Take me to a...
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
Not just rockets & robots...
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.

Beans and Lies

Mari Ness has published fiction in Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Apex Magazine and right here in Daily Science Fiction. You can follow her on Twitter @mari_ness, or on her official blog at marikness.wordpress.com. She lives in central Florida.

Later she changes the tale, calling her husband a giant who liked to crunch on human bones, the intruder a fool willing to trade a cow for beans. She builds up everything: their manor becomes a castle, the hill a cloud, the earthen walls thick bulwarks of marble and granite, the copper coins bags of gold, the battered instrument with its broken strings an enchanted harp that can sing. The beanstalks in their garden reach the sky. She adds in jokes, references to proverbs, nursery rhymes, other legends. Her hands creep out from their pinched position at her side, gesturing, flaring, as she laughs.
She does not mention just how heavy the earth had been beneath her shovel.
She does not ask herself why she does this, why she has turned her life into a fairy tale of beans and giants, castles and clouds. She knows. She knows that some tales are easier than the truth.
Easier than remembering the hard touch of her husband's fists.
Easier than remembering the moment when she had realized their small stack of copper coins was gone.
Easier than remembering the sound of her lover's neck snapping under her husband's hands.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Author Comments

The Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk is both a fool and a trickster figure. I began to wonder what other lies might be told in this tale.

- Mari Ness
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying Beans and Lies by Mari Ness.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction is not accepting memberships or donations at this time.

Rate This Story
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

4.8 Rocket Dragons Average
Share This Story
Join Mailing list
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):