Three-Part Short Story: The Meta-Narrative of Cole Jackson Part One

Cole Jackson smiled fiendishly as he picked up the newspaper for the 25th September 1925; this was the third and final episode of the pulp series on page six that he had been so deeply immersed in for the past month. He turned straight to it and was immediately pulled in by the story. He often thought it was weird that someone like him was so compelled by such fiction and wondered if his life was even remotely as interesting as the lives of the characters in the story. Even though his friends believed his job was exciting, he didn’t think it was; he was only an FBI agent, what could be exciting about arresting the mafia and repossessing contraband products everyday?

He was nearing the end of a sentence when he slipped on the sidewalk. The paper flew up into the air and came down like black and white rain. Cole was dazed and saw only sky until a figure came to his aid. As his vision cleared his jaw dropped, the woman who helped him up-she was beautiful. Her dark brown hair was curled and short, it elongated her face and emphasised her bright blue eyes. Her red lips were playful as she smiled and spoke.

“Are you alright?”

Cole stuttered as he spoke, “I…I believe I am now Miss.”

“Do you usually neglect to look where you are going when you walk Officer?” asked the woman as she laughed slightly and picked up his badge.

Cole narrowed his eyes as he stared, her accent was very English, he wondered why she was in New York City, was she just a tourist? He pulled the tall collar of his tan trench coat to his neck.

“Only when I am immersed in such a good story Miss…?” he said as he gazed at the glamorous woman in front of him.

“Catherine Hector,” she replied as she held out her hand.

“Nice to meet you Catherine, I’m Cole Jackson.”

Catherine spoke again but her words were drowned out by the sound of nearby gunfire. Cole rolled his eyes, turned around and observed a man in an ill-fitting suit flee from two cops. He sighed as he knew he must go to help his colleagues, although off-duty, it was his job. He turned to Catherine and smiled. He was about to speak but she stopped him.

“Perhaps you should aid your comrades,” she said as she looked at him and smiled.

“Oh, I won’t be long, then we can go for lunch if you like?” asked Cole as he looked at Catherine.

He swallowed as he thought of what he had just said ‘I won’t be long’; it sounded so pretentious.  Catherine looked at Cole and contemplated her answer.

“That sounds like a splendid idea.”

With a wide smile, Cole remarked “Wait right here” as he straightened his black fedora and ran off into the crowded street…

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