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The Man in the White Coat [YJA2017]

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posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 09:46 PM
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Tom awoke on a beach. The sand was fine and warm where it worked its way up between his toes. A sun the color of orange honey lit a sky interspersed with billowing clouds above a placid seafoam green ocean. It was either dusk or dawn, he wasn’t sure as he watched a hermit crab scuttle past. How much did I drink? He thought, and how did I get here? And most importantly, where the hell was here?

The beach stretched to either side of him for miles while a forest of lightly swaying palms stood only short distance behind him where he lay in a comfortable lounge chair, a small round table separating him from an adjacent chair which was vacant. A couple of seabirds glided soundlessly above him, floating in lazy circles on the warm thermals rising from the pristine white sand. Okay, he resumed his thoughts, John and Ted must have dragged him here when he passed out but how in the world did they get him to a beach when they weren’t anywhere near one last night. Particularly this beach which looked like it could have been the Caribbean or the South America, or friggin Polynesia for all he knew. How much did I drink?

He remembered belting back mescal, smoky and delicious, and then someone handed him a bottle of…a bottle of what? His brain hurt. He could see it, even see the well-manicured hand of the man that gave it to him and then it hit him like a high proof freight train. Holy s***! It was Everclear. He drank Everclear. ‘Oh, Goddamn’, he cursed and felt a mild tinge of pain at the outburst.

I gotta get out of here, he thought and tried to pull himself out of the chair but a wave of nausea shoved him right back down. Oh, man, this is terrible, I might hurl, and how the hell did I get here! Think, stupid, he exhorted himself, think.

Things started to come into focus. He was at Ted’s condo building, the party was kicking, they were all playing some stupid macho game where the guys were all trying to outdo each other’s accomplishments by telling stories of masculine prowess. He remembered Ted boasting about recently base jumping off some bridge outside the city, getting fed up with the bull, vowing to ‘show them who’s got the biggest’, grabbing Ted’s bungee cord and heading to the roof. After that…nothing. ‘Goddamn’ he blurted again and was rippled with another painful twinge that emanated from his kidneys.

He was just about to try and pull himself up again when he heard movement behind him. Turning he saw man emerging from the tree line in what appeared to be a perfectly manicured crisp white linen suit. A straw boater sat atop his lustrous dark hair and he was carrying a silver tray in both hands which bore what appeared to be a bottle of Krug with sparkling champagne flutes.

“Good day!” He called with a noticeably English lilt. “How goes it my good sir?”

“Uh…where am I?” Came the reply as the impeccably dressed gentleman carefully lowered the tray to the table.

“Why, my good man, you are here.” He replied and waved in the expanse of the vast beach and endless horizon. He then began to remove the capsule from the champagne, which was in fact Krug, 1949 to be exact.

“No, dude, I don’t think I can drink anything…” Tom began but the man began pouring regardless. The yeasty, toast-like aroma of fine champagne found him and, despite feeling ill earlier, a pang of desire began to worm its way up from his belly.

“Hair of the dog,” said the man raising his glass of effervescent oenological perfection, “is that not what you lot say?”

“Yeah, might as well.” Tom said without further thought and took a deep swig from the chilled flute. The champagne was good. No, great. It washed down and over him in waves of flavor and bubbly delight. Goddamn, he thought, and felt another twinge.

“Caviar?” Asked the smartly dressed man and cocked his head, blue eyes sparkling in the sun.

Tom was surprised to see that there was caviar, blinis and sour cream on the platter. A small plate, mother-of-pearl spoon and folded napkin stood at the ready. How did he miss that earlier? He mumbled an ‘okay’ and was handed a small plate of spectacularly good Sevruga.

“So,” Tom asked, his mouthful of food muffling the query, “how did I get here?”

“Why, my dear friend, you’re dead.” Came the matter of fact reply and Tom knew it was true. He didn’t know how, but he knew it was fact.

He swallowed hard. The food no longer tasting amazing, but sour and with a hint of rotten seaweed.

“How?” Was all Tom could muster.

“Why, you silly sot, you fell and hit your head!” Exclaimed the man as he adjusted the hat on his head and leaned back into the chair.

