“It is purely aesthetic.”
The eight-year-old stared at the tall man with a blank expression until Baird leaned over and translated, “He means it’s pretty.”
“Oooh!” the boy breathed, staring critically at the decoration. “I guess that’s okay.”
At that moment, Baird turned expectantly to the room at large and held up the end of a cord. “Juice, please?”
Jayce chuckled and guided the redhead over to the corner so he could help himself to an outlet. Neil smirked and said, “Baird likes it loud!”
“I do at that,” the worship leader readily agreed.
“And Kester is the lyrical band member?” guessed Naomi.
“Hey, I can
lyrical!” Baird protested. So saying, he plugged his blue guitar into the power supply, made himself comfortable, and gave an experimental strum. Then, hedeftly picked out a sweet melody that sounded like it belonged in a music box or maybe a merry-go-round.
Koji glanced around the room, located Prissie, and sidled up to her. Tapping the back of her hand, he whispered, “Kester’s music made everyone sigh, but Baird’s music makes everyone smile.”
“Which is better?” she wondered aloud.
The young Observer said, “Both are good.”
Baird finished with a small flourish and waved off the smattering of applause. “Everyone get comfy,” he invited, for most of the family was still standing around. “We’ll do one song for you, but then let’s sing together. All of us … any old thing … I totally take requests … and have yet to be stumped!”
As he rambled, Prissie’s brothers vied for seats in the wide couches and deep chairs arranged around the room. There was plenty of space for everyone, but that didn’t stop the siblings from jostling. Neil and Tad tossed a few throw pillows around until their mother sent them The Look. Prissie ended up on one of the sofas, tucked between Beau and Koji.
A hush fell while Kester tuned his guitar, plucking stray notes as he fiddled with the knobs. It wasn’t a melody, but the notes didn’t clash. Prissie thought they were like the tunings of an orchestra, not the main event, but a signal that something was about to happen. Slowly, a tune emerged from the random cascades, and Baird picked up a harmony line. The two Worshipers exchanged a brief glance, then switched roles, with the mentor taking the melody as his apprentice modulated through the opening bars of an old hymn that just
to be Grandpa Pete’s favorite.
The old man harrumphed, but he looked rather pleasedas the young men sang their way through every verse. Once the song ended, he gruffly said, “Not many people know that hymn, nowadays.”
“Many things are forgotten as time passes,” Kester replied gravely. “However, I believe there will always be those who remember.”
Prissie settled back into the couch cushions and stared in amazement at the two Worshipers. What Kester said was true. He and Baird would live forever, so all the songs they knew would
“Now taking requests!” the redhead warbled.
For a few seconds, the Pomeroys just exchanged glances, but then Jayce reached into the bookshelf next to his chair and started passing out books with deep red bindings. “These should help,” he declared.
Baird’s eyes widened. “Oh, man! You keep hymnals in the family room?”
“Doesn’t everyone?” quipped Neil as he ferried copies over to Harken and his grandparents.
The redhead actually got a little misty-eyed as he laid his hand over his heart. “You guys make me so happy!”
Harken accepted one of the books and casually checked the printing information. “These are quite old. I’ve seen a few of them come through my store.”
Pete Pomeroy nodded. “When the church replaced their hymnals the last time, they gave folks the chance to purchase the old ones. I bought a stack.”
“More like two stacks,” countered his wife with a teasing smile.
The old man explained, “I remember when these were new.