The Next Day Part 7

April 27th, 2012 by Wordsman

“Like I said yesterday, you need to break me out of here.  And, as I demonstrated yesterday, that’s not going to be so easy.”

“Sorry about that.”  Peter didn’t know if a muffin was an appropriate way to apologize for making someone run into an invisible wall.  It wasn’t a situation he found himself in often.

The woman chuckled.  “At least you only had me do it once.  You have no idea how many times I tried it before I believed.”

“And this jailbreak,” Peter said, gazing at the old flute as if it were something completely unfamiliar.  “It’s going to involve some sort of song with weird, inexplicable powers, isn’t it?”

She watched him closely for signs of sarcasm before proceeding.  “How did you know?”

“Otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered teaching me one yesterday.  It was a pretty ridiculous plan.  There were any number of simpler ways to get you out of those handcuffs, and you had hours to think of one.  But you decided to go with the preposterously complicated strategy because you knew that I would need to become familiar with this sort of thing anyway, and also as a test to see if I could handle it.”

She grimaced and decided not to tell him that she really hadn’t been able to come up with a better idea.  “You’re a lot smarter today than you were yesterday.”

“Anyone’s smarter when they’ve had time to think things over,” he replied drily.

“I wouldn’t be too sure about that.  I’ve had all the time in the world to think about my situation, and as you can see, I haven’t made a lot of progress.”

“And why is that?  You say that music is the way to escape, and music seems to be your field of expertise.  So why are you still here?”

His tone was casual, but his questions had a strong, demanding force to them.  He seemed so different from the helpless youth of the day before that the woman was put on guard.  The interrogation wasn’t outright unpleasant, but it was a little unnerving.

“There are two reasons, I think.”  The woman spoke very hesitantly, afraid of stretching the belief of her only potential helper to the snapping point.  She wasn’t quite sure why she believed these things herself.  “Keep in mind that I don’t know who put me down here or why, so I’m sort of guessing, here.  But the first reason’s obvious: I don’t know the right song.  There’s a lot of music out there that can . . . affect the world in ways beyond the ordinary, and I know . . . more of it than I can remember offhand.  But I sure don’t know any ‘Subway Station Escape Song.’”

“And you think that I do?

“I think that someone does.  But you can work on that later.  Because the other problem, I think, is that we’re going to need more people.”

Peter frowned.  Part of the reason he had agreed to help was that he had naively believed that no one else would have to know about it.  “How many more?”

“I’m not sure.  But I do know that some songs are too potent to be performed by one person.  Whatever’s holding me in here is a doozy.  I don’t think a solo number’s going to cut it.”

“And where do you suggest I find these other band members?”

* * *

“Hey, Dizzy.  I was wondering . . . I mean, if you had the time . . . would you be interested in helping me out with something?  Playing your trumpet, that is.  It’s no big deal or anything, but I need some musicians for this project, and . . .”

Of course Peter didn’t actually ask his sister.  He didn’t learn that he would need to look for additional musicians until the following morning.  But even if he had known, he probably wouldn’t have asked her.  It may have been partly out of jealousy and a desire to not be overshadowed.  Deep down he understood that any halfway competent musician would be better than him, but . . . he just didn’t want it to be his sister.  On the other hand, even Peter had enough musical sense to realize that flute and trumpet would make a pretty poor duet combo.

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