Troubled Engagements by Alec Wells - IPR Creative Writers
Henrie Fogsbhat could not have been more in need of food. It had been more than 8 hours since his last meal and the impact of that fact was just peeking over the hills of his misty mind. Henrie lay upon the ground of his living room, surrounded by mounds of shredded cheese and tacit regret. In his brain Henrie knew it wrong, the life he lived. But after all, he had a wife, and she was good. He had a house and car. They were not so good. But they were there and he could make do. Thus was his disjointed reasoning as he clambered noisily to his strained feet. 
    It was a pleasant morning, for sure, as Henrie Fogsbhat rolled forth from his flat at 421 C Baker Street. The mission was clear: to obtain other kinds of food, because damn it all if cheese wasn’t getting boring! 
     “Hey there, Billius!” he called exuberantly, sweaty faced.  
     It was several moments before the answer was expelled from his neighbor’s bathroom window. It came in the form of a bottle of shampoo, hurled with such force that it burst upon impact with Henrie’s massive stomach. 
    He must remember to ponder sometime on his own inadequacies and how they affected his development of self and his relations to others. But for now he decided that it must be put aside in light of more important things. Those things being the local grocery store. It was 10 minutes and 2 blocks later that Fogsbhat remembered to check his pockets to make sure he had sufficient funds for the purchase. He did not. But rather than return to his home (because he deemed it too much work) he ascertained that he must get it from the next person to cross his path. In London, he rationed, this should not be difficult to accomplish. 
    At last! A woman on which to exercise his charm! Henrie sucked in his gut and adjusted his face to as friendly a setting as it would allow. As the moment of suave request descended upon the duo, Henrie felt an uncontrollable urge to burst into song. What song he knew not, but he felt the need to herald this woman’s beauty. He was within feet of her, but in his genuine focus he neglected to notice the small yellow object in his path. He opened his mouth to begin the
serenade, however, in accordance with his typical luck, just at that moment his left heel caught upon the slippery surface of a rogue banana peel. Jowls a’flappin’, howling in displeasure, he went down. His glorious tribute quashed by something resembling a dying bumblebee. The woman, so radiant in her features, proved equally as graceful in personality. She exuded a small squeak of surprise before offering her hand to the lumbering beast on the ground. He
took it, clasped it in both of his own and nearly pulled her over in his struggle to gain a standing posture. 
    “I’m so sorry sir, I—I fear I distracted you when it would have been better to concentrate on the road ahead…” She said, looking abashed and very, very shaken. In the commotion she had sunk her hands into her pockets out of reflex. It looked as though she was ready to disburse something from them. She also did not look at all ready for him to speak, but speak he did. 
    “Henrie Fogsbhat, madam, that’s my name, and don’t you worry I’m quite alright!” She opened her mouth as if to reply but in the end she seemed to decide it was best not to say anything. She simply nodded and began to go on her way. “Er.. Was nice to meet you madam! Eh, I wanted to—“ But by this point she had already rounded the nearest corner, and Henrie was left with a sore posterior and the thought that he had meant to ask for something. 
    At length he sauntered into Nettles’general store and went straight to the correct aisle where he picked out a Toblerone bar. Next he began his journey towards the cashier who looked decidedly displeased at his coming. When asked to pay the 1.26 pounds required for the purchase, he found that the woman had planted a pound on him, he happily thanked her in his memory and proceeded to bring forth the less than savory completing sum of the payment from his back pocket. 
    With a grimace that made Henrie feel less than optimal, the man took the money in exchange for the candy, shaking his head as Fogsbhat executed his exit out into the streets of London. Perhaps someday he would change, but not today, that would be too hard… probably.

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