And so it was that all of the worst things that were possible happened to Ernest Blofly.
Ernest Poquat Blofly was born at a very young age. He was a child of the 1950’s and, growing up in the suburbs outside of the bustling mining-town of Oberwalz, he was used to the usual amenities of the middle-class lifestyle.
At first, it seemed that he was a normal child. It was not until after his second birthday that the bizarre occurrences that became typical of Blofly’s later life became so unnervingly common.
It was on October 17, 1955, that Blofly was playing outdoors unattended when the first major incident occurred. Initially, it was considered a simple accident, but it was much more than mere chance.
Young Blofly was playing outside with a toy tee-ball set when a man in a large Ford drove down his street. It was an amazing shot, an odds-breaker to anyone who didn’t know better, when Blofly used his small hollow plastic bat to launch the miniscule whiffle ball through the air at an incredible speed, connecting with unnerving accuracy on the right temple of one Mr. Saul Menders, knocking him senseless and sending the speeding car that he was driving careening into a nearby tree, which, despite its extremely large size, crumpled across the right front quarter of the Ford, falling onto the legs of young Blofly.
Later, they would try to explain the sudden collapse of a seemingly healthy 142-year-old oak by pointing out a strange and uncommon form of European Oak disease that had, oddly, infested the tree very recently. Still, this explained to no one the unbelievable physics that allowed the tree to topple at a right angle to the force applied to it onto Blofly instead of either onto the car or away from the car, as one would imagine would happen. Yet again, this was another occurrence blamed on chance.
Fate’s finger was not as fickle when Blofly’s medical bills put his father into severe debt. The elder Mr. Blofly was a furniture salesman who owned his own showroom. He would have usually been able to afford the bills to mend young Blofly’s legs, but his showroom had suddenly burnt down under mysterious circumstances only days after Blofly’s accident. Even stranger was the fact that, somehow, the United States Postal Service had managed to lose the check mailed to the insurance company that covered his place of business. This meant that, when the white mice that had been released accidentally by thieves robbing the nearby pet store several evenings before had chewed through the wiring of his father’s showroom, creating a massive blaze only fueled by the fabric upholstering of the couches, his father was no longer covered by fire insurance and the ensuing bills and loss of income sent his father into bankruptcy and spiraling debt.
Blofly came out of the incident no worse for wear except for a chronic limp that would plague him for the rest of his life. The problem was sheerly cosmetic in comparison to the crippling that Blofly had managed to escape.
His family situation would have been tolerable, scraping through poverty after his father took a job in the catheter mines, but the breadwinner of the family was imprisoned within a month for failure to pay back taxes. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, all taxes had been paid, but discrepancies in the paperwork somehow showed that the old man owed several thousands of dollars more than he had paid over the previous decade. He was to spend the next 14 years in jail.
Ernest Blofly was forced to live in squalor for the rest of his formative years, his mother having no other place to turn to for shelter or money after the house was seized by the government, her parents having died years earlier, never having any siblings, and being too proud to ask for help from distant relatives that barely knew her. His father’s highly religious relatives ceased to trust Ernest’s family, believing that his father was some sort of corrupt man who had lied to them all for years and had stolen from out great government. Some even contemplated if they might be Communists.
So it was that Ernest ended up living, first, in motels and, later, in a ramshackle shed of a house on the beleaguered outskirts of Oberwalz’s ever-growing industrial sector. He and his mother lived in squalid conditions and he longed to escape them, but, being only a small boy, he had no other options.
His mother got a job in one of the various catheter refineries in the industrial sector, but, true to his luck, his mother lost a hand in a catheter press during her third week of work. Her medical bills were covered by the company, but she was promptly let go. After that she was forced to turn to prostitution.
By then, young Ernest Blofly was five, old enough to understand many things that were going on around him. He was enrolled in school, but he was embarrassed to go to Mitchell Bufonze McPhillster Elementary with children that were of a higher social class and who made rude references to his mother’s methods of earning money.
Ernest wasn’t old enough to understand the sexual act, but his mother’s visitors and the noises he had heard at night were enough for him to know that he didn’t like what she did.
Things went fairly well for Blofly over the next several years, excepting two cases of bronchitis and a nagging bladder infection that lasted for an inordinate amount of time without any form of relief.
Medical treatment was, of course, not of the highest quality. Blofly’s mother still adored him, but had barely enough money to keep him fed, as Oberwalz was not yet prone to tremendous desire for whores and she could only do so much in a day. She was also not very popular with the more desirable men, as many were disgusted by her stump.
It was in his ninth year of life that his mother came down with a virulent sexually transmitted disease that ravaged their already trickling monetary flow, leaving his mother only the most undesirable gentleman callers coming to their “home” at all hours. The noises that he had heard became commonplace and he was, by then, far too old not to know what was going on under their roof.
