The service ended as Paul remembered it. Devon sat beside Paul quiet as can be. As others wondered out, some of them smiled at Paul and some just pointed as they left. Paul could only shake his head at them. Some of the girls that were leaving recognized Devon, giggled, pointed and left quickly. Paul wondered about the security so he just sat there. As soon as most of them were out Paul looked around to see if it were safe.
"Something wrong?" Devon asked
"no, uh, not really, just wondering if it was safe to leave yet"
"Why wouldn't it be?"
"Well, your a big big star now"
"ah crap" he said blushing.
"Well, if someone follows us, then our safe haven won't be so safe anymore, so we'll just wait"
"OK" he said looking around the church.
"Been a while since I've been here"
"Oh, you used to come here?"
"yes, it has been quite a long time though, probably 30 years or so"
"oh" he said quietly.
"The place still is beautiful but it sure needs some help"
"yes sir" he said looking around this time paying more attention to things.
About 15 minutes later, they departed the church. Paul so no one in sight. They climbed into the SUV and Devon sat with his head hidden just in case someone saw them. He thought it was the best idea. Paul said nothing except just drove back to the plantation. Devon was excited to see his Grandmother's big motor home in the drive. The thought ran thru his mind that Sebastian had better have gotten fully dressed.
Devon exited the SUV and waited for Paul to join him.
"Thanks for taking me. I feel much better and calmer. The dream was really bad. May I tell you about it sometime?"
"Only if you want too and only if your ready too. What you said or discussed with the priest is between you two"
"I know your trained for stuff like this, but the feelings were just too strong for me to handle or wait, I hope your not disappointed in me?"
Taking Devon by the shoulders "No way. You have a lot on your mind. Maybe you'll record it in a journal to remember it"
"Make it a song?"
"I didn't say that. Many times things bother people. Research has shown that if it is written down and even nothing done with it, it'll help. Just a suggestion"
"OK, but first I have to talk with Auntie and Grandma. Anyways thanks again and I love you" hugging him briefly before he flew into the house.
Paul had to stop for a second reeling from the comments he just heard. Meanwhile Devon raced into the house. The first people he saw was Rosie and Sebastian talking at the table. Amanda was chatting with Reuben, Iris and Grandma.
Devon was relieved to see Sebastian was fully dressed.
Sebastian rose "Are you OK?"
"I am now, thanks, Hi Rosie but I have to talk to Auntie for a minute" he said as he walked over to them. Paul arrived at the door about then. A house full. He saw Devon greet Reuben and his grandma but thought it was strange that he pulled Auntie away from the others.
"May I use the study, sir?" Devon formally asked Paul.
Once again Paul was stunned at the language but he nodded.
"Thanks, this way Auntie" and the two of them left.
Iris returned about 20 minutes later with a quirky smile on her lips. Devon went over to his grandmother and got her away from Reuben, Amanda and Paul. They talked about the concert last night. Devon was embarrassed to find out that his grandmother had had a close circuit camera on the stage the whole time. Devon was animated talking to her a little while later. Paul was curious but didn't say anything about it at the time.
Iris got Paul to accompany her outside where he was again stunned to learn of their conversation.
"Quite an impact you've made on that young man, Paul"
"Yes ma'am, I try to raise them right"
"You have no idea of what he was talking to me about. I doubt that his grandmother does either, but I have my orders from him"
"he asked me first how much money he had in his access"
"i see, he isn't usually all that concerned about money, in fact he has never asked for any"
"Well, it seems he wants to fix up some church you took him too and he doesn't care if it wipes out his funds. Of course his grandmother won't allow that"
"no need to raise your voice"
"but, uh, I can't allow that"
"It isn't your choice to make Mr. Filmore" she said batting her eyes at him
Paul was instantly contrite "I'm sorry but why?"
"It seems that the priest who spoke with him made quite an impact. He's been at that church for several decades but has never been able to fix major things. He told Devon that he figured with the dwindling congregation, the church would be closed before or near his death. It sounded like Devon was quite shaken up by it"
"I see and he is set to do this?"
"I have my orders Paul and nothing will deter me from them"
"Of course then. I was, uh, have really had quite a morning. I thought he'd be 'high' from the concert last night, but this morning he was fully dressed and "
"Fully dressed? Am I to assume that the boy likes to be a nudist or something?"
"uh, well, er" was all Paul could get out before he too blushed
"I don't really care but is that what your are stressing here?"
"Well of course not. I am simply letting the children be themselves. As long as they are dressed for school and visitors, I see nothing wrong with the human body. Society dictates a different scheme of things is all"
"I see. Well there is nothing wrong with that and I will be contacting our security forces to beef up some discreet patrols because of the pending stardom's"
"I see" Paul said when Devon's grandma had joined them.
"Iris dear, we need to engage a tutor for the children"
"A tutor?" Paul said
"A tutor? for the children?" Iris said.
