The Man In The Red Coat
Samuel’s vision returned from a black to a portrait of an upside-down mid Texan back-road, dirt covering his hair, white shirt with the top button undone and his jeans ripped and covered with blood as if he was a kid that just skidded down a hill on a very dry day. He was still confused and didn’t know how he got in the position he was in. he tried to pry his legs out of the foot-well but it was stuck more than chewed gun under a school table. He knew what all these felt and looked like since he was a teacher in a middle school, but now all the students’ folders were scattered on the caved in roof and out on the dirt path. He continued to try to kick his way out but the old, stubborn, second hand, Ford Taurus was living up to its name and wouldn’t pull its horns out of his leg, as to speak. He knew he was trapped and he was bleeding badly because of his new awareness of the blood flowing down to his mouth, down his parched throat, leaving a horrible after taste in his mouth. Soon this taste faded as he started to flash into darkness again, going in and out, large gaps in between. Blood dripping onto the grey, slowly changing red, fabric roof.
As he gained consciousness and sight again a red sleeve jutted out of the broken window, white lines going down the top and bottom. The dry red raincoat had its Velcro cuff done up high so it looked like one of them M.C Hammer trousers but only thinner and less glittery. Samuel turned his head slowly to his right, red blood still running down the now dried blood on the sides of the stream and still into his mouth but this time he tasted no blood, he felt no blood sliver down his now hydrated throat, which was probably caused by the blood. The man had a clear face like it was just washed, but not shaven; he had the typical rambler’s white beard and moustache and a green fishing cap on his head. All in all he was probably a rambler (or a luckily clean hobo) that happened to see the wreck and decided to help out. The man was quite chubby and, when he was about to talk, Samuel saw crooked yellow and brown teeth (that of a hobo) and at this point was leaning more to the hobo theory, if he could lean with the foot-well of the Taurus pinning his legs to the steering column. When the chubby red coated man finally opened his crooked yellow and brown toothed mouth he spoke in a rather English accent as well, somewhere you would find near Yorkshire he thought.
He had been to Britain before while researching for his History classes and the small chance of a history book to call his own. That was where he bought the Taurus and took the ferry back with it. He didn’t trust flying much, his wife and only child died when their small commuter plane overshot the runway in Edmonton, Canada. Sadly for him they were the only fatalities on the flight when it skidded sideward into a landing post. Every weekend he visited their graves with their favourite flowers. Tulips for Julia, his wife who had long flowing brunette hair and green eyes, like the eyes of a cat. And poppies for Caitlin who was only five and loved “poppy day” as she use to call it referring to Remembrance day, not for the people who died but for the lovely poppies, but then she was five so what would she know about the world wars. Caitlin had her mothered brunette hair but she had Samuel’s crystal blue eyes, almost white the in the centre nearing the pupil.
The chubby red coated man finally exclaimed in his northern English voice “Are you okay laddie? Need some help getting out” attempting to pull downwards the steering column with force exceeding his chubby state. He was much like that, not chubby but to others surprisingly strong for the skinny person he is, most of it was in his legs. He went jogging around three times a week and he has gained a lot of endurance, so much he was thinking of joining the next marathon that came along. Samuel replied weakly “Yeh thanks. I need all the help I can. Call an ambulance please” to which the chubby red man replied “Sorry laddie, I haven’t got a phone on me but I’m sure somebody has seen the wreck and phoned it in.” now attempting to pull Samuel out of the wreckage when he continued “So how you got this Taurus?” looking down the road, still pulling in an attempt to get the now blood soaked history teacher out of his now triangle of a car out.
The Taurus was a pale red that only a British person could love which was now covered with scratches and dirt, the windows broken, every single one of them. The headlights were smashed along with the tail lights and the indicators and the front bumper was hanging precariously, grinding on the dirt road turning its red into a light grey and white. The ford emblem was on the floor in front of it laid neatly as if the road was made by ford or if somebody decided to pick up all the pieces of the car and lay them out straight to be reassembled. The red coated man then diverted his attention back to Samuel as Samuel explained about his trip to Britain and how he got the Taurus.
The eight year old Taurus was only six at the time and it was reliable up till now. He got the Taurus when in Britain in Newcastle and he got tired of travelling by train everywhere as the British rail system was horribly unreliable. He decided to go to a car from a police auction and he got the Taurus that was apparently in a hit and run and was taken off the driver. He got it for a cheap five hundred pound for what has happened to it and he was fine with it, the less money he spent on a car the more he could on research for his book that at the moment was the last thing in mind of the bloody, white and red stained shirted history teacher being helped by a red rambler, maybe a hobo. He drove it for two years without many faults as if there was a guardian angel for this car, edging it to continue in its life.
The crooked tooth man then nodded and commented “My friend had a Taurus, he was in an accident as well, sadly he died from it but he left the car on for his daughter. Her name was Fiona, I hope she liked the car; I haven’t spoken to the family in ages since the accident. Do you have a Daughter?”
