The Jacket

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Karla buys a jacket from a charity shop for $5.00 only when she discovers something hidden in the lapel, strange events start to happen.

Chapter 1 (v.1) - The Jacket Arrives

Submitted: April 21, 2017

Reads: 169

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Submitted: April 21, 2017





The Jacket



Karla wandered along the row of clothes. Her mind being on what to prepare for dinner that didn’t involve money wasn't actually seeing any of the garments on display. Her mind drifted off again to food.

Left to her it would be a cup of packet soup and toast, annoyingly she had Harry to consider. Harry didn’t do soup.

He was a steak and three vegetable person. Also, tinned peaches for dessert. Plus six beers. Three at the start of the meal, three to wash it down.

The steak and peaches accounted for his being overweight, the beer to his being an argumentive prick. Karla stopped walking as she bumped into a stout back lodged smack bang in the centre of the narrow aisle, broad shoulders adorned with garments the woman obviously had every intention of trying on.

“Sorry,” murmured Karla as she squeezed past the Hulk which had no show of moving.

Her passage around the woman jolted her mind to the where and why. The local branch of Saint Vincent de Paul Opp shop covered the where. To avoid going home, the why.

It wouldn’t make any real difference if she stayed here looking at second-hand coats from now ‘till Christmas. This was Saturday, beer and horse-racing day. Still, he’d expect food when he finally arrived home.

Damn. How come every thought revolved around Harry. What did Harry like? What Harry thought. Whereas, what he didn’t like could fill a phone book.

Again, Karla registered where she was. Which rack of clothes, that is. Right. Still, in women's coats. Her vision cleared, and she found herself gazing at a jacket. Dark grey wool-blend with two pockets and cloth covered buttons, priced. $5.00. If it fit it would be a bargain.

Karla took it out into the light of the shop and turned it around. It looked near new, not a mark on it. She peered inside the collar for size and brand. Nothing. Another careful scrutiny and Karla walked with purpose to the counter, and a volunteer bundled it awkwardly into a too-small plastic grocery bag, took her $5.00, and mumbled thanks. The entire transaction had taken her less than eight minutes, max.

Lucky again, her bus was at the kerb with a large rear-end bouncing, wiggling while slowly disappearing inside. Karla just caught the driver’s eye before he shut the door.

“Oops. Nearly missed you, love. Close call. ” Was his cheerful response.

Karla had no choice. The only available seat, right beside the woman whose bum she had already seen. At close range, the rest of the woman was just as flabby.

She sprawled over the greater portion of seating room wheezing a smoker’s breath all over Karla. Each time the bus lurched around corners, the woman thudded into her. Back on the straight stretch, she flopped back. Another corner and again ‘thump,’ while the odour of stale cigarette smoke and some dreadful cheap perfume and the faint stench of body odour almost choked her. God, she stank. As a non-smoker, Karla found the disgusting smell so offensive.

Finally, after another twelve minutes and thankfully no more corners, the driver pulled up, and Karla stepped thankfully out into fresh air.

Pleased to find her front door was shut. Good. Harry, was still at his friend’s house drinking beer and listening to the horse-races. That gave her two hours before she had to commence making his dinner.

Going to the bedroom to change into her house dress, she noticed the grocery bag. Ah, the jacket, she thought. Better see if it fits.

Shaking the wrinkles out, Karla slipped it on and found it fit beautifully. Fully lined it fell in straight contours and made her look quite smart, she thought. Her mum’s pearl brooch on the lapel and what a steal for five dollars.

Just about to remove the jacket and hang it away she a felt an ever-so-slight rise in the fabric. With a casual hand movement, she slid her fingers down the right-hand lapel and felt…  a bump.

Craning her head at an awkward angle, Karla tried to peer at whatever it was. Her curiosity thoroughly peaked, she tried to get hold of whatever the bump could possibly be. What was that? There couldn’t be something there.

Curious, to any puzzle, she removed the jacket. Sitting on the bed turned the flat lapel over and scrutinised the entire area.

Nothing. Just the flat piece of dark grey material. But, as soon as she ran her finger over it, that slightest bump. That was odd.

Checking her watch, Karla noted Harry’d be right for a few more beers and two more races before he waddled home, bitching about how poorly the jockeys had ridden the horses he’d lost his money on. Same old, same old. She’d heard it all a thousand times.

Locating her stitch unpicker, Karla made a careful hole and wriggled whatever was hidden inside out onto her palm.

At forty years of age Karla, felt the initials,  O. M. G. vastly overused. However, she heard them pop from her mouth when on the palm of her hand lay a small flat leather pouch. When she prised it open the initials changed to Oh shit! For there lay a gaudy dress ring and ten pale golden seeds that Karla thought to be Marijuana.

Karla picked up the ring and looked at it carefully. An ugly, faceted glass stone with a flat, dull gilt band apparently. Apparently purchased from a low-priced reject shop.

Why hide such a stupid thing in a lapel. Karla thought dismissively. However, not aware of her actions, she slipped the ring on her right ring finger and went about sewing up the hole she’d made.

The extraordinary events started almost immediately.

To Be Continued.







© Copyright 2018 mabaker. All rights reserved.


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