Vicki bounded up the steps, Jez and Connor right behind her, lugging guitar cases. She sat down outside the café.
‘What’s your poison?’ Jez asked.
Vicki was about to request a mocha, when she heard a sound like bells. She twisted her body and, In between the legs and shopping bags, she could just make out a gorgeous-looking guy moving his hands rhythmically, releasing a metallic flash and a silvery sound.
‘Give us a hand up.’ She looked up at Jez and smiled. ‘I’m coming with you.’
Vicki and her friends studied music. Her ear was constantly tuned in to melodies and rhythms. This one she had to investigate. She followed Jez into the mall and almost tripped over the guy. He was playing the spoons.
Jez pulled her towards the coffee shop.
‘You don’t want to listen to that. Only old people play the spoons.’
When they came out with their steaming plastic cups, the guy was gone.
Connor was more enthusiastic. ‘My dad says the spoons are popular in Ireland, ‘specially in pubs and people’s front rooms. In the fifties they had them in skiffle bands – a huge influence on John Lennon.’
The following Saturday, Vicki got there early. She headed straight for the revolving door. A small crowd had formed. She pushed her way through to where the spoon man was playing and noticed a cardboard sign leaning against a hat full of coins, with the words ‘Veteran of the Afghan War – please give what you can’ in shaky blue felt-tip. Maybe he was blind.
She smiled and felt the intensity of his blue eyes as the man looked up at her. He wasn’t blind. He grinned back at her, holding up a prosthetic hand. Vicki’s face flushed as she realised it had spoons attached to it.
© Kim M. Russell, 2016
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