The Coin – Part 1

I want to tell you a story…

Ok, this is somewhat difficult for me for a couple of reasons.  One,  this is quite a personal story.  Not because it’s about me, but rather that I made it up for my wife one night when she asked me to tell her – what she calls – a “Jamie” story.  Second, because I once wrote it as a (long) poem and it wasn’t received very well (I read the poem for the first time in a long time tonight, and, I have to say, it wasn’t as I remembered it!  Sad but true).  That being said, I have, for some time, wanted to write it out properly as a short story and I began doing so some months back.  I started, but I didn’t finish.  Not by a long chalk. 

Anyway, the point of all this rambling is because I have decided to post and introduce the first part of a little tale I called “The Coin” here on my blog in the hope that it will give the kick up the backside I need to finish writing it out.  Any comments – as long as they’re nice and/or helpful – would be greatly appreciated.  If they’re not nice and/or helpful I’ll cry and then delete them.  Probably.

Oh, and here’s the pic to go with this first part…

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The young man walked down the street, happy in his own world, people watching and whistling quietly to himself.  He was tall, around six feet, with light brown hair that looked blond in a certain light, and he moved with a grace that belied his size.  His broad shoulders and chest filled his grey suit jacket, his tie undone now that the working day was over.  His brown eyes scanned the street, following his fellow pedestrians discretely, his mouth tweaking into a smile when he saw something that amused him.

He was always cheerful, though not annoyingly so, and had a way about him that seemed to endear him to others without even having to try.  He had a kind word for everyone he knew, and many that he didn’t, and he never talked badly about anyone behind their back; if he had something to say, he said it to their face and always out of earshot of others.

But he was lonely.

He lived alone in a small flat, in a tower block full of other small flats, filled with other lonely people from all walks of life.  He never let his loneliness bother him though, and he went out with his friends at the weekends, had people round to watch DVDs, all the usual stuff.  He just didn’t have anyone to share the quiet moments with.

Because he lived alone he wasn’t in any particular rush to get back to the flat, so he often walked home instead of catching the bus, perhaps two or three nights a week.  It helped keep him fit without the need for a gym membership and it let him indulge in his favourite pastime of people watching.  As he walked home on this particular night the opportunity to observe his fellow man was sparse, as there were hardly any other people around.  He found his eyes were scanning the pavement more and more and soon his face was turned toward the ground completely.  He glanced at something that caught his immediate attention.

He stopped and bent down to retrieve what turned out to be a golden coin, though it was a strange looking one, something that he had never seen before.  It was about an inch in diameter and perhaps a quarter inch thick with ribbed edging.  He turned it over in his hand, looking for any markings that would determine where the coin had originated from, but there wasn’t any writing on either side.  The stamps that were on it were unusual, however, and they held his interest.  On one side there was a depiction of two hearts that seemed to be seamlessly joined, as if they were actually only one organ and not two.  They were surrounded by what appeared to be a circle made from tulips, which he thought was wonderful as tulips were his favourite flower.  On the other side was the bust of a man with no hair and his huge chest exposed.  He had a menacing look that seemed to say, “You will do my bidding”.  The face made the young man kind of nervous, not in away that frightened him, but more perhaps how he’d feel if he were looking at a mentor of some sort.

Slowly his feet began moving again and soon he was back to his normal pace, though his eyes rarely ventured away from the surface of the coin and so it was quite some time before he noticed that he was being followed.

To be continued…

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The Day’s Takings

The Days Takings

The Day’s Takings

A busker’s hat lays on the pavement to collect the coins thrown by the public, both appreciative and indifferent.  He sings his and other’s songs, picking out the tunes on his guitar, a smile on his face as he nods his thanks to those who give and look him in the eye, though there are not many who lift their faces as they pass.  They dig into the corners of their pockets as they approach and drag out a coin without even bothering to see it’s worth before tossing it into the hat as they hurry on by.

As the crowds thin and the shop keepers begin to pull down shutters and lock doors, the busker finishes the song he is singing, packs away his guitar in the battered and stickered case and scoops up the old leather hat half filled with coins and smiles down at the day’s takings.  His voice has fed him for another day.