The Calling Part 10

February 4th, 2011 by Wordsman

Days 4-6:

A sharply-dressed woman with a sharper eye: “I think the real question is: don’t you feel that something’s missing from your life?  See?  Now we’re getting to the heart of the matter.”

Officer Escobar had originally planned to take notes on all the old woman’s conversations, with the idea that he might puzzle over them during his off-duty hours while savoring a cream-filled something.  But it turned out that he was no better at taking notes than he had been in school.  Besides, the kinds of clues he worked best with usually had less to do with the subtleties of language and more to do with people’s hands being a striking shade of scarlet.  So instead he just wrote down some of the more interesting responses.

A series of people carrying a variety of brightly-colored pamphlets and dressed in a variety of New Age garments: “No, but have you heard the good news of Althena/Farore/Yevon?”

He did manage to discover one thing, namely, why the woman fascinated him.  It was not sexual attraction, not that sexual attraction had ever been high on his suspects list.  Escobar was a happily married man, as happy as the next, which is to say that he could not imagine a reality without Mrs. Escobar.  He could come up with plenty of fantasies, but none of them ever felt remotely real.  In any case, if he was going to have an affair, it would be with a woman ten years younger, not thirty years older.

A desperate but seemingly harmless man: “I—I think my wife might be cheating on me . . . with my other personality!”

It was her voice.  He had picked up on it the first time he saw her; he just hadn’t attached much importance to it.  She spoke with a sweet clarity that you would normally expect from a singer or professional speaker.  You might think such a tone would feel out of place in normal conversation, but somehow everything that came from her mouth sounded perfectly natural (or it would have, if she weren’t talking about some magic quest).  All he wanted was to continue listening.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t the one doing most of the talking.

One of King Larry’s free people: “No, no, you’re doing it all wrong.  First of all, you want to avoid the subway.  People are in a hurry.  They don’t want to stop for anything.  Second, don’t try to persuade them.  When people plan to be charitable, they do it with an organization so they can deduct from their taxes.  You want to appeal to their most primal sense of pity.  Don’t ask questions; don’t give them a chance to say no; don’t speak.  Just look.”

Whatever power her words may have had over Escobar, they were ineffective in convincing anyone else to stick around.  As they days went by the woman appeared more and more depressed, and Escobar, feeling sorry for her, fell into a funk as well.  He had two options: step in to save her by answering her call or stop watching her.

Officer Escobar, the man in blue, one of Crescenton’s finest, chose the latter.

In his defense, he couldn’t play a musical instrument either.

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