Remembering Samuel Harding

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
Samuel Harding is the detective I created in the hopes of branching into the detective fiction genre - he is an antisocial pessimist who suffers from intense on/off depression and who is my attempt at combining Dr. House (House MD) and Sherlock Holmes. Harding is addicted not to Vicodin or Cocaine but his pessimism is his drug. According to character design notes that I've kept around, Samuel Harding was born in England and immigrated to the United States when he was a child.

Harding's sister was brutally murdered at the age of thirteen which caused him to be depressed. Deciding it would be best to devote himself entirely to the apprehension of criminals, Samuel Harding enlisted in the police force and quickly rose through the ranks. An honor student at his police academy, Samuel Harding became a master detective and amateur criminologist whose theories often revolve around his belief that he can tell you anything about a person just by looking at them.

Harding's code of conduct is anything but pleasant. He is fully willing to be an asshole towards victims and criminals, he tears apart the opinions of his colleagues, he is rude to his superiors, he has no problem poking fun at religion, and he will even lock himself in his office due to his severe case of antisocial personality disorder - he doesn't care at all what others think about him.

His assistant is Sarah Hall, the buxom auburn haired woman who is said to be the only trustable friend in his mind. Sarah Hall often tries to help Samuel whenever she can and has no problem criticising him. Sarah's childhood was better than Samuel's and one may assume that he's a tad jealous.

This short story takes place after what appears to be Sarah's retirement from working alongside Harding - Harding was originally intended to have his own stories (which he does have - if I can find them all) until I put him into my novel, Elizabeth Warrington, whilst still keeping his image as the "antisocial asshole we all loved and cherished."

This summary is meant to give all readers a look into who Sarah and Samuel are.

Submitted: January 08, 2009

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Submitted: January 08, 2009

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Although the general consensus had been that Samuel Harding was an “antisocial asshole” who had a lack of respect for victims and his colleagues – he always had seemed to be cruel towards everyone – I had served him with all my heart and admired him greatly for his amazing record of having solved every single case that he was ever appointed to lead.

Everyone had served him with all their heart despite his attitude towards them. He was a walking, talking paradox of a man. To describe him, one would use words like jerk, ass, cruel, ruthless, indifferent and cold hearted. The days of when I served him are long over with but I always find time to remember them.

There are so many memories that I could tell you about – so many cases which would certainly amaze you – but I believe that the following memory would be best to have written about. It will serve as an introduction to the man I served. Harding always stayed in his office – he would arrive at the station and then silently tread off there – and on one of those days when he had done this, I decided that I would pay him a visit to talk about the case we had just finished up with.

We had just apprehended the man responsible for the murders of several girls across New England and everyone – including myself – had known that Harding was deeply moved by this particular case due to the events in his childhood. His sister had been murdered when she was only thirteen – during his years in high school - and we always assumed he had been intensely depressed because of this. He once quipped that he failed as a brother – he was supposed to protect his younger sister – and that he was damned to live the life of a broken man because of it.

His parents were like him but they had largely moved on unlike he did. Entering his office, I had noticed that he was reading some book and I simply greeted him with the usual smile and nod of the head. His office was cluttered with all sorts of papers and books along with portraits of his sister and of his family which he never ceased to treasure.

When I had entered the room, he threw the book on the desk and gave me the look that suggested he was feigning happiness at my presence – sometimes he had never wanted to be disturbed. When he was stressed out or was experiencing a vision of his deceased sister – those often came to him – he would lock himself in his office and experience it. The only time he ever told us about the visions was when he simply said that his sister haunted him. He never spoke of the visions again after that.

“Look what you made me do.” I didn’t respond to that as I took my seat on the spare chair in front of his desk. I just looked at him – while silent – wondering if he would ever be healed of his wounds.

I asked him if he had wanted to talk about the case we had solved and he just snorted. “I don’t feel like doing that but I might as well. Nothing else to do around here right now anyways.” In response to this apparent boredom, I had asked him if he had been entertained by the book and all he did was laugh. “Of course I am! I just don’t feel like reading it right now because you’re here.” I sighed. Sometimes his rudeness got to me but, despite this, I shrugged it off.

Pulling out some papers from my folder – documents pertaining to the victims and so forth – I asked if Samuel wanted to look through them one last time – with me – before they were stashed away in the closet. Samuel sighed as he picked up the document about the last victim, Grace Salmon, who he had hardly spoken about during the investigation.

He was always known for picking apart people – even victims – although his favourites were the child molesters. He wanted to see them suffer – he never denied this – he quipped he would have them all gutted like fish – and as I listened to him speak about Grace Salmon, I could tell, that the memories of his sister were beginning to return in his mind. The memories of her death, her funeral, his outbursts, everything that had ever gone wrong in his life on Earth. Sometimes you cry – he had said – even when someone’s been gone a long time.

He threw the document away and sighed. “People never cease to amaze me, Sarah. They fucking never cease.” He flipped through the other documents while uttering curses – throwing them away when he was finished reading them – and then sighed. “If you wanted to come here and make me think about girls getting raped and dismembered then get out, Sarah. I really don’t want to think about such things. It’s hard enough when you’ve cornered the piece of shit and when you’ve learned – from him – all the grisly details.”