“You and your friends were having a grand time until you decided to prove that you too also could boldly utilize a one Mr. Ted Anderson’s bungee equipment.”

“You raced to the roof, fastened to cord to the top of the fire escape, counted out the necessary length of cord you would need based on how many stories there were, fastened it about your damn-fool legs and then jumped.”

“But if I had the cord tied around me and I counted the right number of feet how did I die?”

“Well,” the man began and placed a hand over his mouth to stifle a chuckle, “your friend’s building is 15 stories high, you counted out the amount of cord you would need to cover that many stories but you forgot that you superstitious American’s don’t have a 13th floor so you took a header into the landscaping as you were 10’ too long.” And with that he burst into laughter, his hat toppling from his head.

“That’s not funny! I woul…” but he was cut off with a piercing gaze from yellowed eyes.

“Well, that is not the truly funny part, the truly funny part is you were that year’s recipient for the Darwin Award for your incredible mathematical and acrobatic skills.” And with that he exploded into howls of laughter.





edit on 28-2-2017 by AugustusMasonicus because: President, Jacygirl fan club.




posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 09:46 PM
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Tom was fuming, he wanted to knock the son if a bitch’s teeth out and was about ready to do so when he felt a sharp and painful pinch on his left big toe. Looking down he saw the hermit crabbed latched onto to his digit. He tried to shake it off but the annoying crustacean remained firmly secured. He made to reach down and swat it away when a warm splatter landed in his hair, a couple of cackling birds soaring lowly past them.

“Oh, hell!” He cried and tried to dab the mess from his hair with the napkin.

“Exactly!” Cried his host, while the nubs of two horns poked from his jet-black hair and pointed a hideously-nailed talon of a finger at him. He then leaned towards Tom and flicked that nail across the tip of Tom’s right index finger, making a small but painful cut.

“Hey!” Tom exclaimed, looking at the tiny bit of blood weeping from the wound.

“Here, let me put something on that for you.” Said the horned man and pulled Tom’s hand towards him with amazing strength. He reached into his coat pocket, retrieved a bright yellow object and jammed Tom’s finger into it.

“Hey, that burns!” Tom looked down incredulously and saw that his finger was firmly embedded in a lemon.

“Why, my good man, I hope that it does!”

“What the hell is going on?”

“Hell is, indeed, what ‘is going on’.”

It was at that point that Tom noticed the tide had come in dramatically, to the point where it was lapping at his feet. The irksome crab was still squeezing away when the ice-cold water began to creep up his legs.

“I’m going to drown!”

“Oh, do be quiet you cretin, it will not get high enough to drown you. Only high enough to, uh, reach the Crown Jewels.” An evil twinkle rippled across his now blazing eyes.

“Oh, dear me, I forgot to apply sunblock to your arms, they are burning. Allow me, my good man.”

He reached back into his pocket (what else was in there?) and produced a small blue jar with ‘Vicks Menthol Rub’ printed on its side. “This may soothe your discomfort,” he continued and laughed manically while smearing the white, tingling substance on his sunburnt arms, “or not!”

“Really, dude? Are you kidding me?” He asked in an aggravated tone as the birds crapped on his head again.

“No. I am not kidding you. More caviar?”

Tom nearly wretched when he followed his host’s eyes to the plate and saw the squirming mass of black, bloated grubs there.

“Or, perhaps more bubbly?” and waved an asparagus-smelling yellow liquid in front of Tom’s nose.

“Oh, dude. Dude! You didn’t!”

“I did!”

“Why!? Why are you doing this?”

“Because you earned it.”

“How?”

“Remember all those ‘mortgages’ you sold at Lehman Brothers?”

“Yes.”

“So does he.” Said the man in the tattered and dirty suit while pointing skyward.

“But I was just doing my job!”

“So am I.”

“This is absurd. I didn’t kill anyone!”

“No, you did not. But if you did the crab would have been a little bigger, the birds a little larger, the water a little colder, the cut a little deeper and the champagne would have, oh, haha, more wang to it.”

“Why not just kill me and get it over with?!” Tom cried plaintively.

