Another concern that crosses my mind on occasion is something that was said by the biggest zombie fan I know (or rather knew --don't worry; she's still alive) when she announced that she'd moved passed zombies. She realized that while she liked all the staples of zombie fiction there was one totally unnecessary part which could be left out changing little: the zombies.
Those two thoughts collide when considering questions like this:
My teleportation flute can't actually be used as a flute. It has all of the physical attributes necessary, but on account of it being a magic teleportation device any attempt to play it would result in repeated teleporting to the same place over and over again in a brain frying (not literally, go with me here) exercise in futility.
Bella and I both saw this as a sort of a flaw, it is a flute after all. Flutes should be played. Instead it was like the iPhone, a "phone" that cannot be used as a phone. And one that, worse still, forces you to choose between Verizon ("Can you here me now?" "I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE SAYING BECAUSE I CAN'T HEAR ANYTHING! GET A DIFFERENT NETWORK!" "Well I didn't hear them say, 'No,' so Good,") and AT&T (Motto: "Mildly less shitty than Verizon.")
So Bella looked to get a flute that would work but because the hole configuration is slightly odd (most twelve holers have hole 12 in a different spot) she ended up buying on that rather than, say, key. This left her with a nice small ceramic ray-gun shaped flute (the shape does matter) with a glossy black glaze and a range keyed to soprano G. The range was one octave with two notes in the major key on either side. Way too high.
When you opened all the holes it felt like you were trying to break a pane of glass. The note would ring out clear and true, but also ear splitting.
But for it's problems it was still a decent flute, and could play the Star Wars theme nicely, and you don't just get rid of a good flute.
So Bella gave it to me. Because why not.
That's boring, right? Makes you think, "Why the hell would that be included?" and seems like something to leave out.
Except it has to be left in if I want to talk about this next part that happened well afterward.
Everything had been moving at a frenetic heart pounding pace and then everything stopped. Bella had been out running me so I missed the initial set up and just saw the results, five people guns drawn on Bella. Pistols all.
A short listen and I worked out which was the leader, asked myself, "What would Edith Do?" took out the flute Bella had given me, and, holding it as if it were a gun, approached from behind.
Tap to the back of the leader's head to let him know I was there then pulled back far enough he wouldn't know where the flute was and thus couldn't have the belief he'd get it away from me.
"You're using guns? With barrels? That fire bullets?" I asked with laughter in my voice that I had to force myself to not make it sound forced. Instead I did my best to make the whole thing sound absurd.
"When I was growing up --which we won't say when it was because I'm told it's rude to talk about people's ages and if I say mine you might feel pressured to say yours, gun pointed to the back of your head might make that pressure feel higher, and we don't want that-- the year two thousand was the future.
"Not just the future, or the Future with a capital F, but the entirely capitalized FUTURE! with an exclamation point. Jet packs and aliens and space ships and stuff. This is 52 years after that. For fuck's sake the space age was the 1960s and they started more than 90 years ago.
"So here we are in the year THE FUTURE! plus 52 and you're using a weapon that requires a set of mechanical linkages to bring a hammer down on a primer to create a small explosion in hopes of creating a somewhat larger small explosion," by this time I could see that Bella had gotten her hand on a weapon, her actions unnoticed since the attention had shifted to me, "in order to propel a rock down a tube that has a spiral pattern cut into it to give the rock a nice pretty spin.
"You are hilarious.
"Your problem, you'll come to learn, is that you brought your little pea shooter to a raygun fight." Short pause. For effect. "Hell, my weapon doesn't even have a trigger, it fires based on thought. It's a good deal faster, but it is prone to going off based on imagination (cutting edge technology always has glitches) so you'd better keep me thinking happy thoughts."
Once we had the group disarmed and secured with zip ties, they truly have no end to their uses, Bella commented on the bluff and I said that you work with what you have even, I played the Star Wars theme, if what you have was a flute. Only then did the group realize I'd held them at flute point.
That event had no zombies in it. Just the breakdown in civilization that one comes to expect with zombies leading to gangs feeling free to operated in broad daylight in what should be safe areas because the police are otherwise occupied, dead, or zombified.
Does it get left in, left out? If it does get left in I have to describe where the flute came from otherwise you're left scratching your head on that point.
I mean I can't tell everything that happened while we in the future working against the zombie hordes, so what to leave in, what to leave out?