is smarter, better looking, stronger or quicker than anyone else. It is
because of the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution. It is April, Handicapper General’s men take away George and Hazel Bergeron’s 14-year-old son, Harrison. The couple are sitting watching ballerinas dance on television. George has an intelligence way above normal and is required by law to wear a little mental handicap radio in his ear, which is tuned into a government transmitter. George looks tired to Hazel so she suggests he make a little whole in the 47-pound handicap bag to let out some lead balls. Instead, George says he doesn’t want to be put in prison for doing something like that. He said if everyone started to do that, then they’d be back to the Dark Ages where everyone was competing one another. Meanwhile, the television program was interrupted for a news bulletin. One of the ballerinas took
the bulletin to read since the announcer was having trouble reading it. She said that Harrison Bergeron had escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion for plotting to overthrown the government. He is regarded as extremely dangerous for he was under-handicapped and a genius. The police photograph of Harrison was flashed on the screen. Instead of wearing a little ear radio for mental handicap, he wore a huge pair of earphones and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. They made him half blind and gave him banging headaches. All of a sudden, Harrison entered the studio. Everyone was down on their knees, expecting to die. Harrison cried he was the Emperor and was going to rule. He tore away the handicaps, headphones and spectacles and threw them against the wall. He said the first woman to rise to her feet would be his Empress. When one of the ballerinas arose, Harrison snatched off her mental handicap from her ear and her physical handicaps, including her mask, which then exposed a beauty. He got the musicians to play their best while he and his new woman danced. They danced first on ground and then high into the air, just below the ceiling. They kissed the ceiling and then they kissed one another. Then came in Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun, which she fired twice, killing both arrison and his mate. The Bergerons’ television burned out and George asked his wife why she was crying. She said she forgot. George told her that it’s good to always forget sad things.
Stefano Roi was only 12 when he asked his father, who was a sea captain and the owner of a fine sailing ship, to take him on board as his birthday gift. He told his father that when he grows up, he would own more beautiful and bigger ships than his. Stefano wandered around on the ship; since he’s never been on one, he asked many of the sailors questions. When he had gone astern, he saw that at two or three hundred meters away, he was something in line with the ship’s wake. When his father found his son, Stefano asked his father about it. His father, at first saying he saw nothing, looked through a telescope and turned pale. He told his son that he had seen a colomber. It was a mysterious shark whom only the chosen one sees. No one can see the colomber except the victim and his blood relations. The colomber pursues him for years and years until it has succeeded in devouring him. He asks his son to promise him to never go to sea, and will always stay on land. His father sent him to study at an inland sity. When he returned home for summer vacations, he would hurry to watch the sea and always find the colomber there. The idea of a creature waiting for him day and night became a secret obsession for Stefano. He grew up to be a man, and found a well-paying position in a store in the city. After his father died of an illness, his magnificent ship was sold by his widow. He inherited his father’s fortune, and the thought of the colomber tormented him more and more. When he was almost 22 years old, he resigned from his job to move back to his native city. There he continued his father’s trade. Stefano began to sail and the
colomber trudged along. He would always ask his companions whether they
ever saw anything, pointing at the wake. They did not. He sailed and sailed and became so successful in his business. One day, realizing he was getting old, he wanted to face the colomber at last. He asked the crew for a small boat to be lowered into sea. He talks to the colomber, who talks back to him. The colomber says that Stefano had made
him swim so much, wasting him with fatigue. That he was misunderstood.
The colomber had not pursued him around the world to devour him but to give him a pearl, which brought luck, power, love, and peace of mind to whoever possessed it. But, it was too late. The colomber said goodbye and sank into the waters forever. Two months later, the small boat was found, and in the boat was a seated skeleton and in its hands was the small round stone.
The Wife’s Story
This young woman fell in love with a man, whom she first met near
Spring Lake. He was a great man and she seemed to love everything about him. She and her sister lived alone in their home. When the man came over almost everyday, her sister said she should just leave if he was going to be there most of the day. Her sister moved out and then she married the man. He was a hard-worker, big, fine-looking, and sang so beautifully. They had children and lived happily. Things started to get strange. In the middle of the night, when the moon is high, her husband would get up and goes out all alone. He had done that a few times, when he’d come back late, smelling strange. Even when he bathed, the smell stayed in his hair and in their bed. One night, her youngest child
cried aloud to her mother, telling her to get away from her dad. She
It was one night that she heard something stir in the passage. When
she couldn’t stand it any longer, she got up to see her husband, who sat down on the grass. His feet started to get longer and hair began to come over his whole body. He turned white, his face flatter, mouth flat and wide, ears gone, eyes blue and wide, and his teeth grinning flat and dull. He then stood up on two legs. He had turned into the hateful one. She was trembling and shaking with a growl that turned into a calling howl. Others heard her and woke up. Mother anger came into her and she crept forward, with her pack including her children behind her. It, who was once her husband, picked up a branch and threw it at her house, at her. The man would kill her children if it could. Her sister was there, too. The whole pack gathered together and ran after the man. Her sister was at its throat. When she got there, it was dead. She had hoped that the thing would turn back into her loving husband but only
the dead man lay there, white and bloody. The pack drew back into the
It was around midnight when Timber Woods arrived home. She noticed
that the light in her husband’s room was still on and that he might still be awake. When she got to his room, she saw he was lying on the bed, awake, but didn’t move. Harry told her to come into the room quietly. He told her to take off her shoes, and he spoke so low. She didn’t understand what he was trying to do. He said not to touch the bed. He was sweating, lying in his bed in his pajamas, with the single sheet covering three quarters of his body. He told her there was a krait, but hadn’t bitten him and was probably lying on his stomach under the sheet sleeping. He said he had been still for hours and
hours and was waiting for her so she could do something about it. He
had been wanting to cough but didn’t want to scare the krait, which would bite him. Timber went into the kitchen to get a knife. When she got back, she said that the best thing would be to draw back the sheet gently. He told her that the light would frighten the krait. He suggested her to call a doctor. Timber went and called up Doctor Ganderbai and explained the whole situation to him. The first thing the doctor did was inject some serum into Harry. After that, the doctor went downstairs to think awhile on what to do next. He told Timber to drive to his house and get chloroform from his poisons cupboard. Timber was back in fifteen minutes with the bottle of chloroform. Dr. Ganderbai sat by the bed and he fitted a small paper funnel into one end of a hollow rubber tube. He worked slowly, pulling a little piece of sheet out from under the mattress, and he succeeded in making a
opening under the sheet. He let the rubber tube slide under the sheet
towards Harry’s body. He soaked the mattress with the chloroform and it was going to feel cold against Harry’s body. The doctor steadily poured the chloroform into the paper funnel. The smell was sickening and heavy. They waited fifteen minutes after having poured the chloroform through the tube. He was trying his best to keep Harry quiet. Then Timber and the doctor, facing each other at the sides of the bed, took each end of the sheet and slowly drew it back together. The smell of the chloroform was awful. They pulled the sheet back and had uncovered Harry’s legs and feet. They dropped the sheet to the floor. The doctor told Harry not to move for the krait could have been anywhere. When Ganderbai said that the krait could be up the leg of his pajamas, Harry jumped up and shook his legs violently. He shouted that the krait was not there. Then Harry started getting mad at the doctor because the doctor asked him whether he was sure the krait had been there in the first place. Ganderbai left the room with his things, and Timber escorted him out of the house, thanking him on doing a great job. The doctor said that all Harry needs is a vacation.