“Fly me to the moon…
let me play among the stars,
And let me see what spring is like…
On a-Jupiter and Mars.”
Floyd was working on his supply list when he heard the pleasant voice outside, singing one of his favorite old Sinatra tunes.
A tall, thin man stood at the foot of the steps with a microphone in his hand. The colorfully clad gentleman wasn’t singing into it, however, it appeared that he was holding it for someone else.
Floyd stood up and leaned over his desk toward the window to see that it wasn’t a ‘someone else’ at all. It was a parrot. He had heard rumors of this singing bird, Jazzy Jax, but he had never really believed it. And here, outside of the barbershop, perched the proof.
He went outside and introduced himself, offering the man a few dollars that he had pulled from his petty cash box. The gentleman bowed as he took the money, and Jazzy Jax nodded his head up and down and spoke for the pair.
“Thank you, thank you… whistle, whistle.” He sang. “Nice man, nice man.”
The gentleman’s name was Jeffrey, and he and the bird were making a few final stops in Jagger Hills before heading out for their summer tour. Every June and July, when the weather was best, they would travel to the neighboring towns and perform. Kids parties, church picnics, and every now and then – when they were lucky – they’d be offered gigs at week-long community fairs.
Floyd loved the idea of this singing bird, and his thoughts wandered… far away from the conversation… as he imagined how fun it would be to have the two perform inside of the barbershop.
Jeffrey was still talking, unaware that Floyd’s mind was now somewhere else, but Jazzy Jax seemed to notice and he interrupted his thoughts.
“Hello, hello!” Jax shouted. “You’re so pretty!”
Floyd saw the whole thing as a sign. He’d never thought of things that way before, but with Henry’s presence around the shop he was beginning to think differently – his mind opening up to consider that maybe… just maybe… signs and miracles might exist.
Suddenly, the wind began to stir and dark gray clouds covered the sun. The sky opened up and it poured. “And what kind of sign is this?!” Floyd muttered to himself with sarcasm as he hurried to the barbershop door.
Jax fled to his partner’s shoulder, and Jeffrey – soggy and confused – grabbed his stand.
“Don’t just stand there,” Floyd yelled. “Come inside.”
The rain persisted for several hours, so Floyd and Jeffrey enjoyed hot coffee and cocoa. They talked about the bizarre weather they were having, and then Floyd asked about the possibility of Jax performing at the barbershop.
Jax had napped through the worst of the storm, but he opened one eye and shook his head when his name was mentioned. Jax contributed his own two cents to the conversation with some Nat King Cole…
“That’s why darling, it’s incredible…
that someone so unforgettable,
thinks that I am unforgettable too.”
TO BE CONTINUED
This was a little off the cuff here. I created the illustration over the last couple of days and literally kept adding details as I thought about what might be happening in the scene. That being said, the chapter kind of tells the story of the image, rather than the image being created for the story. Not an easy task!
The chapter I had been working on before – that is almost finished – is staying on hold until I figure out which letter it might represent. For now, Jazzy Jax seemed like a cute “J” word and a fun addition to the barbershop story.
I’ve been having conversations with my son about what is going on in the world (wars, and rumors of wars), and I absolutely had to go total upbeat fiction on this because there is far too much sadness and fear out there already. So, a singing bird it was!
That’s about all for now. Thank you so much for reading… I hope you were entertained!
Until next time,
Peace & Love!