Sally woke to the sound of hammering on her front door.
“Dammit!” she muttered. Door to door salespeople were getting more and more intrusive. 7am on a Saturday morning? That was just cruel.
She clambered out of bed and headed straight for the door – no prettying up. The bed hair would give the bastard an extra scare.
“WHAT??” she yelled, flinging open the door.
A young woman in long skirt and peasant top stared at her. Hippy type, thought Sally. Greenpeace? If she’d been a little more awake, maybe the look on the woman’s face would’ve tipped her off that this was no standard stranger.
“I was trying to SLEEP!” Sally said loudly and indignantly. Then she saw the man lurking behind her visitor… with a video camera.
“Morning, Steph…” the woman said, “You seem to have grown your leg back – well done!”
Crap and triple crap.
Sally sipped her cup of coffee and pondered. Martha had made it very clear – she was about to be outed in a big way. And the irony was, it was only because she was too honest to accept other people’s money that her dishonesty had been discovered.
The woman had tracked her down – hard, but not impossible for someone with access to the right databases – to deliver the money collected despite her protests. And then got suspicious. Then outraged. Sally sighed. Oh well, it’d been fun while it lasted.
Two weeks later, Sally’s name – and every single one of her fictional names – was dirt. She’d been denounced on several popular blogs and hundreds of not-so-popular ones. Television stations had gotten hold of the story and ran the youtube video of her being busted on their prime-time news.
Her comments inbox was full of abuse and hurt feelings from people who’d been full of sympathy and friendship just days ago. Her letterbox was full of hate mail kindly forwarded by the television networks. People frowned at her in the supermarket, clearly unsure where they’d seen her but sure it wasn’t anywhere good.
What hurt most was shutting down her Ask Dr Sal blog. She’d posed as a doctor and herbalist to answer medical questions galore from people worldwide. And in her opinion, she’d done a damn good job. She’d always researched carefully, always suggested a visit to a local GP wherever there was the slightest doubt… and thanks to her, at least a dozen women had managed to get pregnant despite being told that they were ‘infertile’. The lack of qualifications had done absolutely no harm. But her hysterical ex-readers didn’t agree. She was a fraud, a charlatan, a murderer…
Sally sighed and stirred her coffee before taking a long swallow. Oh well, she had enough savings to last a while. And worst case scenario, she could go back to a real job. Crappy though that would be.
“What’s this gap in your resume?” she imagined a HR officer asking.
“Oh, I took some time off regular work to run an internet scam,” she could answer.
She sighed. Nope, this time she was royally fucked.