Saturday, October 10, 2009

Coat of Vengeance

Coat of Vengeance - John Fischer
Clay was a well to do businessman. He had everything he wanted and more. However, the ‘more’ came from disreputable and despicable means. Clay while being a seemingly decent man by day was nothing more than a lying, conniving, underhanded crook. However, no one could ever see that he was made of evil; because he held an influence over those he associated with. He had a way of saying or doing just the right thing to keep his friends smitten and his enemies off-balance.
His family however, knew what he was like and could not stand him. They stayed away from him as much as they possibly could, but they could not avoid the events of one fateful, gray, rainy, November day.
Clay’s uncle was also very wealthy, the difference between the two was that Clay’s uncle was a good, hardworking, decent man. Although the rest of the family hated him, Clay’s uncle did not. He made every attempt to change his nephew’s deplorable ways. He went so far as to bring him to a very special party that he was having. His guests ranged from personal friends, to acquaintances he had made through out his business life.
The party was very elite and upscale, something Clay was accustomed to. It was also something Clay loved, because he could not pass up the opportunity to connive or swindle someone out of their money. Brenda, Clays’ first cousin and his uncles daughter, attempted to dissuade her father from allowing Clay to attend the party, however, he was determined to prove that a man could change.
To herself, Brenda thought that maybe a man could change, but Clay was a vicious, heartless, dirty, animal. Against all of his daughters pleading and reasoning, her father granted Clay access to the party. It was a grandiose affair filled with the rich and powerful whom were not only friends of Clay’s uncle, but who were also his neighbors. Clay was in his glory schmoozing with the elite guests making his subtle attempts at making a connection with the right person. He then came across an old widower who was all by his lonesome.
Clay weighed his options and decided to make his play with the old man. The old man was the founder of a local train and truck transportation and freight company called Espenali R and R. He was the first to establish a company of the sort in his city and state. Because of his keen sense and ideas, and lack of competition, he made it big and became one of the largest commercial shipping and traveling companies. However, he had lost his wife some years ago and had been alone ever since. He attended parties to try to stay active and out of a depressed state, but it did not work.
Clay approached the old man and began conversing with him. He learned about the man’s history and his family. The man’s family was caring, but did not live with him. They had moved out long before his wife ever took ill and because of their jobs and positions in life were never able to move back. Clay knew he had found his target and began to inspect the old man a bit closer.
He noticed that he was wearing a one of a kind Victarelli overcoat. It was one of seven unique coats handmade by Victarelli himself thirty years before. They were designed and tailored for a large men’s fashion exposition in Milan. However, there would never be another one made exactly like them since Giuseppe Victarelli passed away soon after in a tragic accident. It was a “salt and pepper” patterned coat with bright mother of pearl buttons. The collar was charcoal black and made out of the finest velvet. The coat was worth a fortune and Clay knew he had to make it his. After the party he kept in touch with the man paying him visits and brining him treats. He was better to the old man than he was to his own father, all for the sole purpose of acquiring the coat.
The years passed and the old man began to think of Clay like a son. He gave him money and other possessions of his, but would never part with the coat. As he said, the coat would be given to his own son once he had passed away. It was not written in any will, but the man had said it and stuck with his promise since he had first purchased it. Clay was angry, but he bid his time, he would make sure that the coat was his.
As time progressed, the old man’s family learned of Clay and the friendship between him and their father. Eventually though, they began to see Clay for the con artist he was and not as the nice, generous man he pretended to be. They warned their father about him, but he could not get passed Clay’s kind and sympathetic demeanor. To him Clay was almost an angel sent by God to care for and watch over him. Clay knew he was in, but the coat was the one thing that ‘in’ could still not get him. He plotted and planned but no matter what he tried, the coat remained out of reach.
More years passed and the old man took ill. In his final moments as his family raced to see him, he told Clay to make sure that his son got the coat. They were his last words and his upset, despondent, and distressed family reached him moments too late. Clay had his opportunity right in front of him. Now no one knew of the final wish of the old man except him and with that he would be able to take exactly what he had obsessed over for so many years.
