IGCSE narrative essay | 2011 Oct-Nov | 'The figure in the long, black coat.' Use this as


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

‘The figure in the long, black coat.’ Use this as the title of a narrative.

Model Essay

The Figure in the Long, Black Coat

The small town of Riverton had always been a quiet, uneventful place where everyone knew everyone else’s business. Nestled between rolling hills and dense forests, it was the kind of town where the most exciting thing to happen was the annual county fair. That all changed one foggy autumn evening when the figure in the long, black coat appeared.

It was a Saturday, and the town was bustling with the usual weekend activity. Kids played in the park, shopkeepers chatted with their customers, and the old men sat on the bench outside the general store, discussing the latest local gossip. As the sun began to set, the air grew crisp, and a thick fog rolled in from the forest, blanketing the streets in an eerie shroud.

That was when I first saw the figure. I was walking home from a friend’s house, my path illuminated by the dim streetlights that struggled to pierce through the fog. Ahead of me, standing perfectly still at the corner of Maple Street and Elm Avenue, was a tall figure dressed in a long, black coat. The coat’s collar was turned up, obscuring most of their face, and a wide-brimmed hat cast a shadow over their eyes.

Something about the figure sent a chill down my spine. I quickened my pace, my footsteps echoing in the silent night. As I passed the figure, I felt their gaze follow me, though I couldn’t see their eyes. I dared not look back, afraid of what I might see.

The next morning, the town was buzzing with talk of the mysterious figure. Several other people had seen them, always standing at a distance, never moving. The rumors spread quickly: some said it was a ghost, others claimed it was a lost traveler, and a few whispered that it was a harbinger of something terrible to come.

Days turned into weeks, and the figure became a constant presence in Riverton. No one ever saw them arrive or leave; they would simply appear, always in the same black coat and hat, always watching. The townsfolk grew uneasy, their initial curiosity turning to fear.


One evening, determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, I decided to follow the figure. I waited until the fog descended and the figure appeared at their usual spot. Keeping a safe distance, I trailed them as they moved slowly through the town, their coat billowing in the breeze.

They led me to the edge of the forest, where the fog was thickest. I hesitated, my heart pounding in my chest, but my curiosity pushed me forward. The figure disappeared into the trees, and I hurried to keep up. As I ventured deeper into the forest, the sounds of the town faded away, replaced by the rustling of leaves and the hooting of an owl.

Finally, I emerged into a small clearing. The figure stood in the center, illuminated by a shaft of moonlight that pierced through the fog. I took a deep breath and stepped forward.

“Who are you?” I called out, my voice trembling.

The figure turned slowly to face me, and for the first time, I saw their face. It was a young woman, her eyes filled with a sadness that seemed to stretch back through time. She removed her hat and coat, revealing a tattered dress underneath.

“I’m looking for my family,” she said softly, her voice barely above a whisper. “They were taken from me long ago.”

Before I could respond, she vanished, leaving only the coat and hat behind. I picked them up, feeling a strange sense of connection to the lost soul. The next morning, I told the townsfolk what had happened. Though the figure in the long, black coat never appeared again, the story of the lost woman became a part of Riverton’s lore, a reminder that some mysteries are never truly solved, only understood.

Word Count: 655