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 Category:  Biographical Non-Fiction
  Posted: January 20, 2020      Views: 77

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Recently published book, "Of Saints and Wooden Nickles" on Amazon. Harry Trumfio was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and now resides with his wife, Lorie in Arlington Heights, Illinois. They have four children, six grandchildren, and two great g - more...

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If one tells a lie does one ever escape punishment?
"Guilt Over the Years" by HarryT

I lived with my family in an apartment above a Mom and Pop grocery store on south Ashland Avenue in Chicago. I had a friend named Marie who lived a couple of doors down from us. I was six and she was eight. We had set out on a mission to collect glass bottles to turn in for two cents apiece at the A&P grocery store. We had managed to collect several bottles from garbage cans and trash heaps, which we placed carefully in my red wagon. As we walked down the alley pulling the wagon, her older brother, Bill, began throwing stones at us to drive us away from our treasure. Marie said, “He wants the bottles.”

We dodged a few stones as they whizzed by our ears. In a frenzy, we tried to defend ourselves by throwing anything we could find back at him including stones and tin cans. I picked up the top of a broken milk bottle. The round top had a piece of pointed glass extending to a sharp point. I hurled it at Bill; it stuck in his face just below his eye. He let out a shrieking scream. Marie and I saw blood squirt from the wound as he pulled the glass shard from his face and threw it to the ground. He ran. Marie ran after him.
My mother, who was hanging her wash, came into the alley when she heard the screaming. I was scared. I stood paralyzed next to the wagon. Mom asked what happened. I said, “Bill tried to steal our bottles. Marie hit him in the eye with a rock.” She asked if I was okay. I nodded my head. She took my hand. I said, “Wait.” I grabbed the handle of the wagon and pulled into the backyard. We climbed the wooden stairs to our apartment. She hugged me, gave me some milk and a chocolate chip cookie.
I don’t know what happened when Bill and Marie got home. Thinking back, I believe Marie must have taken the blame. I don’t know what would have happened if Marie had told on me. I’m sure I would have been punished, made to apologize, and be made to stay in my room for a good long time.  
 I didn’t see Marie for at least a week. When I did see her, she said Bill was okay. She told her parents that Bill attacked us. She said she never told her parents I was the one who threw the bottle top. I don’t remember ever thanking Marie for covering for me. I still think about this incident and feel guilty, even though it occurred more than 70 years ago. I guess even when a lie is perfect and one gets away with it, attaching guilt is punishment.


The Perfect Lie contest entry


Author Notes
This is a true story.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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