“I’m sick to death of the way you’re always making things up, Michael,” his mother scolded her son. “Don’t you know that you should always tell the truth and never lie.”
“Helen,” Michael’s father interrupted, “cut the kid some slack. He’s just got a vivid imagination, is all.”
“George,” Helen said, “I can’t believe you’re defending him. He’s always telling these tall tales and I never know whether to believe him or not.”
“Let me handle this, Helen,” George said to his wife. Then he turned to Michael and said, “How old are you now, son?”
“I’m twelve, Dad,” Michael said. “You know that.”
“And for a twelve year old boy, you’ve got quite a wonderful talent,” George said. “You, Michael, are a natural born storyteller. You weave such interesting tales and you tell them so very well.”
“Thanks, Dad,” Michael said, beaming.
“I have a suggestion,” George said. “You have such a flare for telling stories that I think you should start writing your stories down in a notebook. Be creative, son. Exercise your imagination. And then, when you’ve written a few stories, you can read them out loud to your mother and me. Maybe someday some of the stories you write might even be published in a magazine or a book.”
“Really, Dad?” Michael said excitedly. “I would love that.”
“But there’s one catch, Michael,” George said. “You can make up and write all the stories you can think of in your notebook. But when your mother or I ask you questions, you must always tell us the truth. No making things up. You only make things up for the stories you write in your notebook. So, do we have a deal, Michael?”
“Yes, we have a deal,” Michael said, and then he ran over and hugged his father.
“Great,” George said. “Now go be the fantastic storyteller that I know you can be.”
“I’m gonna start writing my first story right now,” Michael said as he stood up and started running toward his bedroom.
But before Michael took two steps, George grabbed him by his arm and said, “First go hug your mother and tell her you love her.”
Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt, where we’re asked to write a story about a storyteller.