Consequences Part 17

December 16th, 2011 by Wordsman

“Don’t you just put your lips together and blow?”

“I think that’s whistling.”

“Isn’t it basically the same?”

“No.  Have you ever played the flute?”

“Not that I can remember.”

“Then why are you giving me advice?”

“You look like you could use it.”

Simon Park Station was getting busier.  The people who took off early on Friday afternoons—who made up a significant portion of the downtown workforce—were streaming through, hoping to refresh themselves before going out again or to fall asleep watching TV.  Not a one of them was interested in the conversation between the old woman and a young man holding a flute.

“You could say that again,” Peter told her.  He liked to get things done on his own if he could, but he was not opposed to asking others for advice.  So far that day his only advisors had been the old woman, a variety of semi-reliable websites, and a sleep-deprived Peter Hamlin.  It was no wonder that things had gone so poorly.

“So, can we get started, then?”  The woman shifted awkwardly to remind him that she was handcuffed to a garbage can.  She didn’t see how anyone could forget something like that, but the boy hadn’t yet proven himself to be all that bright.

Peter didn’t answer right away.  He was still thinking about advice.  Unfortunately he couldn’t spot anyone around who looked particularly helpful.  He wished there was a police officer around who could tell him what the deal with this woman was, but there was none to be seen.  Shouldn’t there have been someone on duty?  For that matter, what about the cop that had handcuffed the old woman?  Where had she gone?  Why hadn’t she come back?

He sighed.  “No, I don’t think we can.  I just told you that I can’t really play this thing anymore.”  He looked down at the flute and felt a pang of guilt—guilt for not being able to help the woman, or guilt for losing a skill he had once had?  “And anyway, I don’t like your plan.  I’m not going to force someone else to break into the police station for me.  That’s despicable.”

“You’re going to give up now?  When you’ve done this much already?  You can’t back out!  You’re in too deep!”

“I’m ‘in too deep’?  What are you talking about?  You make it sound like I’m working for the mob.”  He briefly considered the possibility that the woman was part of the mob, which just goes to show how messed up his thought process was.  “What have I done?”

“You stole that flute!”

“I borrowed this flute—which I used to own—from my mother.  I don’t think they’re going to send me to prison for that one.”

The woman groaned.  “God, I’m bad at this.”

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