In our next book we will tell the story of Jane, our Deceptionista. You may remember her from our first book, “Ayden’s Choice”. Here are some teasers episodes to get you interested.
The green hat is missing the badge, and the sash she cut from a green t-shirt has signs drawn on it in black sharpie. But when she twitched her eyes her outfit matched the girl scouts’ she had found on google image search.
Jane was back with her mother for a while, as, once again, she had been pulled away from grandma's fastidious care. Quite a clash of worlds, but to the young Jane, dropping in and out of middle school, it was the world as she knew it.
"People will get it.” she whispered to her mirrored self.
“I’ll make them believe it.” she announced a little louder, turning to see her profile.
“Don't you think so mom? Mom! Mom look?"
A thin figure appeared in the door and sank on it's frame. One arm hanging numb, a trickle of blood running down it.
"Get me more... Please, will you get me more..."
A crackling voice burst out of the pasty mouth. The girl at the mirror tilted her head, put on a distorted smile, and danced to what seemed to be her mother.
"O mommy. Did you sting yourself again... Let me clean that..."
She grabbed the now trembling arm, and despite being two heads shorter she managed to fixate it, as she had had to do so often before. She pulled a hankie out of her pocket, wiped away the blood and pressed the bleeding dot for a while.
"Didn't we agree that you won't do this yourself anymore?" she chirped with an odd happy sound, hoping to awake some last remainder of life in that drifting mind.
The mother’s other arm swung around, grabbed her by the hair, pulling back the small head. She shouted, spitting in her eyes. "You fuck! Bring me more. I tell you. I can hit it myself. But you fucking better bring me more..."
The girl swung around, desperately trying to get out of her mother's grip.. Only a kick to her leg made her finally let go. A crack appeared in her carefully maintained facade and tiny tears began wetting her eyes.
“But no, no, we won’t. We are strong…” Jane repeatedly slammed her hand against her leg - a tick she seemed to have more and more often.
"And now what?" the mother began all over.
But not this time, she didn't want to hear anything more. Jane grabbed the cardboard box filled with small paper packages. She packed them each carefully, all day long, like a normal kid, she thought, like doing handicrafts, using the cookies she had collected for free from a food bank over the last two weeks.
And off she went to sell them door to door in the local retirement homes. With every tour she got a little better. Not choosing the same houses every time so they would not start to remember her. Jane was adding different fibs hoping for an extra tip or even trying to convince them the crazy prices she was asking were correct since “everything is more expensive these days”. A comment that the gray, as she called them, liked very much and made them go on about how much better it was back in the days.
Passing the big office building by the train station she stopped, delighted, as she saw her personal hero. A hero she sometimes waited for to appear, a hero she sometimes hoped would take her to a better place. And there she was, in her slick business outfit, walking straight into the car park, only the backpack in her hand revealing her peculiarity. And out she came again, but wearing a helmet, a padded jacket and riding the most badass bike Jane could imagine.
The little fake girl scout stood dazzled at the entry to the car park,her big red eyes focussed longingly on the woman on the bike. A little awkward, the rider thought, nonetheless giving her a wink and a thumbs up. It made Jane smile, it made her day, it made her world, it made all the difference to this little girl selling dry cookies. Off the biker went, taking Jane’s dreams with her. Suddenly a hand slapped the back of her head and she nearly lost her precious load. Her mother had made it out of the house for her usual confused meander and found her little brat.
“Go home… I got this mom. Go home!” Jane shouted at her, walking backwards, escaping the usual public drama she hated so much.
“Go home!” she shouted once more shifting around the corner and running from her mother's range of influence.
So, back at the task. Selling free cookies to confused old people. Everything can be a game, everything can be a lesson, everything can be fun. And who else was talking to these old people anyway. So, wasn’t she selling them much more than awful dry cookies, wasn’t she selling them an experience they missed from the past? Jane never saw real girl scouts anywhere near this retirement home. So who was she to blame.
By now she had even learned how to convince most nurses, or even relatives, of her stories. She always started with very few words, looking inside the apartment, trying to understand the situation and getting a feeling of her customer. She had tailored scripts and ploys matching every case. Once she even came back with an empty box, crying like a baby about how she’d lost them all and how the older scouts would beat her up for that - only to double the amount in one go.
And after the money runs it was off to the pusher, getting a fix for mom. A middle school teenager getting drugs - you're kidding. Nothing special in this part of town. The one she knows was actually quite nice, always asking her how she felt, often buying her a milkshake and making sure she wasn’t hit on by any bystanders. Selling drugs doesn’t make you a mean person in general, although most of them had to confront a lot of violence during their days’ work.
But this time her mother wouldn't get the good stuff. Not if she pulled her by the hair. Not if she slapped her on the head. That was the rule. If her mother was nice, she got the good stuff and enough of it. If she was mean, she would get the cheapest stuff Jane could get. This also meant that Jane could put more money into her self proclaimed secret “College Fund” - knowing that she would most probably never go to college but just fake any certificates she needed - but anyway, that was her treasure hoard. And today there would be a nice stack going into it, because today Jane was going to get the stuff not even her dealer sold, the stuff only other addicts pushed. Not her favorite suppliers, but if you treat Jane badly, you’ll get it back piece by piece.
Who would have guessed that one day she would become our best Deceptionista.