Monthly Archives: April 2016

Somewhere, someplace, sometime;6th installment

As he could breath again, he sat on a small pile of rubble, trying to recover his composure.

This coat was obviously something more than just a coat. Whenever he did something the coat felt was wrong it reacted by giving him pain, but on the other hand it gave him money to buy food. What was going on here?

He saw a discarded cigarette and picked it up, he had given up smoking long ago, but now felt he needed it badly. In his right pocket he found a lighter. Inhaling deeply, he closed his eyes and waited for the dizzy spell to pass. Blowing out the smoke he began to think.

He had found a dead body not far from where he had found the coat and this morning a body was found that looked more or less like the one he had seen near the coat. Was there a connection?

Had the body he had found near the coat been the previous owner that had discarded it with dire consequences? Possibly. He had tasted blood in his mouth waking up this morning. Had he killed that woman without even knowing it?

The coat didn’t like it when he tried to take it off, it didn’t like it when he earned money by doing an honest day’s work. What sort of coat was this anyway?  Was it possessed?

He needed information, but where would he be able to find information about this particular coat? He had not searched it for a label. If it had a label he might be able to learn something, but that meant taking the coat off and it wouldn’t allow that.

He got an idea and walked deeper into the alley where he saw another homeless person digging through the garbage.

‘Can you do me a favour?’ he asked. ‘Can you look at the neck of my coat to see if there’s a label there?’

The man raised his eyebrows as he bent over to offer him the neck of his coat. He felt the man lifting the collar.

‘Nothing there,’ the man said, ‘but it looks like a coat coming from the east side.’

‘The east side?’

‘Yes, a container with clothing was dumped there, good quality clothing, but most of it is still there, nobody seems to want it, as if something is wrong with it,’ the man said, digging through the garbage again.

‘Thank you,’ he said, ‘thank you very much.’

He walked away, heading to the east side. It would be dark by the time he would get there, but he didn’t care. He had found a lead and would follow up on it. So far the coat didn’t react, so he felt safe enough.

It was late by the time he reached his destination. He saw a twenty foot container, half on its side with open doors blocking the exit of the alley. On the side was an outlandish name he didn’t recognise. That didn’t mean anything as most clothes were imported nowadays.

Feeling inside his pocket he found a flashlight and turned it on, looking at the container very carefully. He felt something, but that could also be his anticipation, he did take notice of it though.

Very carefully he looked inside the container and covered his nose as an awfull smell came from it.

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Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 5th installment

He walked away from the gruesome sight,not feeling like eating anymore. Still his body asked for food as his stomach grumbled loudly. Shivering from the sight he walked towards the park feeling nice and warm in his coat.

It was early yet, but there were alredy people in the park, some running others on their way to work. Some stopped at the cart he was heading for to buy some breakfast.

He ordered two croissants and paid the man, who looked a little surprised. He had seen some homeless people in his time and often gave them a croissant for free, that this man paid for it was something new.

Munching on his croissant he walked over to the lake where he sat down on old tree trunk that served as a bench. He wanted to take a shower, but could he? Would he be able to take off his coat for that? He also wanted to shave. Maybe the supermarket down the street could use some help for the day.

In the homeless centre he locked the door to the bathroom and carefully started to pull his arm out of the sleeve. Nothing happened. Sighing with relieve he carefully pulled his other arm out, again nothing happened.

After his shave and shower he felt a lot better and started out for the supermarket. There was no sign for help wanted, so he walked to the back where the deliveries were made. A sour looking man stood by the door, smoking a cigarette.

‘Do you perhaps need a hand for the day?’ he asked carefully.

The man looked him up and down and frowned before he said; ‘Yes, I could use a pair of hands. I will pay you fifty if you help unlaoding the lorries that make the deliveries. Make a mistake and you are out of here.’

‘Thank you. I will work hard, you’ll see.’

At the end of the day he felt good about himself. He had worked hard and felt he had truly earned his fifty, but why was the coat feeling a little strange right now? It looked as if the coat was trying to squeeze him, as if it wasn’t pleased with what he had done.

The tighter he held on to his hard earned money the tighter the coat began press around him. At last he put the money in his trousers, but the coat didn’t stop. It began to hurt as a drizzle began to fall from the overcast sky.

