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Of Questionable Wisdom {P}

Postby Indigo » 10/07/2011 12:35 AM

The time one spends driving to work is usually rather uneventful. You get stuck at traffic lights, you drive behind the slowest cabbie in the world, you stop to let a stray dragon cross the street...boring things. Sometimes you take the time to drink some coffee, make a phone call, or even start work on that short story you've been meaning to write. You can do as you please, safe in the certainty that nothing will happen any differently from any other mor--

And then you slam on the brakes as a man sprints in front of your car, and hope not to be rear-ended.

"Duke! What are you doing?"

Duke Seltzer, now standing safely by a lamppost on the opposite corner, looked up in confusion.  He was exceptionally tall and lean, dressed in a business suit, whose jacket now hung crookedly from his shoulders. He had apparently never learned how to properly tie a tie, as the one he wore had come unknotted and was in danger of falling off. His blond curls stuck out wildly from his head, in disarray only partly due to his mad dash across the street, and his glasses were sliding down his nose. He looked like the least responsible person you could ever meet.

This was not far from the truth.

His companion, the woman who had shouted at him, stood across the street, arms crossed. Clearly possessing greater wisdom in the art of street-crossing, she waited for the light to change before running after him, long dark hair flying out behind her, black shoes splashing unnoticed through nearly-fresh puddles. She began shouting the moment she hit the curb. "You idiot! What the hell was that?"

"I--"

"You could have been killed!"

"But--"

"What is wrong with you?"

"Rebecca--"

"What?"

"Er." He looked rather nervous, understandably so. "I'm sorry?"

"Are you?"

"Yes..." He glanced at his shoes. "Is it such a big deal?"

"Yes."

"Oh. I am sorry, then. I just wanted to see what this was." He held up a ragged scrap of paper, soaked from the recent rain, a few words in scrawled ink bleeding through to the other side. "It's not as interesting as I'd hoped, just someone's address, but running across streets is fun, at least." He grinned.

Rebecca glared at him for a moment more, then sighed and shook her head. "What am I going to do with you?"

"We could go get coffee."

"You know that's not what I meant. Be easier to stay mad at, damn you."

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


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Re: Of Questionable Wisdom {P}

Postby Palenski » 10/07/2011 12:51 AM

A few feet away, a man was standing on a fire hydrant, smoking a cigarette. He'd watched as the man had sprinted across the street, and now he was regarding the couple with curiosity. He breathed out a stream of smoke and scratched his nose.

"I can point you to a good coffee shop," he said, tapping the cigarette and expelling the unwanted ash. He squinted and brought the cigarette back to his lips.

Behind him, a wealthy-looking business man paused to give him a concerned glance that seemed to say, Oh, good, another nutter.
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Re: Of Questionable Wisdom {P}

Postby Indigo » 10/08/2011 1:58 AM

Duke turned to look at the man who had spoken and, as if he saw people perched atop fire hydrants every day, replied, "Oh? Where is that?" Which, of course, made Rebecca turn around. To her credit, she made no exclamation of surprise or alarm, just stared at him for a long moment.

"Would you believe me if I said I'd had coffee with stranger people than you?" was all she said.

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


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Indigo
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Re: Of Questionable Wisdom {P}

Postby Palenski » 10/08/2011 2:28 AM

The man, whose name was Charles, took another deep drag on his cigarette. He smoothly stepped down off the fire hydrant and dropped the cigarette, crushing it under his boot. He pulled his coat tighter around himself and said, "Actually, my shift starts in ten minutes. I can lead you there."

He cocked his head to one side. He wasn't listening for anything, he was waiting for their response. His parents had never been sure where he'd picked up the habit, but he'd been doing it since he was a toddler. When he'd been that old it had been unnerving. Now, it just looked silly.

Oh hi there, character development.
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Re: Of Questionable Wisdom {P}

Postby Indigo » 10/08/2011 6:39 PM

"Well, actually we--"

"Sure."

"Duke."

"What? Where are those journalist's instincts you're always talking about?" Duke grinned, and reached up absently to adjust glasses he had forgotten to put on--again--that morning. He looked surprised for a moment, then shrugged. "And it's not like we have any plans."

"True. Okay, Mr Fire Hydrant, we'll go with you. Which way?"

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


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Indigo
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Re: Of Questionable Wisdom {P}

Postby Palenski » 10/08/2011 6:49 PM

Charles laughed. "I'm Charles," he said. "Or Charlie. And some people even go as far as to call me Bob, though I don't really respond to them."

Without making sure they were following them, Bob turned and began walking away from them, down the street. At one point he called over his shoulder, "They've got these really great mochas I think you'll like. And pastries."

He walked two blocks before he stopped outside a tiny, hole-in-the-wall shop that, whenever the door was opened, smelled like a tiny piece of heaven.
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