Lisa, Lisa

The source of the music was a woman near the alley. Her left hand danced across her right forearm as she snapped her free fingers to the beat. Sol leaned forward for a closer look, noticing the key board on the underside of her arm as well as the speakers on her hips.

She danced in place as she played, the skates on her feet rolling to prevent her from gaining ground as the rest of her body moved. Her dyed aqua hair waved back and forth as she danced, a slave to the sound she herself was producing. Her clothes were the same color as her hair, with stripes moving up her stockings and down her sleeves.

A small crowd stood around her, watching, occasionally tossing coins and a few shards into the opened backpack that stood by her. She caught Sol's eyes and slyly grinned in the corner of her mouth. There was a foreign beep from her wrist, and the music stopped as the woman slumped like a toy out of batteries. Her gaze was still fixed on Sol as the crowd remained silent, watching. Some of them murmured as she remained dead, and Sol stepped forward.

He moved closer to her, hearing a whisper under her breath. "I'm outta juice, gimme a hand, man." The crowd became slightly more noisy, one or two people leaving as Sol reached into the backpack and removed a shard. He approached the girl again, and looked for the slot on her wrist's device.

The whisper came again. "My side, slides open." He grinned slightly as he followed her instructions, opening the panel and removing the dull crystal. He set it into his back pocket as he set the fresh one in, and slid the compartment closed once more. The girl jolted to like as Sol staggered backward in surprise She continued playing, not missing a beat from where she left off.

She shot a look in his direction, a clear smile on her painted face. Sol rejoined the crowd, watching contently as she continued. The music changed, but within transitions. She never actually stopped her song, just changed the pace and style. The music became calmer as she moved the keyboard closer to her mouth, and pulled a piece off with her teeth. She tossed it into the air, then caught the opposite end in her mouth. There was a single crackle, then a synthesized voice escaped from her speakers. "Wonder,_wonder,_if_you_will_the_people_here_just_need_a_thrill. Come_here_sugar,_get_your_fill. City_walls,_concrete_halls_trapped_in_cages,_nature_calls. Tap_your_feet,_dance_in_the_street,_stay_right_here_and_feel_the_heat!"

The viewers began tapping their feet to her song, everyone in an unrehearsed unison. The woman continued, swaggering in place. "Color_the_signs,_color_the_streets,_art_in_alleys_can't_be_beat. The_gray_around_feels_so_dead,_let's_paint_this_town_a_shade_of_red! Blue_and_green,_electric_lights_that_we've_all_seen,_let's_put_your_skills_to_the_test,_hurry_now_no_time_to_rest!"

She played her keyboard gently, then hit her final notes and removed her fingers from the device. There was an excited applause from the crowd, one loud enough that the small group of onlookers caused several other passerbys to stop and glance in their direction. The girl bowed, then slung her pack over her shoulder and skated backwards into the alley. She winked once at Sol as the crowd dispersed. She stopped near the sidewalk on the other end, then bobbed her head at him. He took a step forward as she disappeared around the corner. He followed after her, glancing around the corner she had vanished behind.

As he did, she continued to skate backwards, watching him and grinning. The girl turned and bust into a dash as Sol sprinted to follow. Mid dash, she turned to make sure that the man was still following her. She held her smile, then turned back and hopped onto a handrail leading into the subway. Sparks flew from her skates as she rode the rail, Sol hopping down the stairs three at a time to keep up. He saw her turn a corner, and followed at full sprint. Turning the corner, he scurried past the bathrooms, then stopped. He couldn't hear her skates anymore, and paused to catch his breath and listened.

It was silent for a moment, only the whine from the hinges of one of the doors behind him breaking the quiet. The whine was quickly followed by the familiar clicks of the girls skates as she took off in a sprint behind him. Sol turned and sprinted after her, visually catching the bottom of her skates as she exited the top of the stairs opposite of where she entered. He hopped up the stairs two at a time, stumbling as he exited near the top.

Looking around, he caught a glance of the girl grabbing onto a car's bumper at the red light. The car began moving, pulling her along with it.

Sol hastily took in his surroundings, and saw his chance. He leapt onto the back of a semi, standing on the back of the hitch and gripping the handle to the cargo bay. The girl's car turned as she let go, holding the momentum as she shot down the street. The 18wheeler began to pass her, Sol coming into almost spitting distance of her while the semi came to a slow. The girl darted off into an alley as Sol watched from the back bumper. As the semi stopped, he hopped off onto the asphalt and ran into the alley. The girl was up on the fire escape, waving at him playfully. To top it off, she had apparently pulled the ladder up after climbing it. The girl began climbing to the next story, toward the roof as he watched on.

