The alleyway was a totally different view by daylight. The sinister shadows taking their vengeance by dark, intimidating innocent passers by, were gone. Now the shadows loomed larger than life, playfully waiting, to participate in a dance, to a tune that was yet to be played.
Not much action today, the watcher took a well earned coffee & smoko break. He picked up his packet of Marlboro, he knew smoking was not healthy for him, still as that thought passed through his mind, he lit yet another cigarette, inhaling the smoke deep into his lungs, his mind turned to the sheer pleasure it brought him. Little did he know at this moment that smoking would be his demise one day.
While the watcher continued with his unhealthy habit, there was some potentially dodgy action about to take place in the alley. He says potentially because, it’s a gut feeling, and he knows his instinct is good.
An elderly couple hobbled the uneven lane, the old man stopped, Doris the crowd is here, they’re waiting.
We have to give them a performance like they’ve never experienced ever. Are you ready My Dearest?” Doris, a sweet hearted woman dressed in her brown wool coat, matching hat adorned with a white flower, her coat open enough to show her deep red dress covered in matching white flowers, her brown shiny sensible lace up shoes finished of this immaculately dressed woman. Oh how she loved dressing up.
Lost in a daydream for a moment, Joe and herself were a handsome couple. Impeccably dressed, charming and talented. They met at the opera 58 years ago. Doris was 19 and Joseph was 22. He was a conductor and she played violin. Together they were impeccably dazzling and brilliant.
Yes darling Joe, we must delight this wonderful crowd. This spot was as good as any, Doris thought to herself. There was a scattered few walking the lane, barely glancing at the odd old couple. Joe took his hat off his head and placed it on the ground, top down, picking up his stick, Doris’s face softened as she looked at him with love as he lifted his stick high into the air.
With a swiftness and agility belying his advanced years, he starts waving it all around. Joe stop, wait, please Doris says panicking.
At that very moment the watcher returned his watchful eye to observe the afternoons alley scene. The watchers eyes popped. What the? No! I cannot leave my spot for a minute he thought to him self.
“Leave her alone “shouted the angry watcher. He watched. The view from his room to the alleyway, was of an old man, he knew he was an old man because he was slightly rounded at the shoulders and knees slightly bent. Along with the graying receding hair line.
He thought himself a reliable source at assessing characters. I should’ve been a detective he marveled at this idea.
Oh what are you doing ? The streets were unsafe and noisy. People chatting without a care, cars honking, music playing. Everyone oblivious to what is going on before there very eyes.
Can they not see this? It appeared to him that this old codger was hitting a woman with his walking stick. He was waving that stick all around. The woman seemed small, probably frail, her small body hidden by the width of the man’s body, with his arms flying around, it made it hard for the watcher to get a good vision of the little old lady.
She seem to be ducking and weaving avoiding the strikes from the walking stick. Why isn’t anyone helping her. That poor dear. People were walking past and throwing things at them, they appeared to be laughing and smiling. But not helping the woman. Leave her alone you cantankerous old bully he shouted heatedly.
If anyone heard him, no one appeared to be making any movement or even acknowledged his shouts.
The watcher was contemplating what he should do next, he fiddled with his phone deciding whether to call the police or not. He didn’t want to exaggerate the situation. Like he did last time. OK OK so he misjudged a character once.
000 he tapped on his iPhone. Police.. how can I help? There is an old man attacking a little old lady with a walking stick in the lane way across the road from my apartment. Hurry, please hurry. People are walking past, no one is helping. What is wrong with people? Hurry please I’m scared he’s going to kill her.
“Mr Scout” the voice on the other end of the line spoke. “Is that you again? The last time this happened you made an error in judgement, how can you be sure this time?”
“I trust my own eyes sir” and it’s what they are seeing right this instance, violence, rampant brutal violence, trust me!
The roar of the sirens, red and blue lights flashing, stopping in the alleyway. The watcher is watching, he always watches, he watches everything.
The police delighting in the beautiful music,slowly moving toward the man from behind, they appeared to approach tenderly. Joe, oblivious to his surroundings is completely unaware of their advances. The man reaches his stick high above and hears, good afternoon Joe says the kind a police man.
Joe panics, and crouches down as if protectiing himself, fearful, confused, why is this policeman here Doris? Joe, this is Detective Bongars. He looks blankly.
Standing there is petite, sweet old Doris, holding a violin, she had been playing the most beautiful music. With a tear in her eye she’s looks forlornly at Joe. “Please play just a little more Doris” pleaded the detective. Well you just stop scaring my husband” she berates him with a soft smile.
The watcher can see her, scorning the officer, what is she holding? She looks ok. Huh? She’s playing the , umm violin, beautifully. Like magic. He had heard the sweet tunes earlier, but did stop to listen to the music.
The two officers and Doris are talking. They seem fond of her, they cuddle her delicately, then shake Joes hand, Who consequently is oblivious and they turn and walk away.
They stare up at the first floor apartment. Glaring, shaking there heads. Where are they going now? Are they heading towards my building?
Doris relieves her memory again of how her and Joe met.
It was love at first tune. Such sweet memories. They have lived a wonderful life, successful, happy, five beautiful children She was always pinching herself thinking how did I get so lucky. Two years ago Joe was diagnosed with dementia. He has never forgotten his Doris. Doris the beautiful 19-year-old he met all those years ago. Sadly that is where his memory has remained.
It was not a Walkingstick he was waving around, when he placed his hat on the ground he picked up his conductors baton, he was not trying to hit his wife, he was conducting the finest orchestra in Australia. In his eyes every day he heads off to work at some hall, where he conducts his Orchestra to thousands of people. But he only ever has eyes for Doris. The love of his life
Joe would never hurt Doris. Every day the elderly couple walk the streets, in Joes mind, he finds his crowd in some grand hall, as always the only one he has the eyes on is Doris.
People were throwing things at the couple they were throwing money, Joe and Doris made them happy, they made everybody happy, the crowd would cheer, people would clap, everyone threw money into his hat. The elderly were the unintentional buskers. Everyone around the streets of Melbourne knew Joe and Doris. Everyone except one person. The watcher
Knock knock. The watcher stayed very still.
Challenges incorporated. Thank you to all