Pearson ville


The fog was too thick to see through.  Walking down the hill it got thicker and thicker. I left the lush orange and red trees and ventured into an abyss of grey. The fog swirled around me eating me whole. The fog twisted and began to fade.  I could faintly see the outline of a town. Its edges faded and mixed into the fog. Looking ahead I saw a person softly striding towards me. The figure got closer and closer, a thick dark jacket enveloped the figure in cotton. “Welcome to Pearson ville.” The person, though I could not see their face, smiled. I looked around and saw others similarly dressed filtering around. “Follow me,” I couldn’t figure who the figure was, just that it was human. We walked to a shop that completely abandoned. Hanging on the walls was a hundred or more jackets.  “I haven’t heard of this town before, and I live just a few miles up the hill.” A deep chuckle rumbled from the jacket, “We try to stay out of the spot light.” A jacket was pulled down from the wall and fit around my shivering frame. I had forgotten the cold in my hands until I felt the warmth of the jacket. Touring the town, it seemed fairly normal. The whole town was filled with dark folds of jackets and fog. Though I could not tell the difference between the figures, they could. They waved to their friends and glanced at me. I was taken to a bakery and was filled with breads and cookies of all kinds. The baker was a large coated figure and had a belly laugh. I felt an odd pain in my side but attributed it to the large consumption of food. My guide led me through the winding town until we reached a small apartment structure. He pulled a key from the jacket and handed it to me. I looked at it and it read, compartment 13. Blessed by this unlucky number I turned to said goodbye, but I was alone.

I wanted to take off the jacket and relax, but the homes were colder than outside forcing me farther into the folds of the jacket. I awoke with a wretched pain in my side and left leg.  I attempted to find my leg but it was lost in the enormity of the jacket I wore. I ignored the pain and walked out of the frozen room. Standing outside my door was a tiny jacketed figure. “Morning,” I said to it. The jacket nodded and shuffled away. It stopped a few feet later and looked back. Shocked it was waiting, I followed. The town greeted me much better this morning, this trip to the bakery I was welcomed by many. Another stuffing around of food filled me and intensified the pain in my side. The small figure led me away from the town and to a small building. It was the library. I was shoved in and given a job. “On account of the mayor, you have the most esteemed job here; you must read and file all the old text or lore.”

The next three days continued in this manner, large amounts of bread and large amount of words. The pain spread but I simply ignored it and continued. I had one morning attempted to walk back up the hill, but I was impossible. The hill seemed to increase in slope each morning until it was almost vertical. I merely accepted my life as it was content and easy.  It was easy until a lonely girl maybe only eight wandered into town. I took her hand and got her a jacket; it seemed to only get colder here. She smiled as she was engulfed in the fabric. I took her to the bakery and filled her with cookies and small cakes. She laughed at the games I invented in the library and after a week of looking after her we became inseparable. She called herself Iris; if that was her name I did not know. She called me Papa, though I wasn’t her father. We became a family. One afternoon the pain suddenly stopped.  I was relieved to no longer fell a sharp stab each time I stepped or even breathed. But Iris began to feel the pains and I told her it was the fog, it made her bones hurt and she would be fine in a few weeks. She started to cry at night because of the pain and I had to hold her until she fell asleep. This town was killing her.

I began to question the town. I paid for nothing, my job did nothing for the town, each day it got colder and colder, and no one could leave. Iris’s pain got so intense she could no longer walk. I stayed with her and we told stories and played games and read books. I gave her a paper and pen and she drew. She drew me and the room and her own face. I pinned them to the walls and it made room 13 our own.  I heard a knock one day and I opened it. I could suddenly tell who it was, the mayor. “Evening. You haven’t been at work.” I nodded, “My daughter is sick.” I could tell his shock. “Daughter? You came alone…” I had not told him she was there, but it had hardly seemed to matter for over a month. “Yes well she wandered in a while back,” I turned back to see Iris curled in a ball. “Well I’m glad she has joined us,” he turned and left, until he saw the drawings. “WHAT IS THAT!” It was the picture of Iris. “My daughter,” I answered questioning the outburst. He rushed in and tore it down. “This is not accepted here.” He left in a hurry.

I was done with this. I was getting out, I was not staying, and Iris was coming with me. I knew the coats needed to go, as warm as they were, they slowed up down. I tried to just take it off but the fabric just swirled back covering me. I grabbed scissors and tried to cut my way out. That wouldn’t work either. Fire. I light the coat on fire and it burned. I felt no pain but when the coat disappeared, all that stood there, was a skeleton.