The Moment You Decide to Run


It is the exact same moment in which you also decide that you are never going to look back.

For Mary Ellen Montgomery, that is a dusty morning in Georgia. She is in town, bored beyond tears, with her mother and crossing the dusty street with an armload of boxes (sugar, flour, and material for a new summer dress), when she hears the train whistle blow. And it isn't the whistle, loud and obtrusive in the clear air, per se, that makes her pause and turn an inquiring ear.

It's the swinging reel of a saxophone that eases through in the same instant, that carries down the street long after the whistle shrills to a stop, intrudes on all of her senses, and leaves Mary Ellen mesmerized. She stares. First at the steam billowing out across the platform, because she's only two buildings down from it, and then at the young man that carelessly steps into view.

The young man that leans his way through people bustling to or from the station house and presses keys, and breathes music without looking at neither his feet nor his fingers. Like playing that instrument is as natural to him as flying is to the sparrow. Mary Ellen takes it all in - the slant of his eyes, the lazy sway in his step, the tilt of his ears when a comrade (carrying a trumpet case) behind him says something, and the way he seems to smile mid-tune because whatever it was is funny.

Mary Ellen inhales slowly, trying to breathe that feeling in, her ears ringing with the sound; doesn't blink or move because no one else seems to notice him the way she does and she doesn't, doesn't, want it to be a trick of the steam and sun and her own silly imagination. She's heard the saxophone before, but never heard it played with such abandon, such fluidity.

She doesn't even know her name is being called until about the second time.

"Mary Ellen, don't stare with your mouth hanging open like that, it's rude," her mother says, exasperated, and Mary Ellen quickly closes her mouth and looks away, blinking her sleepy, bedroom eyes.

"Sorry, Momma, what?"

She can still hear the saxophone player in the background - an almost welcome distraction. Mary Ellen turns to look again, right in the middle of her mother's inquiry ("What on Earth are you gawking at that is so important?"), but by then he's gone. The train station is as dull and meaningless as it was before, and the train whistle howls again, drowning out the rest of that enticing melody.


(A/n) Mystique just got that little brain churnin' and I figure dishin' out somethin' extremely short is better than nothin' at all. Whenever I decide what sort of delicious and fun things I could possibly do with this, it may or may not spawn into something bigger, but, for now, it works all by it's lonesome~ ;) Besides, you can't tell me you don't love Zibzi!

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