Sharp Opportunities

“For how long?” The woman’s question froze Jared in his tracks. He took two steps back to his spot with his pocketed jewelry before she asked. She shouldn’t have asked anything, much less remained standing in place with her eyes closed. He turned around to give her a more thorough look. She smirked slightly, eyes still closed. “It’s not really a trick if my eyes are closed the whole time,” she said.

When he first approached her, he only saw a young woman with a bright pink ponytail and a small red star tattooed on her cheek. She looked like someone adventurous. He looked closer and saw a 35 in the center of her tattoo. She wore a crisp white blazer with red buttons and a red scissor logo on the left. Her smirk disappeared.

“I just got mugged didn’t I?” she asked and opened her sea-blue eyes. She smiled the moment she noticed Jared still there. “Well, what’s the trick?” she asked. Jared returned the golden bracelet to her with a concerned look on his face.

“Who are you?” he asked. She accepted the bracelet and looked it over, then she slipped it back onto her wrist.

“Lyra. Who are you?” she asked as she extended her hand in greeting. “And do I get to see a trick or not?”

“I’m Jared. You remember me?” he asked as she shook her hand. Lyra shrugged.

“You couldn’t have met me before today,” she said. Jared nodded.

“I didn’t; but, you remember me from today, just now?” he asked Lyra giggled.

“Well you kind of stand out,” she said. She gestured at his clothing. He wore colorful baggy pants with rainbow suspenders. A rainbow wig sat atop his head with a floppy unicorn horn extending from it. “Which, I guess is a good thing for street performers.” Jared shook his head.

“No, that’s not what I mean.” He looked up and the sidewalk and quickly spotted another mark. Years of standing on the street taught him who he could approach and who was likely to fall for his scam. “Watch this,” he said.

Jared stepped in front of a tall, portly man in a business suit. It wasn’t always about how they were dressed, Jared could pick out a target by the way they carried themselves.

“Excuse me, sir,” Jared said. “You look like a good-natured fellow. Could I trouble you for two seconds to practice a trick I’m working on?”

The man stopped walking and looked down at the notably shorter Jared and smiled.

“Sure, I love magic tricks,” the stranger replied.

“Great! Can I borrow your watch for a moment?” The man eagerly removed his watch and presented it to Jared. Jared accepted the watch.

“Now, close your eyes,” Jared said. The man did without question and Jared ambled back to stand next to Lyra.

“There is no trick, is there?” Lyra asked with a trace of disappointment in her voice. Jared shrugged. The stranger suddenly opened his eyes. He glanced around in a moment of confusion, his eyes passed over Jared twice, but the man shrugged to himself and resumed walking.

“I can make it so people forget me when I’m out of their sight,” Jared said. “How do you remember me?”

“Hold on a second and I’ll tell you,” Lyra said. She snatched the watch out of Jared’s hand and dashed to catch up to the stranger.

“Excuse me sir, I think you dropped this,” Jared heard Lyra explain to the man as she returned his watch. After he thanked her, Lyra walked back to Jared.

“No more stealing,” she said sternly. “I remember you because I’m a Unique Soul like you. You’ve only been using your ability on Zeros.”

“Am I supposed to know what you’re talking about?” Jared asked. Lyra sighed.

“I hoped you might because you’re already awakened; I’m not good at explaining everything. I guess that means you don’t know anyone named Mundo, do you?” Lyra asked. Jared shook his head.

“Well, you can learn the details later. Want a job?” she asked.

“Doing what?” Jared asked. He didn’t have to be a street performer. He could let people remember him and hold a normal job, but Jared never felt comfortable with ‘normal’. He actually did practice magic tricks and occasionally had true performance days where he didn’t steal anything. He enjoyed the freedom and creativity he currently had. Lyra shrugged.

“Almost anything you want. I work for a giant company and we’re always looking for Uniques to hire. Sharp Development has logistics and supply divisions, travel and transportation, banking, education, medical services and even entertainment. Anything you want to do, you can probably find a place to do it.”

“Entertainment? Like, television?” Jared asked. Lyra nodded. “Alright,” he said. “I’ll take a look, what do I have to do?”  Lyra giggled.

“Close your eyes.”