(from my novel-in-progress.)
…and sometimes things just, you know… fall into your lap.
It was at my first Flaming Lips concert. And based on what I was experiencing, it wasn’t going to be my last concert.
I was standing near the area in front of the giant television display in Dundas Square; it was an area full of parked and locked bikes, sitting, standing, lounging people, balloons being passed back and forth and loads of camaraderie. I was enjoying the sight of the lead singer crowdsurfing inside a huge ball and was moving closer through the push of bodies to get a better view, and to record what I was seeing, when it happened. I lost my magical protection. I felt it more than saw it happen.
A mild vertigo slid through me.
It was like being in an accident, where everything was speeding up and slowing down at the same time. Things were going so slow that as I looked behind me I just managed to see a figure furtively disappearing into the throng of bodies oblivious to my plight.
Once he cleared the crowd, this person seemed to think that the deed was done, that there was no pursuit, but habits of carefulness seemed to dictate his mostly unhurried actions.
I watched him duck into doorways or alleyways whenever he saw a vehicle approaching, or another pedestrian.
Then in an alley, I saw him look around before approaching one doorway. He passed a hand over a part of the shadows, then seemed to step into them.
So that’s how he eluded people.
He was getting away with my jumbie beads.
No! That could not happen… I dashed forward, grabbed him by the collar, and yanked him back into the night.
I grabbed him by the neck. His feet were off the ground.
I slammed him face first into a wall. I think his nose was worse for wear because of that. I breathed down the back of his head.
“Hello there.” I let my voice express its full monstrosity.
His heart raced, from what I could detect. I smelled fear.
“I do believe you have something of mine.”
I could hear him begin to hyperventilate.
“No answer, hm? I suggest you give it back.”
He began to stammer.
“Speak up. Words, boy, words.” I shook him by my grip around his neck.
“I-i-it’s in my back pocket.”
“Ah.” I fished it out. “Thank you.” I let him unceremoniously drop to his feet as I put the jumbie beads back on.
A shiver spread throughout my body as the magic began to take hold. My head lolled back.
Then I eyed him.