Pumpkin Eater

By TheLostMaximoff

Disclaimer: Nope, don't own these characters. I will now go on record that Harry Osborn is the best Green Goblin ever and probably one of my favorite Spider-Man villains. RIP, good buddy.

Harry, Harry, quite contrary, how did this madness grow? All my life I tried to dismiss my insanity, tried to justify it by projecting my anger towards someone else. I can recognize it for what it is now, now that I am indeed dying. I have lived far too long and done far too much evil to be simply justified. My madness did not occur in one single moment. No, it was a slow decay and there were too many moments to count that caused all this. There was Gwen's death, my father's death, the moment I learned that my best friend and my hated enemy were one in the same, the day MJ left me for Peter, so many other moments that have helped me reach this point.

It's strange how I look back on it all now. It's as if I'm seeing it all again with new eyes, clearer eyes. Yes, all the blurs become quite clear now. All the gaps are filled in nicely and they are filled with the truth now instead of my delusions. Peter, best buddy, closest pal. We had some great times, didn't we? Sometimes I try to remember all the fun we had together and with Gwen and MJ. I'm so scared of how we've all changed. We've all been through so much pain and it shames me to realize that I have been the cause of some of it. My father was a murderer and Mary Jane chose Peter over me. There was no conspiracy, no manipulation by Peter. Facts have now become facts and slap me in the face with their cold, hard clarity.

I have been lost in a fog for a very, very long time. I have been a blind man in a dark world, stumbling to try and find something to hold onto. What sent me into this spiral I can't say. The drugs, my father's death, the goblin formula, MJ loving Peter, it's all a cocktail that swirls around in my head. I was pushed to a ledge, pushed by everything in my life all caving in at once. I was pushed to a ledge and then I jumped. I fell into a void of insanity but now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Such a brilliant light too. It's been quite a trip. It's nice that I'll finally get a little rest.

I don't know how long I've been lying here on the ground. I don't really remember how I got here. I suppose the same could be said for my entire life. How did I get to the point where I almost murdered my best friend? How did I get to the point where I almost endangered my own son and one of my dearest friends in the process? I don't have any answers. I can only guess that dying puts things in perspective and a new, clearer perspective is what I have desperately needed.

I'm dying from the inside out, I can feel it. My body and mind are too chemically altered to ever return to their original states. My eyes blearily move to view my surroundings. They focus on MJ, my first love. She's what pulled me out of the void. I guess in some way I still love her. I promised my heart to Liz, to my darling angel of a wife. Liz has a huge portion of it but Mary Jane has always kept a small piece of it. When you love someone so much a part of you never stops even though you're no longer with that person. I'm sorry she's here to see me like this. I can only be thankful that Liz isn't here to see me now. What would she think of her husband now that she has seen that my true color is green? She always tried to deny it, deny that I was a monster at heart. She tried to pretend that we were all a happy family. I encouraged it too because I was under my own delusions. No, she's better off not seeing me like this, seeing what a horrible thing I have become.

I never asked to be the heir to a bat-shaped glider and a bag full of pumpkin bombs. I never wanted to hurt my best friend or any of the other people I care about. But I am Harry Osborn and the family legacy must continue. I learned a very good lesson from my father and I learned it very well. I must never forget my family. My eyes turn to Norman, my son. I see him clutched in Mary Jane's tender arms and for a moment I imagine that Norman is our son and that MJ and I are wed. The illusion is nice but it fades quickly. My son, God my son. How I fear what you will become because of the sins of your father. There is a curse upon this family, a curse that has claimed one Osborn already and will soon take me too. When he's older, Normie will see the Goblin in his nightmares. He will hear the high-pitched cackle of insanity and see that grinning, demonic face in his sleep. I wonder if he will see visions of me as I have of my father. I wonder if he will have children of his own to pass this abhorrent legacy on to. Will the world and Spider-Man in particular ever be truly rid of the Green Goblin?

Spider-Man. Peter. Two sides, same coin. I love Peter as I would a brother but I hate Spider-Man with a bitter passion that has consumed me for years. Love and hate, two opposite ends of a spectrum. Best friend and worst enemy. For too long I couldn't reconcile these two things. I couldn't see them embodied in one person. It was all black and white. How I miss that clarity now. There's always a middle ground now, there's always a gray area.

"Stupid experimental formula," I mutter, "Guess the experiment wasn't much of a success, huh?" Peter leans over me. I wish I could see his face one last time instead of that mask. I know how it is though. The paramedics will be here soon and they can't see.

"You just hang on, okay?" he tells me, "We'll get you an ambulance. You'll. . ." His voice trails off and he chokes back some tears. Good old Petey, always takin' care of everyone else before himself. I used to want to be just like him if only so I could earn my father's approval. He's always been so strong though. I've never had that kind of strength ever. Both of us have more tragedy in our lives than anyone else I've known yet still it seems all the pain has only made him stronger while I have become so much weaker. I realize something in this moment while I'm lying on the concrete with our family's townhouse in flames behind me. Maybe I'm more like him than I realized.

"I did it, Peter," I tell him hoarsely, "Just the way. . .you would've done it, a real hero." I am a hero. I saved him and MJ and Normie. I never thought I could do something like that. I couldn't have without Mary Jane and Peter. Peter made me realize how much I care for MJ and for my family. Then MJ helped me see how much I care for Peter. My two best friends, there for me through it all. My two best friends, there with me till the end.

"Why, Harry?" asks Peter, "Why'd you come back for me?" He's probably surprised that I did considering I was the one who set off the bomb and all. I can't really say why. There's something inside me, something deeper than all the hatred. It tells me that we're still friends. It tells me that no matter what we have to look out for each other. I ignored that part of me for a long time but tonight I finally listened to it for once. I'm glad I did.

"Hey," I tell him with a little smile, "what else could I do? You're my best friend." Peter was right all along. I just got stuck in a circle, in a loop that never ended. I just kept whirling around in that loop and repeating my excuses over and over again like a broken record. Spider-Man killed my father, Spider-Man's a murderer, Peter Parker is my enemy. Over and over again. The worst thing is that I sucked him into the loop too. I never wanted this for Peter but once we got into the circle I just couldn't stop it. I couldn't stop it until now.

Everything gets blurry now. The medics load me into the back of an ambulance but I already know it's too late. Peter stays with me and holds my hand. He's been such a good friend to me through all this. It's odd that in this moment, he is the one who is my hero instead of my father. I realize now who killed Gwen. My father was a madman and a murderer. He caused Gwen's death and for that I can never forgive him. Worse yet, he indirectly caused all this too. I'm sorry, Dad, but it's not you I idolize in my last moments in this world. It's the person I've idolized all my life, my best friend Peter. If you're mad about that we can have a talk when I see you again. I will see you, Dad, and then we'll have an eternity to settle this.

Harry, Harry, so extraordinary, how does it feel to die? In truth, I've never felt so good. It's true what I said to Peter. I have lived too long and I've been through too much pain. I poison everyone I come in contact with and I can no longer allow that toxicity to corrupt those around me that I love so dearly. I can feel it now, can feel the light inside me going out. I squeeze Peter's hand one last time and smile. People say that death is an encroaching, all-consuming blackness. That's not true in my case. For me, Hell is a sickly shade of chartreuses. I realize now that not only is it what I deserve but I wouldn't ask for it any other way.