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General


The coat.


It was a beautiful coat. It must have come from a deceased estate and had been donated to the ‘charity shop’ where I bought it for just ten dollars. As soon as I tried it on I knew this would keep me warm over the coming winter months. I buttoned it up and then reached into the pockets and my hand hit onto something solid and smooth; like a handle of a machine. I felt a tingle and my eyes went out of focus. When I was able to marshal my thoughts again, I certainly wasn’t in the ‘charity shop’ anymore, but standing in snow on a vast plain. I could see what looked like a forest in front of me, but these trees were like none that I was familiar with. Still, they represented a possible haven from this forbidding terrain I was standing in.


Indeed, the trees were different. A hole could be cut in everyone I saw that you could drive a truck through. The ‘bark’ was black and smooth as glass. Without an extremely long ladder, there was no way to climb to the first branches. Then I heard a roar. A roar that filled me with dread, and from the upping crescendo of it, it was approaching me very fast.


I was transfixed. Then unbelievably, these enormous trees started to move sideways, opening up a wide pathway down which I could see some sort of vehicle approaching. It was the source of the roaring, but as it approached me, the sound died away.


“How do you do?” were the first words spoken to me by the sole occupant of the contraption; for I knew not what else to label it in my mind. It was reminiscent of the old Heath Robinson sketches that appeared in magazines many years ago. The man was tall and angular and had ‘mutton-chop’ whiskers that must have been three inches thick. However, his eyes sparkled with merriment.


“Why don’t you hop aboard, old chap,” were his next words. “I’ll take you home to visit the folks. We’ve been waiting for the next coat owner for some considerable while; so it’s welcome to you.”


As you might imagine, I wasn’t really absorbing all of this very well. I felt a little like an automaton, too much of a reality shift to take to immediately. However, I climbed onto a seat and let what may come, come. 


During our journey, I was aware that my guide was scrutinising me and finally he offered me a flask which turned out to have a most delicious liquid in it. In just three generous sips, elan filled me to the degree that I was unconcerned with what would happen to me, or to where we were going.


The euphoria lasted for the whole time I was in the company of the wonderful people I met over the next three hundred years. My beautiful wife stayed as beautiful as she was with our first kiss. I maintained a level of vigorousness as I had when I was just eighteen. 


But now my time is up. I was told I would return to my former life and with my decease, the coat would pass on to some other recipient in whatever was construed to be a ‘charity shop’ at that time.


With no regrets, I lay the wonderful coat on a table of a shop for destitute kings and noblemen in the more enlightened world it had apparently come.


November 30, 2019 00:58

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6 comments

Jubilee Forbess
22:34 May 14, 2020

Hi, Len! I have always loved thrift store coats so this resonated strongly with me but I would have liked it to be longer... I think you had more words to go with the three thousand word limit.

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Len Mooring
08:10 May 15, 2020

Yes, you are right. Perhaps I had a short attention span in that time of writing. Although I've done 3 books, I'm usually in for the 100-yard sprint. We call them Op. Shops down our way. Some of them are almost as good as shopping on Rodeo Drive. Thanks for your 'spurt' of reading my stuff.

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Star Greene
16:39 Dec 12, 2019

The story is very straightforward but a but lacking for me. I would have liked to hear about the adventures of the man during his 300 years' stay in the magical place, even just a little bit. Very intriguing though and I would like to read more of this if this is just a part of a bigger and longer story.

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Len Mooring
02:59 Feb 15, 2020

Thanks for comment. I agree. I didn't really put my best foot forward with this.

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Terry R Barca
01:27 Dec 12, 2019

" a shop for destitute kings" -- I love this bit. Terry

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Len Mooring
02:56 Feb 15, 2020

I keep praying for it to become a reality.

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