Spoilers: Miniscule for "Things that Go Bump"
Summary: There are different kinds of magic in the world.
Author's Note: Done for dresdenflashfic's first challenge. The theme word was 'magic'.
I don't profess to be a big scholar of music. I don't know the classics and I've never been to see an opera. I have an impressive collection of LPs inherited from my father and I would listen to them more often if the record player didn't keep exploding when I tried to touch it. Still, there's this girl, who plays on the street corner. I pass by her all the time when I'm out and about. She plays the violin, though I don't think playing is the right word. She and the violin do something together that isn't quite human. I'm pretty sure it's magic. Not my kind of magic, maybe, but some kind of magic.
I always stop and listen. If I can, I throw some money into the case on the sidewalk but if I do or if I don't, it doesn't really matter to her. She's not there, not on earth anymore and then I'm not there either, when I listen. I never really know what to do when I listen to music, I'm not much of a dancer and I'm not going to close my eyes and sway in the middle of a Chicago sidewalk. So I watch her face. I've seen people under spells and enthralled and zombified, but whatever sort of trance she's in when she plays is different from all that. It's hypnotizing.
Today, I'm not the only one stopped. There's a harried looking mother with her arms full of groceries and her kid, frozen in place, plus a businessman with a briefcase and a cup of coffee who's missed three 'walk' signs now. There's also a guy a bit younger than me, wearing a sword pendant and eyes that just aren't quite right.
Her song comes to a close with a long draw of the bow across the strings. The kid starts to whine and his mother pulls him along down the sidewalk. The businessman sprints across the road on a 'don't walk', nearly getting himself run over in the process. The other guy lingers, but when he steps closer to her, he bounces back like he's hit a wall. That would be my mom's old shield bracelet, doing its job. He looks at her with a frown and then storms off without another glance. I step forward to her and toss a dollar into her case. She gives me a distracted smile of thanks. She's lost her otherworldly look now and is back to being a mortal like the rest of us.
"Uh, hi," I begin, with an awkward smile.
It feels weird to cross the line, like getting too close to the illusion makes it lose its wonder. But she's in trouble and she needs my help, though she doesn't know the latter part yet. She needs my kind of magic and I'm willing to give it. Because I'm pretty sure we all need her kind of magic too.