Money for Nothing
It seemed so simple, so easy. All Harvey had to do was sit in a comfortable chair in a comfortable room and wait. He could play on his phone, sleep, take snacks from the plate in front of him, or just relax. He could get out of the chair and walk around. He couldn’t leave the room itself, but there was a bathroom attached if nature called. For all of this, only eight hours of his time, he would receive $50,000. One more caveat, the guy had told him, though. He had to tell the truth when the time came. That was all.
It was simple, he thought. Harvey was an honest guy. He never really lied. Not really, anyway. When the people had approached him and made him the offer, he had seen nothing wrong with doing so. This was the easiest easy money.
It was around Hour 5, though, that Harvey began to get some second thoughts. There was such a thing as too easy and this may have been one of those situations. He hadn’t asked too many questions. Maybe that was to his detriment. But nothing bad had happened to this point and they had seemed genuine. Perhaps he was too trusting as well, he thought. Good ol’ trusting Harvey.
Around the start of Hour 6, he heard a knock at the door and one of his employers – for that was technically the right word – came in and smiled at Harvey. He asked if he was doing alright and, when told yes, he nodded appreciatively. He told Harvey that, in a few minutes, he would need to tell the truth as requested, but then he would be free to go and would still be paid the full amount.
Harvey felt supremely lucky in that. His butt was falling asleep, honestly. However, when a couple men dragged in a beaten, bruised, bloody man and sat him down across from Harvey, the chair suddenly seemed far too close to the actual action. He recognized the man immediately. It was his brother-in-law, Benson. This seemed less simple now.
Harvey was asked if he knew this man. He said yes. He was asked his relationship to Benson. He told them that he was the man’s brother-in-law. In the corner, a small woman made notes on a piece of paper. Harvey felt his nerves twitch every time she scribbled something down. He was asked a few more questions, all pertaining to their relationship, and Harvey answered them as honestly as he could.
Then, finally, they asked him if he loved his brother-in-law. He paused. He remembered their nights at the bars, laughing. But he also remembered having the hell beaten out of him for dating Benson’s sister. He remembered the humiliation at his bachelor party. He remembered the mean jabs at his weight, height, social status.
He said no. Benson cried and was dragged off. The man thanked him and handed him a check.
It felt good to tell the truth.
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Here is where I''ll post random stories that aren't, as of yet, in a larger book. Call it a free ride into the mouth of madness, yo.