“I will never lie anymore, Ralph. I promise you. Just go with the story this once, okay?” Jack pleaded, mustering as much appeal in his voice as he could.
“You can’t be serious, Jack! This is preposterous. You disappear for a month, trekking all over Europe and come back with this? You have accused the Governor of harbouring twenty-six tonnes of Croatian cr…
“Carp, Ralph! It’s carp! Heavens, put on those glasses, will you? Well, think about it. It’s fair speculation, don’t you see? There’s something fishy going around that Nevada estate of his. Suddenly all sea food restaurants are going carp with their specials? I want to be the first to cast the bait and fish it out, if you know what I mean.”
Ralph Donnigen, the editor of the local city tabloid, Talk O’Town, was palpitating, as he read the snippet put before him. A third reading might make the news plausible, he hoped. For the editor of a tabloid that primarily dealt with sightings of unidentified flying objects, popular medicine and other bizarre theories, he set pretty high standards of credibility for himself.
“You’d better have some solid backing on this one Jack Bernstein! I don’t want to go ruffling VIP feathers and throw a wrench in my dough machine.”
Bernstein smiled devilishly, “Trust me on this, okay. I’ve extracted bits of it from the horse’s mouth. The numbers are speculative… But I’ve worded them carefully, you see? Don’t you just love how the Queen’s lingua pura weaves into our legal codes? I’ll send you a copy of the tapes of all the interviews I recorded on my er- trip!”
“Well as long as the author takes full responsibility… On second thoughts, I shall put it under What on earth column, while you ammend the lettering… add more incredulity.”
“Done! Now wipe that sweat off your brilliant brow, Boss! You’ll thank me soon enough!”
Two weeks later…
Ralph Donnigen was checking his morning newsfeed when his cell beeped a new message with a news attachment from Jack:
Good morning Whistle-blower Donnigen! Check this out!! You can keep your job now, eh?
The Guard: Governor finds himself in carp soup
The National Bureau of Investigation has raided the bank accounts of Go Fish Inc. and nabbed sixty billion dollars sourced from the Croatian Fisheries’ big name Marko Murdovic…
“Well Jack, you’ve hit a jackpot.”
“All thanks to you! Also, the blessed souls who’d think it their worth to believe and investigate a farfetched tale from Talk O’… No offence, mate!”
“None taken! I’m suddenly a very busy man! This is fitting testimony to my motto: truth is stranger than fiction.”
“You see Donnigen, the truth is such a tricky thing. Can you ever be sure of its source? There’s always a smidgen of… er, elaboration needed to grab eyeballs. It’s always lurking in between the lines. You know I would never fabricate any more than that, don’t you? I will never lie any more, Ralph.”
Carp- Freshwater fish belonging to family Cyprinidae, mainly fished and farmed across Eurasia.
This is a work of fiction and does not wish to point to any establishment or hurt any sentiments.
Photo By: Sam Moqadam
This is an entry for Five00-7, a writing event hosted by ArtoonsInn. Check out the event prompt and guidelines here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/five00-7/