At first, he was mildly standoffish with his mother, but it quickly evolved into a case of severe bitterness toward the only person that had loved him.
He did poorly in school and became friends with only the outcasts and loners, vandalizing property after school hours, shoplifting, and getting brought home by the police on regular occasions. His mother’s loving pleas worked on the police for the first few occasions, but they became hardened to her begging for her son’s well-being as his acts of crime became more frequent.
Soon, though, she would be unable to plead, regardless. As Ernest was arrested by the juvenile authorities and reprimanded repeatedly, his mother came down with a case of tuberculosis.
Ernest grew as his mother withered, coughed, spat blood, and died.
He left the Morston Villachang School when he was 13. He would never complete his education. He spent most of the rest of his life working.
At first, he reveled in his freedom. He was able to make a small amount of money working as a mechanic trainee at the Samung Catheter Factory, where he made friends with a young man named Rufus Mogwell.
Rufus began hanging around Ernest’s home regularly and introducing Ernest to the joys of cocaine.
The timing of their meeting was very unfortunate for Ernest Blofly, who was caught in a sting operation designed to bust Rufus and take him and all of his compatriots into custody.
Blofly began his sixteenth year of life in jail.
When he was released in 1977 from the Oberwalz County Correctional Institute For The Wrong, he felt as if something might go well in his life, as though the anal violation, the random incidents of violence, and the mental and physical abuse might finally be over.
As usual, Blofly had no idea of what was in store for him.
He was twenty-five, still young, fairly able, and only had a criminal record, a lack of education, and a bum leg to hold him back.
He got a job at a meat-packing plant, loading crates and boxes into trucks. He had only been at the job for two weeks when the FBI arrived late one Wednesday night, arresting everyone working there. It seemed that the warehouse was actually a mafia front for gunrunning.
Blofly went back to jail for five more years.
A thirty-year old man, Ernest Blofly tried to manage life as an ex-convict, but the 1980’s were hitting Oberwalz hard. The catheter mines had closed down and despair and crime had moved into what was formerly peaceful Oberwalz County.
Blofly was of a desire to stay far away from crime. In this Oberwalz, alien in comparison to the world he had once known, there wasn’t much left for him.
Ernest took odd jobs where he could find them, working in a Chinese restaurant for a month until the health inspector closed it down. Then, he went to work cleaning up at an Oriental massage parlor, but some of the things he saw there caused him to go into loud, convulsive prison flashbacks, always ending with him balled up in the floor, crying, in the fetal position, which tended to scare the clientele away, so he was let go.
Other jobs were tried and each one was a miserable failure. His employment managed to destroy 14 legitimate businesses and get him fired from 22 more by the time he was 40.
At that point, he was balding, doughy, and undesirable. He couldn’t hold down a job. He was three months behind on rent and two behind on bills. His gas had been shut off and it was the coldest winter Oberwalz had seen in years.
And it was the third coldest day of the year, that day, on which a meteor had crashed onto his Plymouth Skylark.
He was starting to think that nothing else could go wrong when the power was shut off.
And all he could say was “d-d-d-dd-d-dd-d-d-d-d-d-d-dd-ddd-dd-da-d-d-ddd-d-da-da-ddd-dd-da-daa-dda-ddam-dam-dam-dd-damn it,” having developed a stutter and lost the hearing in his left ear after being accidentally electrocuted by slipping into a rain puddle during a thunderstorm, which gale-force winds had then promptly blown a power line into, some time before.
Two days later, after being evicted, he laid in a nearby alley, clutching all his vital possessions to his body and praying to make it through the cold night, that coldest night of the year.
He had tried to build himself a fire in an abandoned oil drum earlier, but leftover chemical residues in the drum had flared up a massive and sudden blaze, that had burned his clothes, which he had been forced to strip off in part to save himself, and singed off his eyebrows and bangs.
Now, he was desperately cold and all he had left to eat were three brown M&M’s, a stale pizza crust left by the rats, and a stick of Cinniburst gum that had been in his coat pocket, unnoticed, for three years.
So, he laid there in the alley, in a pool of his own urine, too weak and cold to even stand and piss. He laid in the alley and stared into space, contemplating. Blofly wondered what could be left for him in this world.
A shiny object caught his eye and his thoughts were drawn to a Christmas tree in a nearby dumpster, formerly green branches withered and turning brown, and he remembered the Christmases of his earliest youth, with his father, who had died of a heart attack shortly after getting out of prison, and his mother, in their beautiful house with wonderful toys. And Blofly wondered where all that had gone. How had he come to this, laying in urine on a cold slab of concrete, freezing in the winter night air?
And his mood lightened as he realized that things had to get better because they couldn’t get any worse, that there must be something for him in the future, that he still had time to make something of his life, and that nothing was ever as bad as it seemed, so he never saw it coming as the cow dropped from the sky and crushed his spinal column out of his asshole.