While the family mourned, Clay quickly and quietly slipped away up to the man’s bedroom. He located the coat and snatched it from the closet before anyone checked for it. He carefully opened the window and let the coat down onto a low hanging tree branch. He walked downstairs and outside acting as if he was too emotionally distraught to be in the house at that moment. He ran to the tree and took the coat down. He placed it in the trunk of his car and smiled with a twisted glee of excitement, that he had finally gotten exactly what he had wanted.
The man was buried a few days later and a month after that the will was read and every one of the old man’s possessions were distributed to the right people. The only thing that remained unaccounted for was the coat. The man’s only son knew that it was promised to him and desperately wanted it purely as a memory of his father. He had fond memories of walking down the streets with his dad wearing the coat smelling like his old cologne and cigars. Clay claimed to have no knowledge of the location of the coat or even what the coat was. The son could tell Clay was lying, but there was no way to prove it.
Clay had made it away clean with the coat that he had obsessed over for so long. The very next day after he was clear of the past, he decided to go out for a walk. It was a bright, clear blue day, but chilly. He put on the coat and wore it proudly, as if there was a reason to. As he strolled down the street he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. He turned to see what it was, but nothing was there. He thought to himself that it was just a bird or a leaf blowing in the wind. He kept walking as if he was the king of the world.
He heard a noise behind him and turned to see what it was, but he saw nothing and heard nothing more. He began to become a little bit perturbed, but he tried to put it behind him. He continued to strut down the street, but it would not last for long. Slowly he heard and saw more and more things around him that at a second glance were not actually there. Slowly the images and sounds became more vivid and more clear until he saw the horrific images and heard the screams of tormented souls up close and personal.
He was terrified and tried to run, but he could not escape the hell on earth that he was in. He ran and collapsed to his knees on some railroad tracks completely giving up. He clutched his head and waivered back and forth wishing that the visions would go away. In the distance a train approached, but he could not see it. It got closer and blew its horn, but he could not hear it. He did not know the train was there until it was right on top of him. Just before the train hit the images and sounds stopped to allow him to see his imminent doom and ultimate fate. He screamed with horror as it crushed him into the tracks and destroyed the coat.
The train stopped moments after and bystanders called the police and ambulances. They arrived shortly after, but there was nothing that could be done. Clay was pronounced dead at the scene and only the label of the coat was distinguishable. The train happened to be carrying the old man’s family back their homes. They stepped off of the train and recognized the mutilated remains of Clay. The son noticed the label and knew that Clay had in fact stolen the coat and in a quirk of fate was killed while wearing it. It was almost as if he was punished for his dishonesty and underhanded deeds. The son wondered what it was that drove Clay in front of the train and what his last thoughts were just before he was killed. But just like the last words of the old man, the last thoughts of Clay were dead with him. The son would never know that the last thing Clay saw was the name emblazoned across the front of the train, “Espenali R and R.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Broken - By: John Fischer

Wes woke up at five in the morning and peered out of the window. Gray clouds blanketed the sky as usual, and he thought to himself that it was just another crappy day. He flopped back on the bed and stared at the ceiling. He wondered why life had to be the way it was. Wes was a hopeless romantic, starved of the love he so desperately needed. He felt broken inside like a machine that was missing a part or something not functioning the way it ought to. Nothing he ever did worked out right. He slid out of the bed and made his way into the bathroom. He gazed into the mirror and wondered who he was.
Wes sighed and smacked his hand on the sink. He was so tired of waking up to a new day completely hopeless. He looked at the row of lights above the mirror and watched as the filaments burned brightly. He saw the little coils glowing and lighting the entire room as they surged with electricity. He shook his head and wished that he could be like the filament shinning radiant light instead of the black-light that he was. He flicked the lights off and walked back into his bedroom. He put on a pair of jeans, a black t-shirt, and slid into his black canvas shoes. He walked downstairs and sat at the kitchen table as he waited for the clock to say it was time to leave.
The sun rose behind the layer of clouds and tried to force its light through. The gray clouds took on a violet hue as they glowed from the intense luminescence that wished to disperse them. The clouds held strong as time ticked by mocking the Sun’s strength. Hidden behind them it could never do its full job of illuminating and warming the earth. Wes walked out of the door and hung his head. He cursed the overcast sky and got in his car.
