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Trenchcoat

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I was merely minding my own business one day, watching the fire die down, when I heard a knock at the door. How strange, I thought. It was very late and most of the surrounding neighborhood was going to sleep now. Hardly time to be going around, having door- to- door discussions. So I got up angrily, expecting to turn away some stranger. But when I opened the door, there was a man there. A man in a brown trench coat. Both the man and the coat were familiar to me. Where had I seen them before? Why did I know them? That's when I looked behind me at my coat hook. And there hung the jacket. How was this possible? I suppose it wasn't an extraordinarily special garment, so someone else must have an identical one, or one that was very very similar. But upon further inspection, the jacket was identical! To the very last detail. There was that same tear on the very end of the left sleeve, and the tea stain just above one of the buttons. I had bumped into the teapot that day, dousing myself in scalding hot tea. Most of it came off, but there was that small little patch just above the third button.

All through this inspection, the man outside just stood there. He was clearly enjoying himself. There was a large grin on his face and he had a quiet, barely audible laugh. It was very raspy, and sounded like sandpaper on a very stubborn piece of wood. Why was he laughing? And what was he doing with my jacket? How was he wearing it if it was hung up on the hook, right next to me? I decided to ask him these things. He only laughed more and beckoned with a crooked, gnarled hand. I was sure part of it was missing, as if something had taken a large bite out of it. I didn't want to know how he got that particular injury. But there were things like that all over him. Random pieces were missing, and his face bore several cuts and bruises. This man looked like he had gotten into a bad fight. One that apparently happened a long time ago because these wounds didn't look fresh. What could he possibly have done to get hurt this way?

I grabbed my trench coat for good measure, then followed him down my front garden, and onto the sidewalk. Sitting there was an old car. And when I say old car, I mean, really old car. Sitting there, in front of me, was a Model T Ford. A model T! And it looked like it was in perfect condition. There were hardly even any scrapes on it. The end of it was belching smoke, and it was making such a racket that I thought it would wake up the whole neighborhood. Nobody seemed to notice it. That's just the sleepy little town that I lived in. A Model T drove down Main Street and all anybody wanted to do was go to sleep. How pathetic. I didn't understand why I suddenly felt this aggression and sadness for my town. I loved it here. I had only ever wanted to live in one place, and this was it. I figured that this weird old man must be having some strange influence on me. He gestured for me to get in the car. This didn't seem like a good idea. I had only just met him a few minutes ago, and he hadn't even said a word. Against my better judgement, as if this man had power over me, I began walking towards the car and walking in. I didn't even have to consciously move my legs. It definitely felt like something other than my own brain was controlling my legs. I had to stop this. I had to break free of him somehow, but he was doing something that I couldn't counteract.

I got in the car, and patiently waited. I expected him to get in the front seat and drive away. There hadn't been anyone there when I was getting in, so that was the only logical place. Apparently, I was wrong. Logic didn't seem to apply here. He popped in the back with me and made some strange sound. It didn't sound like English, and I don't know if it was even language. It was more like a sharp click and then some strange guttural sounds. It only lasted for a few seconds, but immediately, the car started to move. How was it doing that? Where was it going? Was this man magical somehow? And, most importantly, how could he be wearing my jacket?

The trip was long and boring. We weren't passing anything of interest, and we hit several bumps along the way. There's a funny thing about ancient Model T's. They don't have any suspension. It felt like a ship caught out at sea during a bad storm. If I hadn't been carsick before this trip, I was certainly going to be by the end of it. Maybe that was what they were going for. Perhaps they were testing me, or sizing me up for an upcoming task. That sounded more like something from one of my adored novels that I would curl up by the fire with. Things like that didn't happen in real life. I tried not to stare at the old man beside me, but I kept taking quick glances at him as we went around a corner, or hit another one of the bottomless potholes. I could see him making a mental note every time I did this. It made me want to examine him more, and at the same time, I wanted to look away.

There was so much in those old, tired eyes. There was fatigue, certainly. But there was wisdom, and energy that you would not expect from anyone, even someone much younger than him. There was fire, and there was an icy cold. There were too many things there, and I just had no idea what to do with them. I didn't know how to put up with it. This, more than anything, urged me to stop stealing glances at this man that made me feel so uncomfortable.

At long last, the bumpy ride in the antiquated car was over. We stepped out and I found myself in a very nice front garden. It was what my mother used to call a postage stamp park, but at least it had some nice flowers. There was a humble home behind it, made from stone and wide wooden braces. There was a pleasant arch over the door. As I took all this in, the man still said nothing. When he finally did, it was raspy and cracked. It was as if someone had left a book on a shelf for far too long, only to find the pages dusty and crumbling at the touch of a finger.

"Son, this is where you live. This is your future. I am your future."

"Sir, what could you possibly mean by that?"

"Isn't it obvious? I'm you." He grinned and laughed that horrible laugh again. He started strolling up the path down the garden, and against better judgement, I followed him right up to the front door.



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Writergurl101 said...
Jan. 13, 2013 at 8:59 pm
This was very well written and I am excited to see what this man finds out about his future!
 
Deamer_This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm
Interesting! I'm curious to know what would happen next!
 
TARDISdriver replied...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm
That's good. That's what I was hoping for! 
 
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