He stopped in an alley, gasping for breath. Why was the coat doing this to him? He had done nothing wrong, he might even go back there tomorrow and work again to make a living.

At that thought the coat pulled so tight around him he moaned and fell to his knees.

‘Alright,’ he wheezed, ‘I won’t go back there.’

Immediately the pressure of the coat got less.

 

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 4th installment

Gasping he swayed on his feet as tears stung his eyes. This was not really normal, was it?

He pressed the coat against his body to feel if there was anything sharp sticking out, but there was nothing. When he had regained his balance he took a deep breath and very carefully pulled his right arm up the right sleeve. When he reached the elbow a jolt of pain, so bad that he fell down on his makeshift bed, raced through his body.

Tears ran down his cheeks as he lay there like an unborn baby, shivering spasmodically. After a while the pain and shock subsided and he could breath easily again. It was clear that taking off the coat was no option, though he wondered why.

He stretched out and covered himself with some blankets and fell asleep.

He woke up because of a lorry pulling up to the hotel next to the warehouse. He blinked his eyes and wondered where he was for a moment. All his muscles ached and he had the taste of blood in his mouth.

Slowly he sat up and remembered the last night. Did he had to keep on his coat forever? If so, how could he take a shower at the homeless centre? He got to his feet and walked outside. To his great surprise it was dry and sunny, the sky was clear for a change and that made him smile. This would be a good day to go to the park. People always lost things there that he could trade for things he wanted, like food.

Pulling the left side of the coat over his chest he put his right hand in his pocket to pull it in front of the left side when he felt coins in his hand again. He could buy his breakfast, that was a novelty.

He knew a cart in the park where they sold bagles and croissants in the morning, so he set out through the dirty and rubble strewn alley’s.

At one point he saw a lot of homeless people gathered around a stack of crates and joined them to find out what was happening.

‘Sally has been murdered,’ a black man told him. ‘Not just murdered, but kind of torn apart.’

He pushed his way through the crowd to the front. He didn’t know who Sally was, but he wanted to see anyway. Between the crates was the naked body of the woman he had seen las he left the bar last night. Her whole body was covered in deep bloody gashes.

Immediately he remembered the body he had found when he had found the coat and frowned. Did this coat had anything to do with all this? But how could it, he had been asleep all night, hadn’t he?

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 3rd installment

He savoured his drink for as long as he could, but he knew he had to get back out there eventually. Where would his bed be this night? Without thinking he put his hand in his pocket and found a businesscard in his hand.

Frowning he took it out and looked at it. He knew the hotel mentioned on it and he also knew they would never let him in. Then a smile creased his face. Next to the hotel was an abandoned warehouse, there he would be dry and out of the wind for the night. With a little luck there wood be some wood so he could make a small fire that would keep him warm through the night.

At last his drink was finished. He felt better than he had felt in a long time. He smiled at the barkeeper and turned to leave, when he saw a woman sitting by the door. He didn’t know why, but she caused a stirring whithin him. The woman wasn’t particularly pretty, kind of everage actually.

He shrugged his shoulders, pulled his coat tightly around him and stepped out into the drizzle to make his way to the abondoned warehouse next to the hotel.

As he walked he looked to the end of an alley to see the city where the real life took place. There people lived with jobs and a bright look at the future. Would he be one of them in the time to come? Did he dare to go there and apply for a job? Get a decent place to place live in?

Tomorrow he would see, for now he only wanted a dry place to sleep, out of the wind and the perpetual drizzle. Approaching the warehouse he saw it was dark, which meant he would be alone there and that suited him fine. He didn’t want any company, they would only ask him question about his fine new coat, even if it were people he had never seen or met before.

The door creaked on old hinges that needed some oil as he opened it. The space he entered was dark and  littered with rubble, including some wooden things. He gathered some of it in a  corner. He went looking for some other stuff to make a bed and half an hour later he looked at a small pile of cloth and old blankets. It didn’t really smell so nice, but it would do for him.

With an old lighter he started a small fire and kept feeding small pieces to it until it really burned and he smiled as he stretched out his hands to the warm flames.

Sighing contently he got to his feet and wanted to take off his coat when a painful jolt shot through his body. He grimaced and looked surprised. Again he made a move to take off the coat and doubled over with pain.

What was happening here? Why couldn’t he take off his new coat without feeling such pain?

