Harriot

this is an exercise to help develop characters.

Harriot has never owned an original thought. He didn't cry when he was born, nor did he kick. He sat in the doctor's arms and stared at him. Harriot didn't say a word. His parents worried about their child. They asked if it was normal for a child to behave this way. The doctor said every child is different. He walked away from them puzzled. Never had a baby stared at him like that. The baby opened its eyes and looked at him. He felt like it brought knowledge with it from the gates of heaven it descended from, the knowledge of its ancestors. This was the impression most people felt after meeting Harriot. When his parents took him home in the car ride, he was silent. When his mother held him in her arms that night she waited to hear a murmur from him, any sign of life. She fell asleep and awoke in the morning to find him staring at her. She was never sure if he slept that night. He never cried out for food, which made the routine of feeding him a sort of guessing game. He ate whatever they gave him, but never indicated if he was famished or full. His parents were relieved when they finally heard him utter his first word at the age of four. Infants first words are usually mumbles that slightly resemble "mama" or "papa." He had just barely learned how to crawl when he uttered a single, fully formed word, "television." His parents were astounded upon hearing this. His father dropped the fork he was holding which had a slice of egg white between its prongs. His mother opened her mouth to shriek, but no words came out. He learned the word while sitting on his mothers lap as her and his father had a discussion on the automobile industry. The word television had been used in the discussion a total of one time, and briefly at that. They believed their son to be a savant. As he approached adolescence they had less faith in this belief. He appeared to be just as smart as the other children in the classroom, but whenever he was alone he appeared to know little. In fact, when given a written test to complete, Harriot would observe his classmates before answering the questions. His teachers thought he was cheating off them and he was, in a different sense. The children became more observant of Harriot as they matured. They started asking questions about him, questions the teachers couldn't answer. It became evident that Harriot suffered from some sort of illness. He was taken back to the doctor. Upon seeing the child again, the doctor was struck with the same feeling from before. He took Harriot into a room and had him answer a questionnaire. At first, he merely watched the doctor. The doctor was nervous while interviewing Harriot and the coffee he had prior to the appointment wasn't helping. He crossed his legs, then uncrossed them, then stood up and walked around the room. He tried not to look directly at the boy when asking questions. The doctor had a higher pitch to his voice than usual and spoke with an unintentional drawl. After a few minutes, the doctor deemed the child as unresponsive. He decided to ask Harriot one last question before giving up.

The End

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