“Yes, I did anyway; she died along with my wife up in Canada. There was a plane crash and they both died” Samuel said back, a hint of sadness in his voice and yet a look of joy slightly before continuing with “if I die then at least I get to see them, I lead a good life” To which the red coated rambler said “Well don’t give up yet, you may feel like giving up but trust me it’s not the best option.” It was at this point a blue pickup sped past blowing the beard of the rambler to one side as he was grabbing his hat and turning away as not to inhale the dirt and Samuel did the same but he didn’t feel the dirt hit him, he must have been numb from being upside down for so long. “Some people cam just not go slow can they.” Exclaimed the man with a hint of anger in his voice showing but showing very well on his now slightly red face. Samuel wiped off a bit of dirt off his face near his wound but he did not feel the pain of dirt of the wound as you usually would.
“So tell me about your home town laddie, this should keep you going my friend” The red coated man suddenly popped up after more time pulling, fear in his face slightly as Samuel was starting to daze off from the blood lost in him and also the blood filling his lungs now taking a trip there via his throat. Yet Samuel was still able to talk clearly and started to describe the town.
The town where he grew up and still lived was called Gorman; it was a small town, mostly farms and wood industries. It had a main-street with shops and a few theatres. Some wood and trade companies in the city thought that a boom in the city was coming so they all banded together to build up a small art deco building before the depression came and blew all their dreams but it stood until now and will continue to stand since a new band of companies have the same idea just after the recession and took up this building. Next to it is the cities main attraction, a small little classic cinema with the bulb-lighted sign and the bulb, LED like at the time, sign saying what is on. This was where he took Julia the first time they dated and Caitlin to the first and last movie she ever watched which was when she was four. They watched Alvin and the Chipmunks together, her and Caitlin and for his first date with Julia he watched a classic for first dates a horror movie as usual, they shared popcorn and a drink as is the normal cliché in that time and that struck it right with Julia. The cinema was a pretty powerful stop in town for him, making him shed a tear every time he saw it much like the park near-by where he and Julia first kissed and when Caitlin first rode her bike and was raised on the playground games. The whole town for him was a tear jerker. He would usually takes the way around the town instead of driving through it and also gets the groceries delivered than to go into town and shed tears at everything. This took Samuel time to explain in which time the red coated man had been able to set one of his legs free but the furthest one from the opening. It was then that he decided that life is too short to be crying about a death. He may not be over it but he still had to move on with his life and get back to a normal swing of life. The man smiled to him as if he read his thoughts and was approving them and Samuel smiled back weakly him starting to feel the soaked shirt of royal red blood and his ripped Police jeans.
As if again he was a mind reader he said to Samuel “You know, don’t ask how I know but, I can tell your alone and cry over everything in your town. Why not move out of there. The next town will be fine enough laddie. Have a new start and find a new gal you know.” And he paused for a second and said “also, don’t ask again, but I sense something bad in that town.” Before pulling harder Samuel joking “You make it sound like I’m not going to die,” with a little laugh at the end but it all seemed so possible to him if he continued like this. The red coated man finally pried Samuel loose and just in time as he blacked out.
He awoke to the sound of “CLEAR” and a heavy shock of electricity through him. Above him he saw a man in a white jacket and red stripes down the sides. Almost the opposite to the coat the man was wearing, the man was nowhere to be seen and left no trace, not even a gap in the dirt where the old man was hit by dirt from the speeding blue truck. As he finally was able to speak, the blood clear from his lungs and the wound stitched up, he questioned “Where did the man with the red coat and fishing hat go?” to which the black haired man who brought him to enquire back “What man? You we’re on the road when we found you, if there was you’d need to thank him, he may have just saved your life.” Samuel stood up shaking a bit from his trapped legs and walked towards the car picking up his files for his students, again still scattered around the wreck of his car. Somehow one ended up caught under the boot-lid, sticking out. He opened it and picked up the file and then stepped back staggered. In the trunk of his car was the coat of the man, blood stained and dried as if it was there for a long, long time. Sitting atop of it was the hat, it seemed some of the lining to a compartment he didn’t know about in the boot came lose and showed these to Samuel when he opened it. Another paramedic came forward and exclaimed “I know who this belongs to; it was one of my failed cases in Med school in Britain. Near Newcastle you know. He was a hit and run. He was a rambler and a car ran into him in the Peak District.” To which Samuel stared at the paramedic then to the trunk scared out of his mind.
A year had passed since this even and he had done what that dead man said, made a new life in another town, and also got a new car, another second hand, this one was a Mercedes which was silver and seemed quite posh, maybe too posh for him but he did admit it looked good. He now lived in the next town called Cross Plants. It was only down the road from Gorman and he could still travel to the school easily.
One day when he was cooking breakfast with his new wife called Martha, just as a little wake up present on a Sunday, he heard an explosion from outside and ran out to see a plume of smoke from the direction of Gorman. He instantly went to the news and the first thing it blared was “Breaking News from Gorman, there has been an explosion in one of the Paper making factories, a fire is blazing and it has spread to many neighbouring businesses.” After which Samuel and Martha his new wife drove through Gorman, him still shedding a tear at everything and as he arrived at Gorman the fire had spread further and it has caught his old house in Gorman. It was stopped it had spread up his street before it was up out fully. The dead man had told him about a bad feeling and he was right. He again was scared and Martha had not been informed about that event and she hugged and comforted Samuel confused on why he was scared and not sad that his old house had burnt down. But he didn’t tell still, all he said was “A man in a red coat told me this would happen.”
The Man In The Red Coat - Short Story #1
1 The Man In The Red Coat - Short Story #1 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:38 pm
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