Top Hat

I was walking down King street with my friend, Tommy. We were discussing the difference between a nerd and a geek when I tripped and skinned my knee.

It hurt a lot, but I sprang up, not wanting to look weak in front of my friend. Looking back to see what had caused my fall, I saw a top hat. It was jet black and looked like it had come right out of a history book. I didn’t know very much about top hats, but Tommy sure did. You could say that he had an obsession with them.

“Whoa! A Victorian stovepipe top hat!” said Tommy, smiling, “My collection is complete!”

Tommy hesitated, “That is, unless you want it...”

Tommy was always trying to get me to enjoy everything he enjoyed. I always declined, and now was no exception.

“No no, you keep it,” I declared, “I can tell that it’s important to you.”

Tommy eagerly snatched the top hat and we continued down King street. When we reached Tommy’s house, he once again asked if I would like the top hat, but I declined him again. He then demanded that I cover my eyes while he found the secret key to open his front door. I knew that he kept it under the doormat, countless times of walking home with him could tell me that, but covered my eyes anyway.

“Alright, you can open them now.”

“Bye Tommy, see you tomorrow.”

But I would see Tommy sooner than I expected.

My mom woke me up at one in the morning.

“Hey, Tommy’s mom is on the phone, she said that she needs to talk to you urgently.”

As it turned out, Tommy was in the hospital. Tommy and his whole family are very close friends of my family so we drove to the hospital as soon as we could. The room he was in smelled of harsh antiseptic and a constant beeping of the pulse monitors filled your ears. I noticed the top hat resting on a table next to his bed.

The doctor told us that they had found Tommy in his room with the top hat on, fainted. Nothing physical seemed to of caused the fainting, and their best guess was that he had seen something truly frightening. It was then when Tommy woke up.

“Oh, hi there. I just had the strangest dream.” said Tommy, “You know that top hat we found, there was something really weird about it, but I am not sure what it was...”

Tommy obviously hadn’t been dreaming, there was something wrong with the top hat. We all paused to look at this old top hat.

“Oh yea, that's right! It didn’t have a shadow!”

We all gasped and a nurse who was passing through the room fainted. Indeed, the top hat did not have a shadow. I don’t know how long I stared, but it was interrupted when the doctor turned out the lights and turned on a flashlight to try and get the top hat’s shadow to appear. It shone through the top hat like it was air. After about 5 minutes of frantically shining light at the top hat the doctor ushered us out of the room saying that he needed to perform some more experiments.

I never saw the top hat again. Tommy and I told everyone we could about it, but no one believed us. Our parents also didn’t believe what they saw, passing it off as just a “trick of the light in the room.” I’m not sure what to make of this whole incident, none of it really makes any sense. All I know is, if Tommy could get that top hat in his collection, then the collection would really be one of a kind.