The Coat of Many Pockets
His classmates had really done it this time! He cursed their propensity for practical jokes. He had picked up the innocent looking piece of paper on the floor, only to find himself Elsewhere. The paper crackled in his hand as he made an angry fist. He smoothed it out. “Welcome to your Adventure! You were Transported by a One-way Portal. Get back Home if you can!” It read. The entire incident had happened without warning. He had only the clothes on his back. He turned a full circle. Nothing but towering, ice-covered mountains as far as the eye could see. “You won’t get rid of me that easily!” He swore aloud.
He had searched for five hours when he stumbled upon his possible salvation. Alyxzandyr examined his prize. He had scavenged it from a corpse he had found wedged into a deep crevasse in the mountain. It was bad luck to rob the dead, but he had no other choice. Without supplies he would soon join the poor unfortunate soul whose mummified body lay before him. He whispered a prayer as he touched the dry flesh. “May the Gods of your people greet your soul with rejoicing, and may you dwell with them forever.” The ice had preserved everything perfectly. The dead man belonged to no race or people that he recognized. His belongings were another matter. Particularly the coat, it was ankle length and waterproofed, made of solid black wool, with golden buttons. He searched the pockets of the coat with dismay. It was a Wizard’s coat, so there were many pockets, each one tapping into a different dimensional space. The previous owner of the coat had stored his supplies with no rhyme or reason that Alyxzandyr could discern. He quickly realized that they were all very dangerous.
- Why would the Popping Fisby’s be located in a water realm? What good where fireworks that could burn everything?
- What relevance did the Borgrum Chronicles have to a desert? Any one who read its pages rapidly went insane.
- He found a flask of Vitrium’s Tears in a jungle. Like he really needed to melt a hole to the center of the world.
- The Cornucopia of Threustrus sat on an iceberg. Sure, bury himself under an endless mound of gold.
- The Weft of Wilford was in a literal hell hole, guarded by demons. Who wanted to wrap himself in something that would crush you to death?
- The Sands of Nemenous were deep in space. Right, the itching powder so powerful you’d scratch your skin off.
- The Igniter of Dravinyl was in a cavern miles deep underground. Like he really needed to explode the sun.
- The Lens of Quirp was in the middle of a stampeding herd of large, bellicose animals. When you just had to burn out someone’s brain.
- The Ghartoul Prophecies were in a world spanning city filled with sentient machinery. Which sent you hopscotching across the universe in a futile attempt at trying to solve them.
- And the long-lost Spear of Zantrix was inside the camp of tiny, unfriendly aliens. Yeah, he had an immortal dragon begging to be get killed.
- And where, oh where, was there a Transdimensional Personal Transfer Portal? He really wanted to get back home.”
There were a number of items he didn’t recognize and whose purpose he couldn’t even guess at:
- The metallic pyramid covered in sharp spikes sitting on a battlefield between massive warring armies covered with blood and gore.
- The multicolored crystal spheres swirling on the winds of a raging hurricane that was destroying everything in its path.
- The wooden cubes carved with the strange, flowing script that kept changing sunken at the bottom of a mile high pounding waterfall.
- The sculpture made of wires and gemstones suspended over the heart of a live volcano that rumbled and bubbled.
- And the shards diamond-shaped glass lodged in the middle of a putrid swamp filled with creeping ghouls.
He stumbled back to his original reality. Exhausted and discouraged he slumped to the ground, sucking his wounded thumb. He had examined the entire left lapel without discovering a single useful magical item or safe refuge. He was daunted by the size of the remaining task. It could take days!
He took a drink from the giant clamshell he had filled with fresh spring water. He shivered, night was falling and it was growing colder. He used a piece of burning rock to start a fire with the wood he had gathered. He ate the edible fruits he had picked. He wrapped himself up in the coat and lay down to sleep. The other mundane items he had gathered glittered in the starlight.
He tossed and turned all night, disturbed by strange rumbling noises, and eerie chirps and squeaks. Their sequences repeated. It sounded like a language that he couldn’t quite understand, though he strained his ears and mind. He fell asleep, still pondering the noises. Shivering, he awoke with the dawn. He scanned the barren vista bitterly. “Help me, somebody.” He shouted.
He jumped when a woman’s voice spoke from the depths of the coat. “How may I assist?”
In response to Weekly Writing Challenge: Object
The challenge this week is to begin with an object. Take something small, and concrete – a thing, a noun – and use that as a starting point.
I read the part about the character sketch (think about your character’s stuff), saw my denim duster and thought “What if it were a magical coat?” The story flowed from there.