This little bit will be one of the upcoming Guardians of the Gate City spin off side stories.  While not so much a Guardian, the main character will be a bridge between one city and another.

***

The notes floated through the rush hour crowd.  Soft but clearly heard by those who attention was willing to be distracted.  The clear voice lifted but not demanding to be heard.  Touching a place inside those the harsh day had pushed to an edge.  Soothing them.  Relaxing the tension that could so easily flare in the confined space of the subway platform.  As the train rumbled into the station, the energy changed to more a weary happiness to be heading home.

 

As the crowd moved a single man stopped by the figure in the alcove and nodded, dropping a crumpled bill into the plastic cup as a thank you before he headed back home.  His desperation lighter and a bit of hope, a tiny seed, filling his belly.  He heard a soft, “Go in peace,” and he did, stopping only long enough to toss an unused knife into the darkness of the tracks to be lost.

 

Sighing tiredly the figure closed silver eyes and waited.  The night no longer held the threat sensed.  She smiled softly below the floppy hat that shadowed her face.  Her work in this place was done for now.  Packing the dulcimer into its embroidered bag, she tucked it into a deep packet in the oversized coat she wore.  The cup followed, the money uncounted.

 

She slipped up the stairs into the snowy dark of a late Tuesday night.  The trains would still be running for another hour or so but she had another place to go now.  A warm room with a bed would be more to her liking but there was so much she needed to do and sleep could wait till at least some of it was done.

 

Looking up at the snow as it fell softly from the black sky, she shivered and wrapped a ragged scarf tighter around her throat.  As she walked she continued to feel out the air, pausing to sniff from time to time the wind that blew from the water.  As her feet grew chilled in her boots, she hummed a soft series of notes and let out a little snort, shaking her head.  “That won’t do,” she whispered and turned toward her next destination.

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