Partially True (But Mostly Not)

Edited by Julia Rios

Copyedited by Chelle Parker

December 2019

Listen to this story, narrated by C. S. E. Cooney:

The thing that was neither true nor fully a lie often slept beside her. Some days, if she didn’t wake up fast enough, it would go out and live in her shoes. No one knew the difference. Therefore some days she slept in, wrapped inside herself like a seed pod that had forgotten how to open.

Other days, like this one, she woke up early and the Partially True (But Mostly Not) had no choice but to shadow her. On those mornings it grumbled about how much better it looked in heels. Perhaps so. She never received the same complements the Partially True (But Mostly Not) claimed to have gotten — when it came home and climbed into bed, curling itself around her, blocking out the light. But who could tell? Those were the days she stayed in.

It didn’t hurt as badly as it used to. The idea that no one knew the difference between her and who they wanted her to be. She tried to remember if the phrase was purposefully or pleasantly numb. Who knew? Certainly not the people who looked at the Partially True (But Mostly Not) and called it by her name.

At first only the spelling of her name got lost somewhere beneath the covers. She washed her sheets in hopes, maybe, the letters would get caught in the lint shield and she’d have them back. Perhaps a little faded but still useful. She never found them. Once the spelling was gone, she forgot how to pronounce it… that thing people call you… and, after, she forgot she’d had one at all.

The next morning the Partially True (But Mostly Not) refused to be called that anymore. There were letters encircling its wrists, little charms that whispered when it moved. Their spellings were as familiar as the lilt of the thing’s voice. But when it grinned, it wore a smile that had never been hers.

© 2019 Sherin Nicole

About the author

Sherin Nicole

Sherin Nicole might be a covert agent. Word on the street says the CIA offered her a scholarship (but that’s classified). By day, she’s an agent provocateur as chief creative officer for idobi Network. By night, she produces content for Geek Girl Riot. Formerly a paranormal romance writer (under her secret identities), she has three novels and several novellas. One of which was listed on Book Riot’s “100 Must-Read Romantic Comedies,” and another is Bloody Fabulous (Prime Books, 2012). Culturally she’s half American, half British, and very southern—right down to the accent. Government reports show a residence in DC, but Sherin spends most of her time in the worlds she writes and she hopes to meet you there.