The Magic Trenchcoat

A short children’s story… Rain pelted against the roof on the late spring afternoon that seven-year-old Norris Anderson climbed up the narrow attic steps …

A short children’s story…

Rain pelted against the roof on the late spring afternoon that seven-year-old Norris Anderson climbed up the narrow attic steps in search of adventure among grandma’s old trunks, boxes, and cloth-covered furniture.  His first efforts generated little more than clouds of dust as he leapt from one item to the next.  Then he spotted an old trenchcoat lying in a crumpled heap near a sofa covered in a rose-print sheet.

Norris swirled the trenchcoat about, landing it on his shoulders as a cloud of dust billowed out behind him.  He shot the sofa a wary sidelong glance then patted the front of the coat, checking for his sidearm.  Norris half-turned, gave the sewing machine a meaningful nod, and attempted to look casual in the crowded isles of Grandma’s General Attic Store.

He only had to wait a few minutes before the sofa made its move.  “Not so fast, ‘Kid,” Norris called as he mimed drawing a pistol from one of the enormous side pockets.  “I’m sheriff now,” he drawled, “and there won’t be any more trouble in my town.”

Sofa the Kid was not about to give up without a fight though.  It staggered left, betting that the new sheriff would not shoot on the first day.  ‘Kid lurched right and ran out the door of the general store.  Sheriff Norris scrambled after it, his long trenchcoat flowing behind him as he gained on the fleeing sofa.  Then, with a grunt, Norris tackled the fugitive and wrestled it to the ground.

When the dust had settled, the rose-print sheet lay half off the couch.  On the cushions rested a ragged, leather-bound book filled with handwritten dated and lengthy notes.  Intrigued with the find, Norris inspected the journal more closely and found several pages missing.  “I wonder what was on those pages,” he murmured to the hat rack standing beside him.

“Those pages,” Norris continued, as he began to pace across the attic, “held the key to finding the crown jewels.”  He tapped his finger against his lips as he paused in thought.  “Hmm?”  He smiled as the hat rack showed its blatant disbelief in Norris Holme’s powers of deduction.  “It is an elm tree, my dear Watson,” Norris said.  “This book can only be the diary of the evil Jessica Anderson, known thief and crim-in-inal in general.  Come along, we must catch the villain before she strikes again!”

Norris and Watson the hat rack scoured the fog-shrouded streets of London to no avail.  The suspect was nowhere to be found.  Suddenly the great detective stumbled over a heavy black cylinder.  “Look, Watson,” he breathed, “a clue.”  Norris lifted the cylinder to examine it more closely when a blinding light erupted from it.

Norris blinked as his vision cleared.  “We’re too late.”  He stuffed his hands into the large pockets of the trenchcoat and met the gaze of the concerned looking rocking horse standing next to him.  “She’s been up duckted, Scully.  There’s no other explanation for it.”  Even though the rocking horse obviously did not believe the evil Jessica Anderson has been swept off the face of the earth by aliens, she went along with Norris’ search plans.

In the midst of this search, a ghostly voice drifted through the dense forest and found the ears of FBI agent Norris Mudder.  He cocked his head and grinned.  Grandma was calling him to lunch.  With a whoop, Norris shrugged out of the trenchcoat and raced down the stairs.  The rain had stopped and dappled patches of sunlight now fell through the attic windows and onto the abandoned trenchcoat that lay once more in a crumpled heap, dreaming of future adventures.

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