He drove to school and made his way to his first class. He slid through the throngs of people with ease as he walked to the building in which his classroom was. It was the first day of the second semester, which meant new classes, new teachers, and new people to meet. Wes hated the first day of any semester since he always had a good teacher the semester before. He wished he could have kept the same teachers the whole time, but that was not possible. He dreaded the idea of a teacher he liked being replaced by a crabby, obnoxious, elitist who acted like the king of the universe when they lectured.
He slowly climbed the empty stairwell to the fourth floor where his class was located. He stopped on the third floor and looked up the spiraling stairs. He put his head down and sighed as he continued up the steps. He reached the fourth floor and smacked his head against the door. He shut his eyes and wondered why he even bothered, there was no point to anything. He pushed the door open and walked down the hallway. It was desolate and silent, just the way Wes liked it. He found his classroom and sat down. As usual he was the first one there, he had nothing better to do than to sit in an empty room.
He sat in silence staring at the clock on the wall. He waited for other people to start showing up so he could find out who was in this new class of his. The clock ticked by and Wes finally dropped his head onto the desk. He put his head in his folded arms and shut his eyes. He daydreamed of a reason to go on, the thoughts only sent chills down his spine. He imagined a bright day filled with love and joy, but his pessimistic attitude fought the idea off throwing him back to his harsh reality. The sky remained cloud coated and the Sun’s function remained broken just like Wes’ spirit.
The minutes passed and the classroom began to fill. He sighed as it was mostly filled with people he could not stand. The time drew close to the start of class and there was only one seat left. It just happened to be right next to him too. He was in the middle of the room on the left side, which meant only one person would be next to him. He wondered who the last person would be, the lucky soul that got to sit next to the black hole of the room.
There was one minute left on the clock when the girl walked in. Wes’ jaw almost dropped. He had seen her around campus before, but had never met her. He had thought about trying to talk to her once, but his broken attitude prevented him from doing so. She was gorgeous with full lips, big brown eyes, a curvy figure, and to top it all off long wavy brown hair. He crossed his fingers in the palm of his hand praying that she didn’t have the wrong room. She checked her schedule with the teacher and sat down next to Wes. He almost melted away into dreamland.
He glanced over at her and she noticed. She turned to him with a big smile on her face and said, “Hi”. His heart began to race and he barely eked out a ‘hey’. Class began shortly after, but Wes could not care less. There was no way he could possibly pay attention that day. Wes was always good in class, he paid attention and never missed a word or a note, unless he was thrown into a fairy-tale, imaginary land by someone or something. He drifted away dreaming of what the possibilities were of the small quirk that fate had thrown him. The clock ticked by and class moved on, but he was completely out of it, just waiting for the right moment to say something to the girl.
Wes snapped back to reality when he heard the teacher say that class was dismissed. He threw his books off of the desk into his bag and immediately turned to the girl. He quickly spit out, “Hey I’m Wesley, but you can call me Wes. How you doin?”
He could not believe that he had just said, “How you doin?” with the little accent he put on as a joke with his friends. He almost smacked himself in the face, but maintained his composure. She giggled and said, “You’re cute. I’m Jackie. It’s nice to meet you.”
Wes was in heaven, she didn’t flat line him, and she actually said he was cute. He tried his best to be clear and cool. He said, “Hey so you wanna grab lunch later or something?”
She looked at the clock and pondered it for a bit. Then with a cute little grin she nodded her head and said, “Twelve thirty outside the cafeteria.”
Wes was immediately thrown into shock. He responded, “Alright, see you then” with the biggest smile he had ever worn. Jackie walked out of the classroom and Wes was left alone to revel in his glory. A small glimmer of hope shone in his eyes. He felt it surge through him and it was such a good feeling. He had not felt hope in the longest time and was on the verge of giving up, when destiny chimed in and kept him from throwing in the towel. He was thrilled; he was beyond thrilled he was ecstatic.
He stood up and walked to the door with his bag. He took a deep breath before he left the room and smiled. Behind him the window began to glow. Beams of light shattered the seemingly impenetrable wall of clouds. They shone down brilliantly onto the dull earth. The clouds broke and revealed the hot shinning ball of fire in the sky. Wes walked outside and gazed up at it. He snickered to himself and said, “No longer out of order.”