I've mentioned elsewhere within The Northlands that I created a character called Joshua Deeds. He came from a short story I once told Autumn, made up on the spot after she requested I tell her a "Jamie story". There is a thread in The Writer's Den dedicated to quotes I have come up with, credited to Joshua, that will hopefully one day be the backbone to a second tale about him. Anyway, I am attempting to retell the original Joshua Deeds story, The Coin. I never gave him a name in the first telling of this, so I'm trying to keep it out of this version as well in an attempt to keep it as close to the original as possible. Here are the first few paragraphs that I have written this very morning. I hope you enjoy and please let me know if you'd like to see the rest. I have to go and make lunch now.
There was once a young man, average, nothing special, but he was happy. He had a good job, he had good friends. He had a good life. He spent his time, when not working, doing the things he liked to do. Going out with his friends, staying in with his friends, staying in alone (he liked his own company, as well as that of others), walking to stay fit, lounging around watching movies on a Sunday, and many other things.
But, there wasn't anyone in his life he could share these things with, at least nobody special. Yes, he had his friends who he could confide in, but he found he could never fully open up to them, never reveal his deepest thoughts, desires, worries and concerns. Strangely, this was something he didn't realise about himself until it was pointed out to him in rather bizarre fashion.
The workday mornings followed pretty much the same routine. He got up, washed, dressed and had his breakfast before leaving his small flat to take the bus to work. On his way to the bus stop he would get a newspaper and a chocolate bar from the same shop, he'd catch the same bus and get off at the same stop a short distance from his office and call in to the coffee shop next door for the same cup of Americano which was , sometimes, already brewed and waiting for him before he even opened the door.
On this particular morning, as he walked up to the door of the news shop where he bought his paper and chocolate, he noticed something glinting on the pavement in the weak autumn sun. He stooped to pick it up and found it was a gold coin with strange markings minted in to it. It was unlike any coin he'd ever seen before and it seemed to shine even when his body cast a shadow upon it. On one side the image appeared to be that of two hearts intertwined in such a fashion that they could never be separated, at least that's what it looked like to him. On the other was the profile of a rather intimidating looking man, bald, heavy jowled, with small piercing eyes.
The young man continued to examine the coin as he walked into the shop to purchase his items. The young woman behind the counter, who worked the morning shift in the shop and knew the young man by sight if not by name, greeted him as she always did and, when she noticed the coin, remarked upon it's beauty.
“Yes,” said the young man, “it is quite eye catching, isn't it. I just found it outside.”
“Where's it from?”
“I have no clue. I've never seen one before. I'll probably do a bit of research tonight when I get home. Anyway, have a good day. I'll see you tomorrow,” and with that he paid for his things and left the shop to catch the bus to work.
The bus pulled up to the stop just as he approached and he stepped into the belly of the packed beast, paid his fare and found a seat next to a pretty brunette who was fresh face among the familiar crowd of commuters. As he was about to put the gold coin in his coat pocket she said, “That's beautiful. I've never seen one like that before.” The young man looked at her and smiled before replying, “ Yes, it's unusual. I found it just now, on the pavement outside the newsagents.” The coin appeared to be a little ice-breaker and he and the pretty brunette chatted for the entire journey, until the young man had to disembark. “See you tomorrow?” he asked. “I'll be here,” she said.
The young man watched as the bus pulled away into the morning traffic and turned towards the building where he would spend the next eight hours of the day. He was just about to walk through the door when he remembered his morning brew. “ I can't function in there without my bean,” he muttered to himself and turned around and headed towards Red's Diner. He pushed his way in and there was Red, the owner of the small coffee house and eatery, standing behind the counter, arms folded across her chest, looking very annoyed.
“ You forgot me?” she asked. “And here I thought I was the most important part of your day.”
“Sorry, Red. I'm a little distracted this morning.” He fished the gold coin from his coat pocket to show her. “ I found this this morning outside the shop where I get my paper. Someone on the bus noticed it and we got talking. I think she likes me,” he smiled broadly as he put the coin back in his pocket, not noticing the slightly pained expression that crossed Red's face. His coffee was already made and waiting for him and he picked it up to take a sip. “Perfect, as always. Much like yourself, Red,” he said.
“That'll be £2.50,” she replied. He chuckled, handed over the right change and turned to leave. “See you at lunch,” he called over his shoulder, and left for the office.