[Bloody Hal, 592 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Hal had been alone for a long period of time. For that period of time he had been stuck inside, eating junk food, playing computer games and in a more general sense; wasting away. Wasting away his life by doing nothing, he played computer games and created a virtual identity for himself. That was the sum of his achievements, an online identity that continued to interact with computer games and a metabolism that would periodically increase in weight.
His friend from high school had ceased contact with him on account of the fact that he didn’t do anything with himself. His friend, Greg, would always complain stating, “Bloody Hal! He never does anything with himself. He is simply wasting away.” Greg continued to live his life, working and earning a living. Making new friends and getting by in life.
Hal continued to eat junk food, play computer games and increase weight. Greg would occasionally call Hal and make enquiry into his life circumstances. Hal would reply, while stuffing his face full of potato chips, “Yeah, mate. Things are going good. Nothing to complain about. Just doing my thing.”
When old friends would come by and check in with Greg, they would ask him how he was and they would talk about people that they used to know. And Greg, when the subject of Hal was brought up, would state, “Bloody Hal! He never does anything with himself. He is simply wasting away.”
A day came when one of Hal’s housemates was walking past his room and made the remark, “Ewww… You smell funny.” Then they opened up the door to his room, the door creaked open and Hal’s housemate entered the room to discover Hal’s corpse. He had died sometime in the last week and a host of flies had begun to congregate upon his corpse. The smell of post Mortum lingered in the air. Hal’s housemate stood there, in blind shock, for five minutes they were frozen and could not move at the mere sight of it all. Then their instincts kicked in and they called the police. The police came in and the standard procedure was initiated. Hal’s immediate family was notified and the funeral was organized.
When some of Greg’s old friends went to notify Greg that his old friend had passed away. Greg, just upon the mention of Hal’s name, replied in an immediate reaction, “Bloody Hal! He never does anything with himself. He is simply wasting away.” His old friends, in disgust at Greg’s reaction, turned away, not bothering to tell him that Hal had passed away. The funeral was held without Greg’s presence.
Months passed. Greg on the odd occasion would ring Hal’s phone number, to which he would find that the number had been disconnected. Greg, at reaction to this latest development, would call out, “Now, he’s not even answering his phone. Bloody Hal!”
More of Greg’s old friends attempted to approach him about the subject of Hal, to which Greg would reply, “Bloody Hal! He never does anything with himself. He is simply wasting away.” And then they would drop the subject and talk about something else.
Finally, one of his friends enabled themselves to persist with the issue. This time when Greg said, “Bloody Hal! He never does anything with himself. He is simply wasting away.”
His friend quite clearly stated, “That’s because he’s dead you idiot!”
Greg felt dejected and sat in his seat and thought about it for some time, before mumbling to himself, “Still doesn’t make it any less true.”