The Calling Part 8

January 21st, 2011 by Wordsman

Day 3:

After a night that involved much more thinking than he preferred to get into in a non-work environment, Officer Escobar decided that he was no longer going to try to approach the woman.  He had no reason to believe that she would say to him anything other than what he had already heard the past two days (thankfully she at least seemed to have given up on the dead hair).  Or she might react differently because he was a cop, and when there are two versions of a story, the one you tell to the police is never the more helpful one.  The best approach was to observe and be prepared to respond to new developments.

Escobar was not a fan of hands-on policing anyway.  He saw his job as mostly symbolic; his role was not enforcement but prevention.  Most people weren’t stupid enough to pull anything with a cop watching, and the ones that were often took care of themselves.  He could stop crime before it started, simply by existing.  He wore the badge so that he need never use it.

Since his beat still happened to be the subways, he chose to continue wearing his badge in Simon Park Station.

He took up a position leaning against his pillar—the one that afforded the best view of hers—and sipped his subway stand coffee, which was foul but hot (the Dough-Re-Mi was always mobbed on weekends).  It had not taken him long to figure out what to look for.  Whenever someone separated from the pack, the old woman would pounce, like an ancient lioness, who has to rely on strategy rather than speed.

Her current target was a young woman with a backpack, probably a university student.  She wore a sweatshirt with a picture of an improbably-proportioned woman holding a battleaxe and something written in one of those made-up languages where all the letters seem to come with dots.  “Don’t you feel that there’s something missing from your life?”

The girl turned toward her, eyes wide.  Like most of the old woman’s prey, she had not noticed her until she spoke.  Most of the time this stealthy approach caused mild irritation in the subject.  In this case, however, it led to excitement.  “Ohmygod I so do!”

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