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The Jacket

The Jacket

Carol cheerfully unlocked the door to her beloved little cottage in the country. She had just returned from a pleasant shopping trip to the local village and was eager to review her purchases. Carol thought of herself as a woman who could spot a good deal a mile away and this trip had done nothing to change that opinion. While strolling through the shops, Carol had purchased a nice bottle of Burgundy, a darling green plaid blazer, and an antique coffee table – which would be delivered later today – all at a fraction of their value.

Closing the front door behind her, Carol sashayed into the kitchen – her favorite room in the house – and placed the bottle of wine carefully on the counter. Then, in one swift motion, she removed the jacket and carelessly dropped the bag it was in on a chair. Carol gently laid the jacket on the table, smoothed out the wrinkles, and stood back to admire it.

Her appreciative smile slowly gave way to a frown as she noticed a piece of paper peeking out from one of the front pockets. Yanking the slip from her blazer, Carol held it to the light and read aloud, “Tom Wojciechowski.”

Carol instantly felt ill. Panic seized her as she dropped the paper, stumbled backwards into the refrigerator, and slid to the floor in a heap. Kneeling, she pressed her hands to her head, hoping to dampen the pain drowning her consciousness.

Through the fog of fear, pain and shock, Carol heard a man’s voice, deep and sorrowful, say quietly, “I’m so sorry. The only way to free yourself of the accursed garment is for someone to say your name aloud in its presence. There is no other way. Godspeed.”

A few hours later, a young man from the antique store in town arrived at Carol’s home to deliver the table she had purchased that day. After knocking several times, he hesitantly opened the door and called out while stepping inside. No answer. He did a cursory check of the main floor and, finding nothing but an ugly green jacket in the kitchen, he shrugged and left the coffee table by the front door before returning to work. Had he examined the jacket more closely, he may have found the small slip of paper now bearing the name, “Carol Nowicki.”

#fiction #horror #Shortstory

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