He Lived Alone

He lived alone. Alone in a sense that there was no one with him. But he wasn’t really “alone”. He had many friends, acquaintances really, around the place, which wasn’t very big. Not very big at all. No one ever visited him. His friends were always too busy to come over, but they always found time for him when he paid them a visit. There was always a sneaking suspicion in the back of his head that they didn’t really like him, and that led to a sort of resentment, but on they all went with their lives, if one can truly call them such.

For the most part he was happy. Far away from the city with the bright lights and the noise and the people. Detestable creatures, people. Always looking down on him, pushing him away. It was all right though; he had found long ago that he could be happy out here with his “friends”. He wondered how he had ever dealt with those people. It didn’t matter now. He would never go back.

“Oh?” He thought he had heard something. “Oh, it’s just you, George. How are you today?”

The silence that George replied with was more than what was required for an answer. Fig always knew what his friends wanted without them having to answer. That was his name, Fig. He didn’t really know where he had gotten it, only that that is what he was called, and he didn’t mind one bit.

“Care to join me for some tea?”

He sat George down and got down a pot. It wasn’t much of a pot, really. Fig didn’t have much of anything at all. He had a meager living, but he was content, most of the time anyway. Most of the time, because there were things he didn’t understand. When he was hungry, for instance, he lost himself, and when he “came back”, he wasn’t hungry anymore. He never saw his friends eat either.

“Oh dear, I’m all out of water. Give me a moment, George, and I’ll go fetch some.”

As Fig left the room, George sat there, waiting. George wasn’t a very bright fellow, didn’t talk much either. None of Fig’s friends really did. That was fine by him though, it added something to his day to be able to guess his friends thoughts.

At the water pump, Fig saw Polly. He was always a little shy to talk to her, but recently had gotten up his courage and was talking to her a lot more.

“Care to join me and George for tea?” He shouted, as she was rather far away. She seemed not to hear him so he went over and got her. “Help me fetch the water and I’ll go get some tea leaves.”

By the time they got back to Fig’s house, George seemed to have fallen asleep on the table. “Oh, George, look at the mess you’ve made! You’ve gone and made a mess on the table.” Fig helped George get back to proper sitting position (George was rather stiff, you see) and sat Polly down as he put the tea leaves into the pot and poured the tea into cups.

“I must say, this is one of my better cups, don’t you think Polly? Well, now, you haven’t even tried any. How about you George, would you like some more? You haven’t tried it either? Well, if you two aren’t going to enjoy my hospitality I’d like to see you off.”

George and Polly stayed in their seats; Fig got this way sometimes, they didn’t really mind.

Fig threw them out, muttering under his breath about tea and hospitality and how he helped them all the time. The last part wasn’t exactly true; he had only really helped them once, when they had decided to move out here with him. Well, they hadn’t decided so much as Fig had convinced them, but they came, nonetheless.

Well, Fig was a little petulant after that, so he decided to take a bath. He only got madder when he saw his brother drooling all over the tub.

“Simon! What on earth are you doing? Now I have to clean this mess up. First George, now you, sometimes I wonder if my friends are all drooling apes!”

He moved Simon out of the bath and started the faucet.

“Now then, what shall I do with you,” he asked Simon. “Ah, I know, you can help me dig the garden out back when I get done in here.”

He moved Simon out back. The shovel was already there, Fig had started the garden yesterday. It wasn’t a large garden, about as big as three or four people laid side by side. Fig had big plans for his garden, he was sure.

As Fig came back inside and started the bath water, which was rather thick and putrid looking, he began to feel rather queer. He didn’t think much of it, he usually felt that way after his tea parties. He lowered himself into the tub and couldn’t help but slap the water. He couldn’t understand it, he really couldn’t help but do it, and he kept at it for awhile before slipping and falling in. He couldn’t manage to get out before his last breath had left his lungs.

* * * * *

About a week later Fig had visitors. It was probably a good thing that he had drowned in the bathtub, for the visitors were from the city. They were strange men with odd blue clothes.

As they strode up to Fig’s little house, they couldn’t help but be appalled at what they saw. Three viciously mutilated bodies sitting right outside the front door. It looked like they had been partially eaten. As two of the men searched around the house, they found Simon. It was some time before they could identify him though, as he was missing his head. The other men had gone inside and found Fig in the tub. Despite the circumstances of his death, he looked rather dignified. It was all the men could do not to feel pity for him, but the bath water, which turned out to be some rather foul smelling blood, made it easier on the men.

“Do you think he killed himself on purpose?” One of the men asked.

“No, look here,” said another, indicating a rather odd looking plant. “Atropa belladonna, more commonly known as ‘deadly nightshade’. It causes muscle spasms and paralysis. He was probably drinking the stuff like a tea,” he said, pointing to the small table in what appeared to be the dining room.

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One Response to “He Lived Alone”

  1. Wow! I didn’t know you were an author!!

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