Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You, My Lad



Scene Title Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You, My Lad
Synopsis Luther's lonely walk home could stand to be a little more lonely, really…
Date August 22, 2020

Phoenix Heights

The distance between the Hands of Mary building and Luther's apartment is not a long one. A nice walk, were it a nice day. It is not day, though. But even late at night, a person of Luther's size, build and power rarely needs to worry walking a few blocks in the dark. Street lamps help, casting an occasional yellow glow onto the sidewalk below. It's quiet, though. No cars rattling by, the busses stopped running hours ago. The business and buildings he passes offer nothing but darkened windows for company. In a city like New York, it's nights like these that truly mark how the past decade's scar tissue still troubles these more… peaceful times.

For varying definitions of peaceful, of course.

He's long since given up the majority of worrying about the ladies at the building. Only the majority of course, and Luther's lingering to the late hours is a sure sign he hasn't entirely surrendered the inner chivalry that grips his protective streak. But tonight he walks alone, down a familiar path, unbothered by the night as his privilege allows. He's walked past the black windows plenty of times, so much that he could probably count the steps until he reaches his front door. He does at times. But tonight, he does not distract himself with the trivia of the journey. The only thing he wishes to know in the present moment is the time, which he checks by a glance to a relatively new mobile phone. Its predecessor, RIP, lies somewhere in the bottom of the Atlantic.

It's strange, when Luther puts his phone away, the light seems to remain in a blur in his peripheral vision. A blink should clear it away, but it doesn't. Down the sidewalk, seeming to follow along his path is a greyish figure. Possibly a person— it is the right outline, but the outline is all he can make out. When he really looks at it, the figure breaks into a run as if it might come crashing right into him, but for all that it seems desperate in its speed, it also doesn't seem to be getting any closer. Just wild, hungry running.

Not just one blink but multiple blinks and a pinch to the bridge of his nose accompanies the conclusion that he must be tired. Luther slides his hand into the same pocket as his phone. But when he looks back up to the sidewalk to spot the opaque figure, he squints, blinks again, and forward pace lurches to a halt when the person charges towards him. "What the…" utters the man, confusion blanketing over a sudden alarm and tension. He braces in wait, readying to side step from impact.

The impact never comes. Instead, the figure runs and runs until it dissipates into the night air. Silence hangs over the darkened street and Luther has a moment to breathe and start to relax his muscles. Perhaps it was a trick of the light or his own tired and taxed mind. Rational explanations are easy to find and comforting to reach for. And he turns back on his way.

Only, inches from his face, standing with awkward tension itself, the grey figure breathes into shape again. Still out of focus, Luther can make out what looks like a bag over its head, torn rags for clothing, and water dripping from fabric and fingers and hitting the sidewalk with a splish. The figure is still for a moment before it jerks backward as if pulled. Or pushed. It thrashes, trying to get away from unseen hands and then— gone. And he's left alone on the street once more, a sickly yellow streetlight blinking ahead of him.

Luther startles visibly upon turning to find the grey, opaque figure a mere non-breath away from his face. Rational explanations gone, he reflexively gasps a breath in from between clenched teeth and tensed jaw. More odd the contrast once he recognizes, hears the splash of water and stares as the ghost - if that's what it could be described as - disappears back into the night.

He exhales roughly, raggedly as the torn clothing noted in the back of his mind's eye. Luther looks this way and that in search of other witnesses, but at this hour? He's alone. At least, he still believes it for now. "Fuck." The man swears to himself, shakes his head, and forcibly resumes his pace back to his apartment. Quicker, after the strange encounter, and eager to find comfort in more familiar, dry surroundings.

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