The Mission Part 2

January 13th, 2012 by Wordsman

It was not the most annoying thing that had happened to him that day.  It was not even the most annoying music-related thing.  But it bothered him.  So he stood there and played the Song of Mastery over and over again, not because he was trying to manipulate anyone’s mind, not because he was trying to rescue the old woman, but simply because he wanted to get better at it.

And he did.  The eight years’ worth of memories hadn’t been erased; they were simply buried and took time to dig up again.  Gradually it came back to him: the flow of his fingers, the positioning of his mouth, how and when to breathe—soon he was doing these things almost as naturally as, well, breathing.  After an hour or so, he even began to think that maybe the song was good enough to take over someone else’s head—in a crazy, alternate fantasy universe, that is.

Completely out of breath from his first extended performance in six years, Peter lowered the flute and looked up.  It was getting late: only an hour or two left before the sun started to sink behind the roof of Simon Park Village.  A quick scan of the park showed that no one seemed to be suffering from the effects of his song, though he realized that even when the old woman had done it, he had been a ways away before picking up the horrid tune, and presumably she was better at this than he was.  He decided to pack it up, go back down to call the woman’s bluff, and then, with any luck, go home and get some sleep.

And he might have done just that if he hadn’t happened to look down and see the squirrel staring up at him.

Being watched by a squirrel was nothing new to Peter.  He had been observed by many before.  He had even once in college gone squirrel fishing, which is a lot like regular fishing in that you drink beer and don’t catch much.  But the look in this squirrel’s eye was different.  Peter didn’t even know that squirrels could have looks in their eyes.  It was staring so intensely, so fixedly, refusing to be distracted by anything else.  It was, Peter thought, waiting for something.

“No . . .”

He walked toward the subway station entrance.  The squirrel followed him.  He stopped.  It stopped.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

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One Response

  1. Flamingo's heart Says:

    Have you ever read Murakami Haruki’s 1Q84? The style of this part resembles some narration in 1Q84, I think.

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