13 Misfortune

Harry was killed.

It did not have much to do with him. He did not commit the deed and he did not prevent it.

He had been hired for an office job in a respectable company, not because of the marks he had received during his education, but because Nike had recommended him.

At his job interview Harry was asked questions and answers issued from his mouth, but Harry never really followed them. When Nike asked how it went, an answer was given to him as well, but it did not come from Harry, it came from Harry’s mother. She waited outside sitting down half the time and leaping to her feet the other half, her hair arranged with at least ten different pins.

Ninety percent of the time Harry had someone to speak for him and when he did not, answers came from his mouth anyway without his interference.

One day Harry’s mother died. Nike drove Harry to the funeral and said goodbye to Harry’s mother. Words exited Harry’s mouth as easily as ever. In fact, a whole speech poured forth during the ceremony. The few guests nodded their heads at the sentences which were not his.

Five years after the funeral, the company who had hired Harry fell on bad times and soon Harry was unemployed. They told him to clear out his desk, and his desk was cleared out.

That evening Nike rang the doorbell to the place where Harry spent most of his time when he was not at work. After a few rings Nike opened the door and went in. Harry was in the living room. A large lumpy sofa supported him. Everything in the living room looked very neat, as if someone had just tidied up, or as if nothing had ever been used.

‘I came as soon as I heard,’ said Nike, ‘I think the people in charge were keeping it from me on purpose. I only found out because one of my colleagues asked me about you in a mail.’

Harry’s face was turned towards him.

‘How are you?’ asked Nike.

Harry’s shoulders shrugged.

‘You mustn’t let this get you down,’ said Nike, ‘you just have to take it in your stride. I’m sure there’re plenty of other companies out there who know how to appreciate your strengths.’

Harry’s head nodded.

‘You had better begin job hunting at once though, the market is in a bad state at the moment. First thing tomorrow, eh?’ Nike flashed his dazzling white smile. Harry never smiled, but his teeth showed themselves from time to time.

‘Sure,’ said Harry’s voice.

‘Good, I’ll look forwards to hearing about it.’ Nike talked some more before he went home to his wife.
The next evening Nike came calling again. He found Harry in front of the computer, eyes staring at the screen.

‘Hi Harry, how’s it going? Find something good yet?’

‘Not much,’ replied Harry’s voice.

‘They have really increased the workload, phew, I’m exhausted.’ Nike collapsed on the couch. After a few more moments of staring, Harry’s chair spun around and they were face to face.

‘Sounds tough,’ said Harry’s voice.

‘It is,’ said Nike, ‘it really is… Say, what have you found today?’

Harry shrugged.

‘Nothing good, eh? I could help you find something.’

Harry shrugged. Nike rose from the couch and went over to help Harry. Before Nike went home, he had sent off five applications.

‘Hi Harry,’ said Nike the next time he visited,  ‘How are you?’ A stray clump of hair had released itself from the constrictions of Nike’s hair gel. ‘I’m sorry it’s been so long since I visited last,’ it had been three days, ‘but I’ve been so busy with work that I’ve had no extra energy at all. I don’t have much time to spare today either unfortunately, I just came to say hello.’

Harry’s head nodded.

‘How’s the job searching coming along? Have you sent any more applications? Have you had any answers?’

Harry’s shoulders shrugged.

‘Oh, well, keep fighting, eh?’ Nike gave Harry the thumbs up.

One of Harry’s thumbs rose in reply.

‘Great,’ said Nike, ‘I’ll see you around.’
When Nike visited the next week, his shirt was creased and he loosed his tie as he walked into the living room.

‘I feel like I’m suffocating,’ he said, ‘they’ve fired almost a hundred employees now and I’m running as fast as I can, but it never seems to be fast enough. I almost envy you, sitting here where you can relax.’

Harry’s eyes looked at him.

‘Heh,’ Nike smiled, ‘you know I’m just kidding, right. I know you’re very busy. Looking for jobs.’

Harry’s shoulders shrugged in reply.

‘Have you found anything yet?’

Shrug.

‘Is that yes, or no?’

Shrug.

‘Come on now; are you mad at me for what I said?’

Harry’s head shook from side to side.

‘Good, then tell me what you’ve found.’

‘Nothing,’ said Harry’s voice.

‘The market must be tough right now,’ Nike nodded, ‘what have you considered this far?’

Shrug.

Nike sighed.

‘Look my patience isn’t really in a good state right now. Can’t you just answer my questions?’

Harry’s head nodded.

‘Thank you. What have you considered?’

‘Nothing,’ answered Harry’s voice.

Nike opened his mouth and for once no sound came out. At least not at first.

‘Nothing?’ he said.

‘Nothing,’ affirmed Harry’s voice.

‘You can’t be serious. Nothing at all?’

‘Nothing.’

Nike’s jaw worked up and down.

Harry’s head was turned towards him, his face calm.

‘What have you been doing all this time?’

Shrug.

‘Argh!’ Nike’s face turned red, ‘can’t you do anything on your own?’

‘No,’ said Harry’s voice.

Nike lunged.

He brought both Harry and the office chair down with him, his fingers locked around Harry’s neck.

‘You little shit!’ he yelled, ‘is this how you repay me?’

Harry’s voice tried to answer, but it could not pass through Nike’s fingers. Harry’s lungs struggled for air and his heart pumped what oxygen was left around his system. But they could not keep it up for long. When Nike realized that Harry’s chest was no longer moving, he fled, slamming the door behind him.

As Nike was the only one who ever visited Harry, it took some time before Harry was discovered. When they finally found him, Harry was very wilfully rotting.

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8 Comments

  1. Scriptor Obscura

     /  January 25, 2012

    Oooo….What a story….Wow….

    Reply
  2. Harry sounds like my kid when he’s playing World of Warcraft. The most intelligent answers I get are “Huh?” and “I don’t know.”

    Is the fly another one of your drawings? If so, good job!

    Reply
    • But hopefully he changes when he is away from the screen 😉

      Yes, all the drawings on this blog are my own.
      Thank you for reading 🙂

      Reply
  3. Oooh the end was unexpected on this one. I kept thinking that the characters would be supportive of one another and Nike would help lift Harry from his depression. I was wrong, the unexpected turn was well-placed!

    Reply
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