Sol surveyed the alley, and climbed onto the dumpster. Using it as a stepping stone, he leapt for the ladder, catching it and praying it didn't descend from the impact.

The ladder held strong, and Sol climbed upwards after the girl. Upon reaching the top, he noticed a small tie-wrap holding the ladder up. He grinned and continued his upward ascent She was waiting at the top, but not on the same building. She was one over, sitting on an air conditioning unit across a five foot gap. The building was slightly lower, a completely do-able jump. Sol did a squat to limber himself, then broke into a mad dash. He hurled himself into the air, nearly flying as he leapt the miniature gorge. Upon impact with the other side, he stumbled and fell. The girl dropped from her perch and began to circle him with her skates.

"Looks like you win." Sol climbed to a knee, then looked up at the colorful girl circling him.

"So what do I win?" She looked upward in thought tapping in her chin.

"I don't know, no one's ever made it this far. What do you want?" Sol finally managed to stand again, and dusted his jeans off.

"How about your name? Maybe to get to know you a little better?" She ceased her circling, and put her hands behind her back. "Lisa. And your's?"

"Sol, Sol Barnes."

"Alright Sol, and for the second half of your prize, how about you meet me where I was performing at 4AM? I've got something planned, and you can learn all about me."

"Alright, sounds good."

"Then it's a date. See you in a few hours."She winked, then turned and opened the door leading into the building. Sol stood motionless for a moment, before looking at his surroundings. He approached the door, only to find it locked, now that Lisa was gone.


The temperature had dipped considerably within the past few hours. Sol put his hands into his jacket and looked at his watch. 11:57PM. He glanced around the spot as a few people passed, put the street light over her location was out, and it was difficult to see.

"Sol, there you are." The familiar voice and its source walked out from the alley. She was wearing a large hoodie, her backpack still slung over her shoulder. "Do me a quick favor, hold this." She tossed him an empty spray paint can, then stepped back into the alley.

"What's this for?" He stood in place for a moment, before a shout from behind him sent a chill down his spice.

"The Vandal! STOP!" He glanced over his shoulder as two figures in blue briskly approached Instinctively Sol ran, and they gave chase. He spotted the subway from earlier, and without thinking, descended the stairs. Rounding the same corner Lisa had, he hid in the women's bathroom as he heard their footsteps continue past it and down the hall. He waited a moment and burst into a dash from the bathroom as their footsteps staggered, then gave chase again.

Sol hopped up the steps two at a time, then glanced at the red light. Quickly pulling his hoodie over his head, Sol climbed onto the back of a pickup truck, his foot on the hitch and his grip off on the tailgate. The truck took off as the police exited the subway tunnel. One stared in disbelief as his partner charged after the truck yelling. The truck finally began to slow as Sol hopped off, and ran down the familiar alley. He hopped off of the same dumpster, onto the same ladder as the cop went for the more obvious approach The policeman hopped for the ladder, failing five times before climbing onto the dumpster.

Sol glanced at the opposite roof, then back at the edge. An idea struck him, as he cracked open the door leading down into the building on this roof, before making the jump. Stumbling slightly less on his second attempt at the chasm, he ducked behind the AC unit Lisa had been sitting on earlier and waited. A small beam of light scanned near him as he could hear the cop swearing out of breath. There was a moment of silence, then the slam of the door he had cracked open. Sol glanced across the chasm, seeing that the officer had taken the bait. Exasperated, Sol checked his watch. It was now 5:03AM.


The street light over the rendezvous was still out, and it was still cold. There was a shaking sound of a marble in a can, and a familiar voice. "Good job, I managed to finish."

"Finish?! Finish what? You set me up and just va-" He felt her finger on his lips as he stopped.

"I knew you wouldn't get caught. You kept up with me, and they've never been able to do that." His anger resided slightly, but he was still frustrated

"What did you 'finish'?" Lisa walked away from the wall she had been performing in front of the previous afternoon.

"There's a good coffee place across from here, we should get a nice view of it from there as the sun comes up. My treat."


He followed her to the shop as she ordered two lattes, then picked one of the benches outside. The sun began peaking over the dark buildings as they sat, and gave just enough light for Sol to see what she had been up to.

On the dingy wall that had been blank but hours ago, was now a large mural. Covering the wall, were several stylized versions of the people who had been watching Lisa during her performance. Standing behind Sol's caricature, was a version of Lisa herself. Above them were the words: "Have Nice Day Echopolis."




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