Two-faced phony-baloney

Fakers, liars and the pretenders. The people that move through life insincere and artificial. I’m talking about the ones that smile and say nice things to your face but then plunge the proverbial knife ten inches into your back the moment you present it.

From the mild emotionally damaging gossip to the all-out sabotage life altering warfare, the back stabbers hide behind deception and cruelty and thrive there. The two faced person can become very dangerous very quickly if provoked. Developing into a nemesis, enemies or villains. Even if they aren’t already.

Artificial people are opportunists and as a writer I present them with opportunity, which is key. Small moves at first leading and building to their grand finale. Whether it’s a side story to build the protagonists character or the main plot doesn’t matter. Someone who presents two selves to the world likely has an agenda, they are clever, tricky and tend to be very good at it.

Good choices for two-faced people

A best friend
Their lover or spouse
The neighbour
A boss
The sweet kind co-worker
Any relative the closer the better 

The list above is not set in stone, anyone can be two faced when it suits them, however in the interest of excitement, the closer the faker is to the protagonist, the better the drama and emotional fall out. A person like this has motive, they must have a good one or it wont make sense. Here is a list of some reasons for being two-faced.

Why the deception?

Jealous
Covets
Revenge
Aspiration or ambition
Love
Hate

Of course any reason for selfish behavior works. Make sure the reason behind their drive to be deceitful is clear. Amber can’t just cause Sasha to lose her job for no reason out of the blue.(Unless shock is what you’re going for. But if I did this I would write it well or it will be frustrating.) There has to be some hint or clue to the reader that Amber is up to no good, directly or indirectly. Whether or not Sasha catches on before it’s too late will depend entirely on whether or not it is part of her downfall to rock bottom, or part of her rise to stand tall and stop Amber from succeeding in her self-gratifying plot.

Sasha walked down the hall half-excited and half-nervous. Scott asked her to help him with the children’s shoe advertisement after hours. He couldn’t very well make them sexy and he was stumped.
She knocked on his apartment door, the diner he promised wafted to greet her as he opened the door. Aside from his method of getting this account he has always been nice, kind and flirty. Perhaps she should have tried partnering with him in the first place and not forced him to go behind her back?
Smiling at each other he stepped aside sweeping his hand for her to enter.
“Come on in Sasha.” His approving leer validated her decision to go home and change into something more casual and revealing. Straight to work, Sasha poured over his ideas and made notes and suggestions while he prepared the meal.
“Go on and make a draft if you want.” He tasted a red sauce and she wondered if it was homemade or canned. While he set out dinner she finished three options, pleased with herself she saved the files and sat at the dining table. Small talk. Sasha hated it. Despite them being co-workers she knew virtually nothing about the  handsome Scott Dekker.

He filled the silence with subject matter he enjoyed. He asked no serious questions about her or let her start a new topic. When he could, he touched her hand and smiled suggestively.
|Frustrated and unimpressed by the bland cannellini that was store-bought she glanced at the door. He was treating this like a date and her guard flew up hard and fast. He eagerly looked over her ideas with too much enthusiasm. The wine he drank might have played a part. Sasha was driving so declined.
“These are great, I can’t thank you enough Sasha, my ass is on the line over this account.” It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him not to backstab her again but she let it go.
“I should get going.” She headed toward the exit. “Thanks for dinner.” A complement was too hard a lie to tell.
He moved, put his hand on the wall, blocking her escape.
“Stay.” He brushed her long blond hair back. “To talk or whatever.” He leaned in to kiss her and she let him. Why not? The words fluttered in her mind like her eyelashes as he pulled her closer.

It was nice, butterflies flew in her stomach, a mild excitement stirred then fizzled. Scott backed off and smiled a cocky, victorious smile. It was all wrong and the flicker of anger in his eyes at her frown confirmed it.
“I’m sorry Scott, I don’t…” She looked around. “I can’t.”
“I know you’re attracted to me so what’s the problem? Is it because we work together?”
“No, no it’s not that.”
“Then what?” He dragged the back of his index finger down her cheek. She licked her lips. “I just… can’t.” Why not? Her mind screamed at her. He was hot and willing and other than they worked together there was no logical reason for her not wanting to. The problem is there was a reason.
“Goodnight Scott.” She opened the door and left quickly.
Scott breathed out hard through his nose and slammed the wall with the palm of his hand. “Stupid shrew.” He spat the words at the closed door. “I’ll win, yes I will. I’ll get you Sasha, you stupid little uptight celibate bitch.”

Are all two faced people bad? No, but it’s more thrilling to read about a deep personal interaction. In this Sasha is aware of the problem, her secret, the reason she shuts all potential suitors down. In her misery she sits comfortable and safe from whatever it was that might repeat.  I want her aware that Scott is up to no good, but not specifically what. Not yet anyway.

My advice about two-faced artificial people.
Boy oh boy can they cause some chaos. Embrace their destructive capabilities and run with it, have fun and let their evil grow.

-Sheryl

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Setting the mood

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Artificial

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