Harold - Part 1

Harold had tried it. It just didn’t sit well with him, so naturally he quit.

He tried pills. He tried guns. He tried ropes. He tried jumps, knives and falls. He tried water. He tried food. He tried drugs. He tried drinks. He even tried spells. None of them worked. He figured maybe if he just wait it out, something bad might happen. That wasn’t the case either. Nothing worked. Ever.

By all looks and appearances, Harold was a normal 35 year old man. His hair was short and slightly thinning, but it had been that way for 90 years now. He wore a few extra pounds around the waist, more than he preferred, but he knew he had time to shed it if he needed to. He may have looked like a 35 year old, but he was anything but.

Harold was a man of many faiths. He had the time to study them. He didn’t have to pick just one. Ever since he figured out he couldn’t die, he questioned all religions.

For work he had a part time job at a convenience store. But he would switch jobs and towns every few years to keep the questions to a minimum. He lived minimally so he didn’t need much. He was fond of the studio apartment life and it suited him well.

But he missed his family. He missed his friends from childhood. They were gone. He had pictures of them all, but he couldn’t share their stories with anyone. Memories could not be shared. No one would understand. They’d call him a freak. He’d become poked and prodded. He avoided social media because of all the obvious reasons. He knew better than that. It was a constant struggle. He wanted to build friendships, but he was scared. He wanted a girlfriend, but how could that ever be. How would it ever work?

He often thought about why he had this power. He didn’t know what to do with it. All he had ever wanted in life was to just be at peace. But, unfortunately, after discovering his gift he was anything but. At first he tried his best to take advantage of his infinite timeline. He moved and lived wherever he wanted. Paris. Tokyo. San Francisco. Buenos Aires. Nairobi. He could take the time to learn anything he wanted. He learned languages and read books. Time was no longer an issue for him. Yes, he had to live within the structure of a 24 hour society, but he knew that didn’t have to play by the rules. But the life of travel did not last long at all. Over time strangers in Los Angeles were the same strangers in Dubai.

No one knew about his ability to cheat death. Well, no human being that is. Harold has had a number of pets that have known. There was his dog Ralph. His cat Carol. His goldfish Neo. They all knew. But they were long gone now too. Harold wasn’t particularly eager to get a new pet.

One day, after another restless night of sleep, Harold had an idea. He thought since he was being denied entry to an afterlife, he perhaps he’d bring the afterlife to him. But where? And more importantly how?

Andy RiddleComment