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Belle shifted in her spot. Her jeans were well-worn. She picked at the fraying near her knee until her father glared at her. “This is very important, sweetie,” her father chided.

“I know.” She rolled her kohl-rimmed blue eyes. “Get to the good part already.” What thirteen year old can sit still for a full half-hour? Seriously.

“Good things come to those who wait.”

“And patience is a virtue,” she finished his favorite chide. Her father was a whippet of a man with a full head of brown hair that had the merest traces of grey. He was in his fifties, but still ran marathons. He ran his hands over his instrument. It was warm wood tones with silver inlays. He’d had it for years and his loving care kept it in perfect condition. He laid it against his chin.

He took one breath, then another. Belle quivered with excitement. She loved seeing him work. This was only the third time he’d shown her how to use his instrument when it was just the two of them. She’d be a full apprentice soon.

He tilted his head.

“Whump.”

The report from the gun was muffled, but still loud. Belle put the binoculars up to her eyes.

The man in the shiny grey suit lay dead, blood seeping through the hole in his neck onto the pavement.

Her father slide his rifle into its instrument case. She tucked her binoculars into her totebag. They wandered out onto the street hand in hand. She tugged a little on his hand. “Come on, we’re going to be late,” she whined.

“Good things come to those who wait,” he reminded her.

“And patience is a virtue.” She sighed and fell into step. “I just can’t wait until I get to do it all by myself.”

FIN

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