Busker

EXT. CITY STREET – DAY

On the sidewalk of a crowded CBD city street, in front of tightly bunched together shop fronts a BUSKER plays.

She is in her early 20’s, casually dressed with a sweater and beanie to counter the cold weather and plays an acoustic guitar plugged into an amp with a harmonic hung around her neck. She has her guitar case open in front of her containing a few coins. The majority of people rush past her and give her nothing but a cursory glance.

Out of the crowd steps an OLD WOMAN, early 70’s heavily rugged up against the cold. She stops just to the side of the busker and watches her, a small smile on her face. They are two islands in the middle of a surging crowd.

The busker sings an old folk song, her high clear voice fights to climb above the noise of the crowd as she strums along on the guitar.

The old woman watches her few a few beats swaying slightly along to the music. Softly she starts humming along, it’s clear she knows this one.

The busker hears her soft hum and smiles at her encouragingly.

The old woman starts mouthing the words, with her soft voice barely audible.

The busker takes a step towards as she plays.

The old woman also steps forward her voice raising slightly as she goes. Her voice, now clearer to hear, is pure and sweet. She holds the notes well and doesn’t miss a word of the lyrics.

Surprised the busker takes a few more steps towards her.

The old woman’s eyes close as she gets caught up in the song, her voice rising as her body relaxes.

The busker smiles wide.

The old woman has her whole body into the song and her voice flows easily with that of the busker, together their voices rise above the sound of the street, all other noise starts to dim away. The busker’s hands are a flurry on the guitar as the song picks up pace, both woman sing loudly.

Around them people are taking note, they slow their stride, look up from their phones, and a crowd slowly gathers.

Two small girls start to dance near the front of the crowd.

The busker looks around in shock, a smile growing on her face and moves even closer to the old woman, their duet now complete.

The old woman is still lost in the song, her eyes remain closed, unaware of the people around her.

The song increases in momentum once more, rising to its crescendo. The busker stops her singing and, as the old woman unknowingly takes the lead, starts to play the harmonica around her neck.

The song hits the crescendo and the busker stops entirely as the old woman hits and holds one clear note for a number of beats, all around her silent. The woman’s note stops, the silence holds in the air before the crowd erupt in cheering and applause.

The old woman opens her eyes in shock and smiles timidly. The busker laughs. The crowd start placing money into the guitar case and the busker looks up at her unexpected singing partner.

BUSKER
Want to sing another one?

OLD WOMAN
Well, I don’t know. Yes.

The busker starts to strum on the guitar and the old woman nods along knowingly. The intro finishes and the old woman’s voice once more rises above the now appreciative crowd.

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