C is for Courage

The song changed, reminding him to move forward. He pressed open the doors and entered the lobby. “Talk to the receptionist. Show her the screen. She will need to touch it.”

James shuddered at the last instruction. The tablet was a part of him. Touching it was like touching him.

He approached the desk in the lobby. “Hello, Mrs. Banko.” The man sitting behind the desk in a uniform looked up in surprise.

A man was where Mrs. Banko should be. Not knowing what else to do, James offered the man his tablet. The man couldn’t pull it very far, since James hadn’t taken out his earbuds, and he raised his eyebrows before looking down at the screen. Seeing the long list of instructions, each highlighted in turn, the security officer quickly read through them.

“Ah, you want Pickin and Strummin. They are on the fourth floor. The elevators are to your right.”

James froze. That hadn’t been in the instructions. “I…I…” He started rocking.

“You a musician, kid?”

A question. He is suppose to answer questions of people in uniform. “Yes.”

“What do you play?” The security guard handed back the tablet, which James grabbed and pressed into his chest.

“Guitar, and violin, and saxophone, and piano.” He could play many more instruments than that, but Mr. Hammer had told him to give that answer for the interview. James like the dulcimer a lot, but Mr. Hammer said there wasn’t much call for that as a background musician.

“Maybe we can jam sometime. They let me up there after my shift if no one has rented time. You do jazz?”

“Yes. I play everything, but jazz is nice.” James bit his lip. “I like ragtime on the piano and smooth for the sax.”

“Haven’t done much with ragtime myself, but it would be fun to try with my bone. They got an upright.” The guard moved over to the phone. “I’ll ring them and let them know you are coming up.”

“Okay.” James took a long inhale and exhale, studying the lobby, finally seeing the sign pointing to the elevators. He looked at his screen for instructions, but they weren’t there. “Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.”

The eighteen-year-old followed the arrows to a place with four sets of doors and buttons aiming up only. He pressed the button and one of the sets of doors immediately opened. James walked into the small room, turned around in three small steps until he faced the closing doors and waited. Nothing happened.

What was he suppose to do next?


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)

4/1/2019 – A is for Adapt
4/2/2019 – B is for Bus
4/3/2019 – C is for Courage
4/4/2019 – D is for Duke
4/5/2019 – E is for Eclectic
4/6/2019 – F is for Finish

2 thoughts to “C is for Courage”

    1. I love your “B” ideas – especially the “Bond”. So many mothers around the world get sucked into additional motherhood because of who (or what) their children bond with.

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