them had to face their own real impulses, because they could no longer lie to themselves. That is, as long as they liked big butts.

After all the social upheavals this brought the world, humanity settled into a deep and lasting prosperity and peace.

There are now full-size statues of Shelly in every major city. Behind these statues people are taken to swear oaths – for none can lie when they look upon her statue from the rear.

The bittersweet irony is, Shelly still didn’t know how Tex actually felt. He was still able to lie, and did so to save her feelings. He revealed years later that he really preferred skinny men.

She did find out that Courteney had some interesting feelings for her, of an entirely different sort.

They were married behind Shelly’s statue ten years later.