Leaving Home: Chapter 1

Leaving Home: Chapter 1
by Joel Howard

Time with Everett

As a 20 year old, Chris had always dreamed of leaving home. Not in the sort of way that he was discontent with being home, but under the impression that leaving home was the right thing to do eventually.  Home had been a place of wonder, rest, play and fun.  Chris had learned all of his horned instruments at home and under the direction of his coach, Everett.  In fact, most of what he knew he had learned from Everett.

Everett was a master of all trades.  At least Chris thought so from having been trained by him.  Everett had a mother's heart and a father's heart.  He was both gentle and strong.  Everett knew most any horned instrument: trumpet, French horn, tuba, trombone, cornet, and baritone horn to name some. He played them oh so gracefully and Chris first went there to learn at the age of ten.  Have you ever been trained in something by someone and ended up learning more than you planned to?  This was Chris' experience with Everett in his upbringing.

The day was March 12th, 2045.  Chris had studied under Everett for 10 years and it was time to set out on an adventure he would never forget.  Everett sent a note with Chris but told him not to open it until he boarded the co-rider.  Chris boarded the rider and swiped his card to make payment to the conductor.  Then he opened the note:

Little Chris, These days and years with you have been stupendous.  You have shown such learnedness and I earnestly long to see you achieve all your goals.  You do have goals, do you?  Whatever you do, never forget who trained you and never forget the great Horn Player's face.  It is he whom we play for and seek.  He will guide you to the final mountain.

Chris looked up at the blue skies, took a deep breath and tucked Everett's note into his chest pocket.  It had been a long day walking through the city to the launching pad.  Everett never told Chris what to expect beyond this point, but from all the stories he told of the first time he journeyed to the final mountain, Chris knew it was inevitable.

Instead of exchanging words with the pilot, Chris decided to meditate on the years that had past under Everett's training.  How Macy had joined him those three years back in 2039 all the way until she graduated too.  How she had made her own journey to the final mountain. She was an amazing trombone player and had been hand selected as soon as she arrived in 2042.   That was three years ago.  He couldn't wait to see her again.

Where were Chris' parents?  Chris had been adopted by Farmer and Sharline Dysa, king and queen of the Northends west of the Public College of the Farlands.  They adopted many children - twelve to be exact.  Constance, Sayville, Mercy, Peter, Greylark, Watchman, Pedro, Binani, Curt, Freddie, Macy and Chris.   Chris was the youngest and all 11 besides him had made this journey to the final mountain where all of the Dysa ancestors and family members resided.

In that sense, knowing that all of his brothers and sisters, parents and relatives by adoption had made it safely to the final mountain, was a comfort to Chris.  He feared nothing.  He was well known in the city under the teaching of Everett, but Everett had always warned him against forming friendships with city folk.

"Many are the friends of the city folk," Everett had told him one day early on.  "One thing is true and that is they are all painters. Every last one of them."

"What's wrong with being a painter?" Chris had suggested.

"Painting is good and all, boy, but it is not our calling.  Your parents gave you to me to instill in you the art of trumpet blowing. And that is what I intend to do."

There were times Chris had taken to painting on his own time, after dinner or before bed.  But he usually felt awful about it and hid it under his bed.  Its not that Everett didn't know about Chris's artwork. In fact, Everett studied the paintings he had made and the sketches.  They would come in handy some day.  But Chris figured he was disobeying by engaging in painting and thus thought he would have to learn.

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