Leaving Home: Chapter 2

Leaving Home: Chapter 2
by Joel Howard

Macy's hiddenness

Aboard the co-rider, Chris reflected back to his days in the shop with Macy.  There was one year she went missing and did not play her trombone at all.  Everett wouldn't tell Chris where Macy had gone off to, and although Everett showed no signs of worry, Chris often wondered if Everett was indeed worried.  Macy had only been at the horn shop for about six months when one morning she was no longer there.  All Chris had found was a note from her in her open journal on her day desk.

Chris, I know you are my only brother that I live with, but I have to tell you something. I am going away today. I am not sure if I will be back or when I will be back, but you must know one thing.  Farmer Dysa told me this day would come. It is a day in preparation for my trip to the furthest mountain.  I will see you again, one day.  Take care, Chris.

Take care, Chris had been such a comfort to read that day.  Chris did see her again.  Nearly 2 months later, in the spring of 2041, Macy was back.  She came bringing enough grain for her, Everett and Chris to eat for the remainder of the spring and summer.  Who would have thought that a season away in the winter would yield so much food for their household?

Chris never did ask Macy what she did or how she did obtain so much grain during those seven or eight weeks.  Where had she gone?  Everett never told him either.  Could it be that she had visited the final mountain and come back?  Had she gone off to pray?   Chris did know that she spent those weeks not playing her trombone and she spent the following year after that catching up on her lessons.

Just then, the pilot of the co-rider turned to Chris and motioned that he look off to the left.

"Them's eagleflints." He motioned with his chin as he drove the co-rider.

Chris had never seen nor heard of eagleflints before. 

"What are eagleflints?" he asked.  But the pilot was too busy talking on his walkie to answer Chris.   There were about seven of the things and they were huge.  They must have been 12 feet in length with their wings opened.  They called to each other and they had their prey in their claws and others in their beaks.  Maybe they were off to take food back to their young.

"Eagleflints is the kind of bird you don't want to be around when they're hungry," the pilot decided to answer now that Chris had hypothesized on his own.  "We're going to have to detour to stay away from them," he shared.  The co-rider took a 90 degree turn to the right and headed north for the next two hours.

As Chris looked through the rearview mirrors back at the eagleflints, he wondered how long this trip would take.  Back in the shop when Chris would ask him, Everett never told him how long the journey would take, or when he would arrive.   The weather up in the air was brisk and cold, as it was mid March.  Back in the city, trees were still bare and it wasn't spring yet so there was no warm weather or much rain.

Chris's mind turned to some of his old paintings he had done when Everett wasn't watching.  Or at least he thought Everett wasn't watching. The truth is, Everett was watching the whole entire time.  And he was smiling as he thought of what would become of these secret paintings.  Every time Chris would stick them under his bed, Everett would take a photograph, sneaking into the bedroom when Chris was out at the store or in the city.

Growing up as a trumpet player, Chris thought the paintings to be a nuisance, an interest that was only there to distract him.  Little did he know that the paintings he painted those night alone would yield ten, twenty and a hundred fold when Everett sold them in the city markets later.   In fact, Everett had already built a name for himself selling Chris's paintings over the past 4 and a half years.  4 million dollars later, Everett was swimming in profit and the fame that Chris had created for him without knowing it.

Of course, Chris knew none of this.  The only thing Chris could think was that he was a shame to his coach for having spend so much of his free time alone painting.  Chris then remembered Everett's note.  You do have goals, do you? was what Everett had asked him abruptly in the note.  No, Everett, I don't.  I just hope what you have taught me as a trumpet player is enough to get me selected when I arrive at the final mountain, Chris thought, as if he were talking to his coach who was now about an hour into his past.   Will I ever see Everett again? he asked, hoping that the Horn Player could hear him crying inwardly.

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