Silence reigned. I couldn’t understand his pain. He once told me of when he took his sister to the ice rink – one day before she vanished – and how he had enjoyed himself so greatly with the sister he cherished. I picked up the documents and apologized.

“It’s alright,” Samuel said dejectedly while watching me, “I just get all upset when it comes to the murder of children. I cannot stand it. It is the unforgivable sin.” I nodded my head. I had to agree with him on that statement. He put his legs across his desk and looked over the books on the nearby shelf that he had installed. You could see that he had taken an interest in philosophical works because the volumes of Kierkegaard and Whitehead could easily be seen. This shelf was on his right.

The one on his left had books about criminology and psychology such as Skinner’s Beyond Freedom and Dignity which he always said had amused him. We then picked up a document about the culprit, Adam Jones, and how he – we ascertained – had done his bloody work. Samuel looked sullen faced. I could tell that he was hardly happy as he read. He never really seemed happy unless he was alone in his office – closed off from the outside world – he once said I was the only person he would always want to be around. “I was quite amazed to see how smart Jones was – different from the rest of the shits in the lot – but only in that he actually used Reason even if for disgusting means.”

I smirked. “You actually believe that criminals can use Reason? Here I thought that you denied such a thing as anathema.” Harding was the sort of man who had always believed that criminals were pathetic idiots. At least that’s what some of us had thought. He grinned. “A criminal of this sort needs to be smart lest we catch him too early in his game – his game of dark love.” We just sat there – silent again – until he calmly spoke to me. "A lot of people make the odd assumption that the whole world is full of people who live, breathe, and believe the ideals of Western Civilization, when in actuality, most of the world lives in the 9th Century..."

He had always believed in such things. Whenever he worked on a case – studying the facts lying before him – he would have told us that humanity was going further and further down the shithole and yet he enjoyed – he had to admit – profiting off the sins of the flesh and of the heart. “The continuous sins of Man ensure I’ve got a hefty pay check,” he once said, “I feel just like those people who sit around on armchairs – profiting off wars – while sipping wine and eating caviar on crackers.”

Once we had finished reading about the child murderer we had put behind bars, Samuel rose from his seat. He was wearing simple clothing - he hardly had any sense of fashion whatsoever - and he then walkedtowards the door without any emotion. I wondered if he was finished with me but he turned his head towards me after he had opened the door. "If you want to continue talking, follow me. If not, I'll just go off to check up on any current cases. I need something to do."

Rising from my own seat to follow him, I thought about Samuel usually said that the best way to alleviate any sudden bout of boredom was to inquire if there were any murders he could helpsolve. I was offended by this way of thinking. How could he just solve a case because he was bored? Truth be told, though, that I didn't know if that was the case. He never once told me about it during our years together in the force.

As we walked down the halls of the police headquarters, Lorraine Rubin impeded our path. "What's the head bitch doing now," Samuel quipped with a grin, "I don't pay girls for sex, hunny, so it's best if you just move out of our way - however, I'm willing to see you and my assistant get it on."

We both shouted in unison. "Detective Harding!"

He laughed. "I guess lesbianism isn't a fad amongst policewomen. What a shame. Anywho, what do you want? Can't you see I'm trying to find a murder to solve? Those losers aren't going to find peace themselves."

Rubin scowled. "Losers?!"

I was silent. I already knew how he would respond.

"Losers in the game of life. Parents of losers."

"I really wish you wouldn't speak like that," Rubin sternly stated, "but I doubt you're going to pay attention to me."

And he wasn't.

Harding fondled through his pockets - as if he was looking for some item - while he had been speaking to Rubin. "I really wish you wouldn't try to make humanity look like some group of loving and caring hippies who just want to work together for the common good. You always try to shove that down my throat.In the past couple of weeks, you've told me to forgive. Forgive what? Forgive Jonesfor what he did to Grace Salmon? Forgive him for ruining the lives of the parents? No, I cannot. I've LIVED through the pain. I still bear it. I cannot forgive him or any shit like him. Wait, why do I say him. They're not humans. They're just THINGS. You know what else,Rubin? It's never going to happen. Humans will never work for peace. They'll kill and rape over and over again. World peace is bullshit. Now, either get out of my way or I'll have to...."

Rubin smirked. "Do what?"

Harding threw himself through Rubin, pushing her to the ground, while people around us just watched in utter silence. "That." He said simply before waltzing off as if nothing had happened. People watched him walk around the cubicles without any concern for what Rubin could do in view of his actions. Helping Rubin up off the ground, I tried to have her absolve Harding of sin. She did. Without argument. "He's always going to be like that. What's the use of complaining about it?"

I watched Harding turn to us from the distance. His face was marked with an expression suggesting that he was humored. He must have overheard us talking about him but he did not speak about it. We just watched him walk out of the headquarters. Neither of us followed him. My narrative ends here. I cannot write any more because there is nothing else (of significance) to write about.


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