“Because those are not the rules.” Said the man as wisps of smoke curled from his head.

“What are the rules?”

“I get you as long as I get you.”

“And how long is that?”

“These days? Who can tell. Who can tell indeed my dear Thomas.” With that his host leaned comfortably back into the chair and folded his hands behind his back.

The man laughed, the crab dug in, the birds circled, the water swirled and Tom sat there on the beach as the clouds churned and began to rain on him.

And of course, it was acid rain.

 


The monitor in ICU #2 at St. Joseph’s Medical beeped away while Dr. Madlingar studied the chart of Thomas Gallagher, an intern at his side.

“What do you think Dr. Madlingar?”

“A fall like that? He’ll never come out of it, permanent persistive vegetative state. Lucky we could even save him.”

“How long could he last?”

“These days? With this equipment?” He said as he waved the clipboard at the beeping and blooping machinery. “A long time.”

THE END

 





edit on 28-2-2017 by AugustusMasonicus because: President, Jacygirl fan club.



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Pretty bleak, man.

Not your usual 'court side jester' material.

But I like.



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 09:55 PM
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originally posted by: ColdWisdom
Not your usual 'court side jester' material.


It's in there.


But I like.


Thank you.



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:03 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

That was really good!

Almost Bradbury good.




posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

Thank you. High compliment since I love Bradbury.



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I feel like you could have expanded more on the Lehman Bros reference.

Is this for an ATS competition?



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:33 PM
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originally posted by: ColdWisdom
I feel like you could have expanded more on the Lehman Bros reference.


I'm banking that everyone on the site knows what connotation referencing Lehman Brothers carries.



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:34 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus


I'm banking that everyone on the site knows what connotation referencing Lehman Brothers carries.


There's that dry wit I've come to love so much!



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:35 PM
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originally posted by: ColdWisdom
There's that dry wit I've come to love so much!


Sometimes I cant help myself and just want to see who's paying attention.



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Dark, twisted, sardonic.

Well done!



posted on Feb, 28 2017 @ 11:48 PM
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Perfect! And I loved the 'court side jester' material. Great read. Thanks for entering!

S&F



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 02:54 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Well you certainly can write, Augie...and such descriptive prose!


At first I assumed that the "man in the white coat" meant that you were somewhere stuck a straight-jacket...one should never 'assume', eh? Nice and dark & twisty.
Caught the humour and loved it.

You wrote about Hell and I chose my own Utopia, hehe...see ya on the other side!
jacy



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 04:24 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Fantastic!

My 'other side' ideal is a beach as well but, not that one.

I'll likely wind up on that one though hehe.

Very good theme and great writing. There's much more in your bag of tricks besides duct tape and rope.




posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 04:31 AM
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a reply to: TNMockingbird

Now that you've read his story, my comments in your story will make more sense, hahaha!

Oh, he has more than duct tape and rope...silly putty, taser gun and some freaky little wax figurines (which he calls 'soap')...? Hey, I watch "Border Patrol"...you Americans pack weird stuff but I don't judge.

jacy



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 05:06 AM
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Great writing Mason! Well done!



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 05:39 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I had read 4 or 5 so far and I was wondering when I would get to a "hell" story. Nice job man, made me laugh.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:53 AM
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originally posted by: DBCowboy
Dark, twisted, sardonic.


What is this, a personality assessment?



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:54 AM
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originally posted by: jacygirl
Well you certainly can write, Augie...and such descriptive prose!


At first I assumed that the "man in the white coat" meant that you were somewhere stuck a straight-jacket...one should never 'assume', eh? Nice and dark & twisty.
Caught the humour and loved it.

You wrote about Hell and I chose my own Utopia, hehe...see ya on the other side!
jacy


Thanks Jacy, glad you liked it. The Man made three 'appearances'.



posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 06:55 AM
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originally posted by: TNMockingbird
Fantastic!

My 'other side' ideal is a beach as well but, not that one.

I'll likely wind up on that one though hehe.

Very good theme and great writing. There's much more in your bag of tricks besides duct tape and rope.



I had something completely different started but scraped it last night. I just felt like doing 'hell as a serious annoyance', type thing.




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