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Fact or Fiction? Some of Both?
Inspired by the startling, yet unreported, 2008 election story, Two Babies is a modern day retelling of The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Alabama Congresswoman Susan Fox Rutledge (“SFR”) is the surprise GOP nominee for Vice President. Few Americans outside Alabama know much about her, and SFR has more surprises. Just three month earlier, SFR had her third child, Terrence, a.k.a. ‘Baby Terry’.
Because SFR is new to the national stage, millions of Americans search the Internet for more information about her. Many are stunned to discover unusual news reports and chatter in Alabama related to the birth of Baby Terry. “Rumors” flood the Internet, as thousands of people reach the same conclusion simultaneously. The facts hint that SFR faked her pregnancy to cover for Baby Terry’s real mother, her 17-year-old daughter, Penny.
Responding to the Internet wildfire, SFR and her GOP handlers release a statement to debunk what they call “vicious rumors spread by liberal bloggers.” They announce that Penny Rutledge is “about six months pregnant,” making it impossible for her to be three-month-old Baby Terry’s mother. Mainstream media does the math and decides the rumor must be false – just another crazy conspiracy theory from the depths of cyberspace.
Most of the public, distracted by the revelation about Penny and never told the basis for the SFR-faked-her-pregnancy rumors, accepts the official story. But some citizen journalists don’t buy the spin and continue to dig. They wonder why SFR didn’t just present medical records to prove she was Baby Terry’s mother, instead of outing Penny to prove she wasn’t.
One unknown blogger, the novel’s narrator, joins the “SFRfakedit.org” virtual community pursuing the investigation. He stumbles onto critical evidence and cracks the case.
In retrospect, the truth was in plain sight all along, just like the fabled Emperor’s wardrobe.