The faux guide

He wasn’t really spectacular at anything but gullibility. He would constantly give his money away to people who seemed like they were in worst situations than he was. Although that was rarely the case. Hemly was the star child of altruism but wanted to become a little selfish when he noticed he was skipping meals out of a fault only his own.

Exhausted from a day to day life and finances looking grim, Hemly saw a magazine pushed under his door, that promised to make him all the money necessary to achieve his level of optimal level of happiness. As he started reading a knock on his apartment door startled him. “Hey listen buddy I don’t give to shits about whether or not you’re gonna pay me this month but you’re gonna need to get your ass out of here! I’ve got some people coming to see the place next week and I’ve got some people ready to see you if you’re still here!” Mr. Forsynth seemed like a genuinely nice guy and Hemly knew this but unfortunate circumstances but Hemly on the wrong side.

This apartment complex seemed on its way out. Asbestos still hadn’t been abated, the water had to be brought up from a slop sink on the first floor and naturally, Hemly was seated at the top of this kingdom. In order to use the stove, Hemly would have to use the ol’ match trick. If his stove was plugged in to use the electric spark it would shut down his whole floor. He had experienced that several times during his first week there and started to get on the wrong side of everyone directly around him. To make up for the inconvenience he made what he considered his best dessert. A banana bread mix with nuts and icing. Unbeknownst to him he found that his neighbors were either people with wheat, dairy, or nut allergies.

Before the complex, Hemly was a social butterfly in his childhood neighborhood. He made an effort to meet as many people as he could. The crowd he would always hang out with seemed to be the people who were outside all of the time. Whatever they were up to he didn’t pay much mind to. He knew that everyone had a good heart because he did and he was no different than anyone else. No one had treated him wrongly in his eyes. If someone seemed like they were bullying him he just saw it as the way they were brought up and they were actually being passionate; their version of nice. His group of pseudo-friends, started dying but no one actually explained to Hemly what was going on. He was told that they had moved. Hemly saw it as an experience he should have knowing he wanted a change of scenery.

Although he didn’t move far it was a different scenery indeed. Hemly’s giving and positive attitude didn’t get him the same attention. Some people saw his gifts as insults and others saw his positivity as overbearing. Trying his hardest he just wanted to be the best at something. He didn’t know what. His job at a storage facility left him wanting more out of his new life. His co-workers seemed pretty content with their lives and even more so recently. New cars and cell-phones way out of their budget and value bracket were being seen. People around him found a way to purchase these unbelievable items but he was stuck in an awful apartment with bare minimum trinkets and gadgets.

Hemly wasn’t the type to get jealous at the items of others, until a spell of depression fell over him and he started to seek happiness in the worst way. Seeing how happy his co-workers were he asked how were they able to get these incredible things. The information was startling, they didn’t purchase a thing! They had just loaned it from a person who didn’t ask for anything just a few questions about their spending habits and promised them they can be rich like she was. She would persuade the person to ask for anything they wanted. It would be their’s for a week. Then when the week was up, they should come to return the item to her residence outside of town and she will show them how to make the same amount of money if not more! With the thought and need sitting in the back of his head, Hemly read this magazine after the abrupt interruption by Forsynth, and noticed similarities between what his co-workers had explained to him about this philanthropist and the overall theme of this magazine the “Fortune Guide.”

He set an appointment to go to her residence outside of town. Hemly was dressed to impress. She seemed extremely important and he wanted to be sure to make an amazing impression and maybe he could be the best at what she did under her tutelage. Hemly didn’t drive so public transport can only take him most of the way. The walk from the metro station to the residence was 5 miles and the heat of summer. By the time Hemly arrived he was drenched. The time spent on his hair and picking out his outfit, gone. Thankfully his deodorant held through the stress test of anxiety and summer heat.

Out front was a gate that hadn’t looked like it was open for decades. It was riddled with vines and a padlock that had a brand that was older than anyone he knew. Looking around and feeling strange about the silence he called out. “Hello?” A small man with a monocle seemed to arrive out of nowhere. “…yes?” was said in the smallest horse voice heard. “I’m here to see the woman.” The old man seemed to examine Hemly and brought him to a large tree and opened base of it.”Down……th….th……there….. Come now.” Hemly was hesistant but desperate. He saw tools laid out but wasn’t sure what they were for. Each one hanging from a hook but seemingly as decoration down the staircase. At the end of his eternity walk he entered an auditorium where there were so many people but none seemed to have faces. All dressed in uniform all slightly out of focus, even the closest ones.

The long silence of waiting was over and Hemly tried to asked someone near him what was going on. The old man had disappeared long ago and he was left to associate himself with these out-of-focus beings. No one answered him. Not because they couldn’t hear him but it seemed like they just wouldn’t dare. The woman had arrived on stage with a slow walk. “Here. We have it. Everything anything can ever want. Anything that can ever be imagined at anytime. YYYoou Yyyouuuu are here because sss ss ssomething is som ssssomething is out of reach? Out of reach!” Hemly saw the gaze in her eyes and felt emotionless. He didn’t need to response. She knew everything about him as he slowly became out of focus. “Happ ha Happiness. What you need you have found. Happiness. Here.” Her words felt like they didn’t make sense but he understood what she meant. He started to notice as his yearning for happiness and the drive to be the best at something started to dwindle. He felt nothing and was no longer able to focus on anything. “Happiness is what you will have by having nothing. It is no longer yours to want but mine to have. Your gift was giving and you have given it all. I am the taker. I appreciate what you have done and now your needs wants or cares are over. Stay here. Just. Stay.”

The woman left. Hemly left. The old man left. The tree closed. Another day had gone and Mr. Forsynth and the other seemed to not mind the absence of another tenant of the complex. No one asked questions. The tenants began to divide Hemly’s belongings what little there was in a drab organized movement. The room was rented to a new tenant someone, who talked about nothing but getting rich to everyone he knew. “I’ll be famous you’ll see!” That’s what he told everyone he met. He unpacked all of his belongings and heard a shuffle. A magazine was slid underneath his door named the “Fortune Guide.” “Nice! Right up my alley! I bet if I show up in person I’ll make myself known!”

 

The Daily Post : Fortune

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