FEATURED STORY
RECENT STORIES
STORIES BY TOPIC
NEWS
SUPPORT DSF
Make the universe a better place! Join Daily Science Fiction for only $15 / year, support us via Patreon, or donate any amount.
TRANSPORTER
Take me to a...
SEARCH
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
For more options, try our:
SUBSCRIBE
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private
TIDBITS
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!
KINDLE
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
SUBMIT
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
If you've already submitted a story, you may check its:
DAILY SCI-FI
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.






Three Truths and Three Lies About Jack

******************Editor's Note: Adult Language********************
Jack's mother always told the same story when Jack asked about his dad. She wove a tale about a hero who marched through a poppy-strewn field with a sword of silver. He fought valiantly, a real hero-knight slaying monsters for tokens of his lady's courtly love. She didn't tell Jack of men with eyes red and swollen from chemical breath and bodies pulped into the mud. She didn't mention the spike-helmed giant who crushed his father's bones to make his bread.
Jack's wife was doing a bit of spring cleaning, clearing out the dust-balls from under their shared bed, when she discovered a box containing three golden eggs. Now, she was familiar with the old joke about the eggs and the box of money, and immediately suspected that Jack had strayed from their marriage. When she confronted him--that he'd placed an egg under the bed for each dalliance--he said in a tiny voice, "Oh there was only one other, from before I ever knew you, and I needed three eggs to count for all of her."
Once when Jack's son was still saying bafroon instead of bathroom, an adder dropped from a tree onto the grass where the boy was playing. Jack took an ax, and with all his strength severed the head right from the zigzag-patterned body. Jack has always been good with an ax.
Jack was known to build tiny shortwave radios with nothing but fly wings and silver thread. His favorite station featured a synthesized rendition of "Lincolnshire Poacher" followed by a dry female voice reading numbers in groups of five, the last number pronounced with a jaunty lilt. He turned on his radio late at night to drown out the music of that fucking harp.
Jack spent his last years roaming the roads with a dry milk cow looking for someone to buy her. There actually were quite a number of people who offered a couple pounds or even a chicken for the old animal, but Jack wouldn't settle for anything less than a handful of beans.
When Jack was still young and it had been his turn to fight the giant, there had been no fields of poppies, but instead a great steel chariot that launched Jack into the sky where he floated to the ground suspended from a cloud. His English blood got sniffed out and he spent years being marched from one place to the next. Jack knew to only say: name and rank. By the end, he existed on nothing but potatoes and sugar cubes and he took dysentery shits in a bench of holes with seven other men. He didn't tell that story to his children, no. He didn't tell them anything at all.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, July 12th, 2021
Become a Member!

We hope you're enjoying Three Truths and Three Lies About Jack by Andrea Eberly.

Please support Daily Science Fiction by becoming a member.

Daily Science Fiction does not have a paywall, but we do have expenses—more than 95% of which are direct payments to authors for their stories. With your $15 membership, less than 6 cents per story, we can continue to provide genre fiction every weekday by email and on the website to thousands of readers for many years to come. You may also choose to support us via patreon.

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.

3.7 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):