 

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 2nd installment

Stumbling through the garbage he made his way to a section where there was not so much rubble and took long strides to get where he was going. He saw some more homeless people on his way and waved to some of them.

Some were hiding under pieces of plastic, others huddled around barrels with fires in it. Looking at them he felt more and more comfortable in his new coat. He also started to feel loathing for his brethren, something that he had never felt before.

He was surprised at himself, why did he feel that? He was just like them, only, he now had a good and warm coat, was that why he suddenly felt himself a better man than them?

He smelled the stink of the alley’s as if for the first time and wrinkled his nose. Had he truly been living in this shithole all of his life? Why had he done nothing to change his life?

‘No education,’ he mumbled softly. ‘That is what it comes down to, education. Maybe I should go to school and try to learn something.’

He could see the bright light from the bar he was heading for and soon after heard the screaming music coming through the open door. Beside that door a filthy, stinking woman with clotted hair was snoring loudly. The smell of cheap alcohol was hard to miss as he walked passed her.

As it was rather late there were not many people inside, most people here hardly had any money to buy drinks anyway. Slowly he walked over to the bar. The barkeeper gave him a quick look and nod and returned his attention to polishing glasses.

‘A glass of grinnitch, please,’ the man said softly.

The barkeeper looked at him again before slowly walking over to the man, looking quizically. He got a glass and a bottle and poured the man the requested drink.

The man put the needed coins on the bar and smelled the drink, expecting the cheap imitation stuff that got you drunk fast and sick the next morning. To his enormous surprise he smelled that this was the true stuff. He could smell the oak it had been vermented on and the peat it had been burnt over.

Very carefully he took a sip. The taste was as it should be, fine, full and sharp. He rolled the sip through his mouth and savoured the taste as long as he could, it had been so long ago.

He smiled as he swallowed, the barkeeper looked at the bottle with raised eyebrows before he put it back and went back to polishing his glasses.

The man started to feel like a man again. He was warm and dry and now had a good coat to keep him like that. He had to get out of this place though, to turn his life around, to do some unbelievable things.

Somewhere, someplace, sometime; 1st installment

The breeze from the west was cold, the almost perpetual drizzle added to its discomfort as the man walked, shivering, through the alley of the big city.

Dirt and rubble were strewn everywhere so that the main streets remained clean. The garbage disposal services didn’t get here to clean it all up and the people living in these areas simply dumped their waste in the alley’s, just to be rid of it.

His flimsy jacket did not much to keep him dry and warm, he wished he had a decent coat so he would, at least, be warm. His eyes noticed something up ahead in the twilight while the vehicels of the well to do whizzed high over head.

There on top of a barrel was a long black coat. It looked a bit ragged, but it was certainly better than the jacket he was wearing. He looked around to see if anyone was there, but he saw nobody and picked up the coat to take a better look at it.

It only had one pocket, he saw, but it was thick and though it looked ragged, it was in reasonable good condition. He took his jacket off and pulled the coat on. A strange feeling went through him for a second, but then he felt that the wind and the drizzle didn’t get to him anymore.

With his left hand he pulled the coat, that had no buttons, over his chest, with his right in the pocket he pushed that side over his left hand. The pocket, he felt, was full of holes, but it kept his hand warm.

Feeling better by the minute he sighed content and walked on. He had only taken a few steps when he stopped and frowned. Did he see correctly? Carefully he stepped forward, over some rubble to take a better look and was shocked.

There, between the rubble, lay a dead body that was apparently raked by claws from head to foot. Clothes had been torn and ripped, deep bloody gashes covered the body. The face had been ripped away completely.

Quickly he turned around. It was not uncommon to find dead bodies in the alley’s, he had seen his share of them, but this was something else. Should he call the police? What was the use, they wouldn’t come anyway, the body would decompose and be eaten by the rats and other vermin, besides that, who would miss a body found in the alley’s?

Shivering, though this time from the sight of the body, he wished he could afford himself a drink, he could use one right now. As he thought about it he felt coins in his right hand and frowned. Pulling his hand from his pocket he opened it and looked amazed at the coins there.

He knew a sleezy bar not too far away and decided to go there. A good glass of grinnitch would do wonders right now. It would make him nice and warm inside and he would forget the horrible sight he had seen.