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Luke (Busker): *Perhaps it's something about the day itself that is not allowing his usual joy in the music flow through; maybe it's something in the musician. Eventually, the song ends, and his eyes re-open. He lowers the harmonica, pale blue eyes lifting to watch the grim-faced evening pedestrians pass by without so much as a second look. There is no inspiration here, and -- a glance confirms -- the dollar remains lonesome in the pot. He sighs*
Luke (Busker): *He pockets the harmonica in his kilt, and picks up the stacked buckets to carry away under his arm, back towards wherever the musician calls home this evening. The metal pot is carried loosely in his hand. The bait-dollar will be handed off to a homeless man a block over*
Luke (Busker): *And he disappears into the maze of alleys and streets back to....* *Gone*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *No buckets today. He's joining the ranks of the many nighttime indigents, carrying his harmonica and a reed pipe in the pockets of his khaki Utilikilt. A plain white tee shirt tops off the outfit. His girl is at work, his work for the day is done, and he is restless. Dude, he really needs to smoke more weed....*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *After what happened last time he played harmonica around people...he's decided to find somewhere more or less away from people. He leans up against a streetlight, and pulls out the harmonica. He turns the thin metal instrument in his callused fingers, then raises it to blow a note. He doesn't really -need- to, he has perfect pitch, but it's how he was taught*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *Then,towards the rubble and never-rebuilt ruins that holds little more now than bad memories, he brings it to his lips...and plays. A defiant act, really, against actions that have happened there in the past. The harmonica lifts into a single note that wavers and wails, held long and high....*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *Then into the sultry night air, a song, breaking into the sounds of distant industry and the sounds of sirens. It overrides them, dismisses them. 'Happy Blues', he called it to Nick. A bouncing, rollicking rendition of what would ordinarily be a melancholy genre*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *Anyone overhearing the music..and it does indeed carry...may find themselves thinking of long summer evenings that never seem to end, of sitting on a dock skipping stones and of cold beers with good friends...*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *The musician's eyes have closed, and his blonde dreadlocks, worn loose, sway and swing in time to the slap of his bare foot on the pavement. He's barefoot even amidst the city's detritus, and his entire demeanor seems to convey that while he may be -in- this dreary urban environment, he's not -of- it. Bright chakra beads adorn one of his wrists, a brilliant stone rainbow*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *He adds flourishes, and anyone overhearing could find themselves tapping their feet, humming along and smiling... It is music intended to lift the spirits and inspire memories of bright days and cozy evenings watching sunsets*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *He remains leaning up against the lamp-post for a good twenty minutes, simply letting his music free into the evening air. And if there is no one to hear it...well, beauty is not the less for having no beholder*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *At last he finishes his song with a single trilled note, just as it began, and he pockets the instrument.He stretches up from the streetlight with a pleased smile, and takes a final look around with bright interest*
Luke (Stoner/Busker): *Then he turns, humming under his breath, to head for a building nearby. He'll take a shortcut through the alleys, relying on speed to make it home unscathed...* *Gone*
: A beaten, poo-brown panel van followed by a rusty pickup truck pull up in front of a set of dilapidated brownstone townhouses. In clown-car fashion, a multitude of people, seemingly too many to have fit in the vehicles, clamber out. There are children, narrow-featured and scrabbling with each other. Teens, sullen and pointed, jockey for position and mutter alliances to each other, often at cross-purposes. The adults combine the worst of both the others, those in senior positions (not always the oldest) ordering others into work unloading boxes, barrels, cartons, crates, totes, and bags from both vehicles. How all this debris fit with all these people is beyond imagining.
: The people and gear begin moving into the boarded-window buildings. The children pick up broken pieces of the crumbling concrete steps and try bartering with each other for them, resorting to throwing the stones at each other when they don't get what they want. The teens are threatened into helping the adults shift luggage inside; they take advantage of any and every distraction to examine the contents of what they are holding, and slip pieces into their own pockets. Adults, more experienced, misplace entire pieces of luggage into the wrong rooms. A few of the adults, clearly in authority (they are carrying clipboards and papers) snap orders and threaten, cajole, bribe, and wheedle to get things done and protect their own property.
: Eventually, amazingly, even the vehicles are broken down, stripped, and carted inside. Ambitious children attempt to steal lug nuts, windshield wipers, and window cranks; those who are unsuccessful receive cuffs and punches. Teens argue and squabble, offering trade in goods and services (of all kinds) for choice pieces of equipment. The adults receive pieces according to some Byzantine set of rules, and governed by the Clipboard Carriers.
: Soon, the road is empty of even street debris, the children having scoured it for anything that might have value to anyone. The wind blows down through the concrete valley, and it's possible the new occupants charge it a toll.