"Yes. It seems my grandson wants to get a little more advanced this summer. He said that he felt a little behind at school when he went"
"He never said anything about it to me" Paul pondered
"of course not. He'd not complain if his elbow hurt. It seems he doesn't want to seem like a bother to you Paul. In fact, he said that you are taking such good care of them that he wants to excel some at school to make you proud of him"
"I am proud of him, all of them anyways"
"Well, Iris will be in contact. Devon was very instructive in his choices and they will not be changed. I understand Paul that Reuben is also gay"
"Uh, he he is but I am not"
"oh no dear, he, Devon, wants the instructor to be in their 40's, quite accomplished and gay for some reason"
"what is it Paul?"
"Everything is all upside down today. I was hoping for a calm day. I'd thought that they would be all excited from the concert but it doesn't seem to be a big deal to them"
"oh it is. Devon is just taking it in stride. I am to assume that you will be arranging his next concert? He said he'd like it in a couple of weeks. It seems Sebastian and him have written a few new songs. Devon said they were in the buff while writing it last night"
Paul turned beet red and was speechless.
"That would be correct I think and Paul here is raising nudists" Iris quickly added to Paul's chagrin.
"I am NOT!"
Grandma only smiled. "At least they were dressed when company came"
Paul could only stare at the two women blushing profusely and then looked over to Devon. He waved at him while talking to Sebastian and Rosie.
They three of them spoke of other things before Devon said that he had to retire to his room and a little while and would respect the privacy. All the others assured him that he'd have that.
The two women left, Reuben and Rosie also left. Paul fed Sebastian and Amanda. He was concerned about Devon around 9 o'clock and went looking for him. He didn't find him in his room. Paul began searching in earnest. He couldn't find the boy anywhere.
"Have either of you seen Devon?"
"No" came the reply from both of them.
"Do you have any special place where he'd go?"
"Just the bench, why?"
"He was gonna write in his journal I think"
"The dog's can find him"
"yes" he said calling Sonny and Cher. They came immediately.
"Find Devon" was all Paul said.
The dogs immediately went to his empty room wagging their tail. they barked but found no Devon. Sonny began sniffing the carpet. He found all of Devon's clothes and sniffed them, and then the carpet. Sonny left the room with Cher behind him followed by the other three. Up to the top floor of the building they went. Paul usually never went up on this floor. He forgot most of the rooms in general. Sonny paused in front of a door. He whined and sat down. Paul patted the dog on the head and tried the door knob. It was locked from the inside.
Paul remembered which room it was then. Long time ago, his great great grandmother had converted this room for a mini-church where members of the family could worship. He took everybody down to the bottom stair and told Amanda to get Devon something to eat and to take the dogs with her. She did. Once they were alone, Paul pulled out a book from the shelf in his study. It was on the highest shelf. Sebastian just watched him. Paul flipped to a page in the book, looked around and then put the book back on the shelf.
"Never, ever touch that book, do I have your word on that Sebastian Shire?"
"yes sir" Sebastian said weakly.
Paul went over to a panel on the wall and started knocking. He must have reached it and the panel opened into the room. Not in a million years would Sebastian ever have noticed it. Paul pulled a flashlight out and gave one to Sebastian. Together they went into a winding stairway. Paul had pulled the panel shut and Sebastian heard a distinct click. It was dark but the flashlights led the way. Up several flights of stairs until Paul reached a wall. He carefully released a hidden door and they walked thru into a room where Sebastian had never been.
Sebastian saw Devon on his knees in front of a cross. Devon heard them come in. Paul quietly shut the hidden door. Sebastian used his flashlight to look around. He noticed that Devon had his shorts on and had tears coming down his eyes. Sebastian was shaken to his core since he'd never seen Devon like that. As he started to move towards Devon, he felt Paul grip on his shoulders immediately.
"Why's he look like that? I'm scared"
"I don't know, something is bothering him. Just stay quiet and stay behind him"
Paul and Sebastian approached Devon slowly. Devon had shut something up and was leaning on it with his hands.
"I <sob> wrote it down Paul, but it got to much for me <sob><sniff>"
"It's OK. Sometimes things just get to be too much for your senses. Even adults has these feelings"
"What's wrong Devon?" Sebastian asked quietly.
"I'm just having a difficult moment Basty, I'll get better soon. Just sit beside me?"
Sebastian quickly moved to be beside him. Paul went to the perimeter of the room and stood there.
After a few minutes Sebastian asked "What's in that book, Dev?"
"my most personal things"
"None of our things are in that one?"
"Not this one. Its locked in my drawers in my room that Paul is letting me use"
"Letting you use? Dev, its here where I wanna stay. Are you gonna make us go away? I don't wanna go away. I like it here. Please don't make us leave. We have no where to go?"
"We'll stay as long as Paul allows us too."
"So what's wrong?"
"I can't tell you just now. I haven't even told Paul. I've written it down but someday I might tell you"
"OK, but I don't like you like this. Won't ya come down to eat something? We can goof around on the guitars or something? Please?"
"I will in a few minutes. Why don't you go down and I'll be down with Paul shortly, OK?"
"uh, ummm, OK--promise?"
Sebastian left the room slowly. He kept looking back at his big brother. He actually went to the stairwell and sat on the top step wondering if he did something bad.
Devon had watched Sebastian leave, then he made eye contact with Paul briefly before turning back to the cross and journal.
"I did write the stuff down, I really did. I don't know what to think Paul"
"Is something in particular bothering you?'
"I don't know really. The priest said that I might be bothered by mom & dad's death. I had a really really bad dream about them and later about us. I think I might have peed in my bed Paul. I'm sorry"
"We can deal with that with no problem. But Devon, I'm here if you ever need to talk. Your brother is really scared and probably thinks he did something to cause all of this"
"But he didn't do anything?"
"But in his mind he might have. He might think that he didn't play well enough last night or your mad at him because he might have played a certain way. A 9 year old has a fragile mind. I doubt you really had any time to spend with him have you?"
"Nah, he can't. Maybe I should talk to him though" he said standing up and taking the journal with him. "Can I put this somewhere under lock?"
"Sure, come to the study with me and we'll lock it up"
They found Sebastian sitting on the top stair crying. Devon immediately felt really bad. He told Paul to go ahead and they'd be down soon. Paul went to the kitchen and found Amanda waiting with the dogs.
"I think he will be. I think they might go and jam in the music room soon though"
"That'll be good. Maybe he'll tell us about his next concert"
"might, you can go and wait"
Paul sat at the table wondering what was gonna happen next. He tried to read the newspaper but was interrupted by the music coming from the music room. He'd never heard it that loud before. Pretty soon and an exhausted Amanda came in for something for them to drink. She asked Paul to see if Reuben had a few minutes to talk to Devon. Paul placed the call and tried to tell Reuben what Devon wanted, but Reuben couldn't hear him. Paul did hear enough to make out that Reuben was coming over.
Paul debated to tell Devon. He stood and went into the music room. not to be shocked again but there was Sebastian and Devon both wearing shorts with guitars in their hands, Amanda was simply looking from the keyboard. She smiled as he entered. Paul waited for an interlude but when none came, he left for the kitchen again. The dogs had long deserted the house due to the sound.
Reuben arrived with two other people. They got their guitars out of the back of his car and carried them to the kitchen. Paul recognized them from the group that Reuben played in. Paul led them into the media room and showed them the mixer set up. Paul then left for four flights straight up from the music room.
The six of them spent the rest of the afternoon going over different pieces of music. Sebastian was kicking in where he could but it was very apparent that he was more of a free styler when it came to playing along. Devon would listen sometimes without his earphones and other times with them. He was not shy about telling any of them what he might be thinking at any particular time. They'd play a piece as much as six times before Devon was happy with them. Amanda just listened.
After the guys left with Reuben, Sebastian and Amanda went to eat something in the kitchen. Paul didn't make his presence known to Devon from 4 floors up. From over the ledge, Paul saw Devon look around. At the time Paul didn't think too much of it. He noticed Devon quickly go over to the pump organ and uncover it. Paul then remembered that Devon hadn't played it much since the others had come to be with him. He saw Devon adjust the seat, look around and start pulling knobs on the ancient machine. He was doing this for several minutes before he noticed that Sebastian was looking at him from the door way. Devon quickly stood up and recovered the machine.
Sebastian said something to him but Devon blew him off walking out of the room. Sebastian went with him and Paul joined them in the kitchen.
Over the next few nights, Devon provided Paul with some information that he was thinking about the concert. Paul recorded it on a notebook he'd begun to wear in his pocket. He never knew when one of the kids would say anything. Once Paul got the information arranged, he checked with each of the kids for last minute additions. Then he set in motion for the next concert. It would be held in a larger coliseum for more capacity.
During the two weeks interlude from the previous concert, Reuben and his other two members had jammed with the Shire children. Devon once told Paul that he was just listening to clarify the music. Paul would nod his understanding.
Also, security camera were set up outside and inside the house for the protection of the children. The security company that the 90+ grandmother had engaged was now working exclusively for the children. The methods for the security was explained to each of the children. They saw first hand when a helicopter had flown over the top of the house. The three were out at the concrete bench with the dogs. Paul was just coming out of the house when sirens had been sounded and loudspeakers broke out with loud noise telling the helicopter that it was flying in a protected airspace and was to land immediately. The second pass of the house, the helicopter was shot from the roof. It immediately collapsed on the ground just outside of the house wall. The children saw at least 6 people appear from no where and physically pull the two occupants from the chopper. They were escorted away briskly. Paul later found out that they were being physically detained by the security company. Paul found out also that the helicopter was being destroyed and both occupants were going to be detained by the police. Paul simply smiled and said nothing. He learned later that the local airports and places where helicopters could be rented were heavily warned that since that area of Louisiana was a parish, the airspace was restricted and further attempts of unauthorized flights would be dealt with severely and a copy of the helicopter tape was also provided. Some of them tried to protest, but the statement was again calmly made. No further attempts were tried.
Also during this two week period between concerts, the elderly priest visited the house unannounced. Devon literally pulled all the power to the music room during his visit. Devon was so embarrassed or stunned, Paul wasn't too sure. The younger children disappeared to a respectable range. Paul heard the priest thank Devon for all his work and money. Devon questioned for further projects but the priest wouldn't tell him anything, simply assuring him that his efforts were greatly appreciated. They left for the study for a little while and later appeared.
The priest spoke briefly to Paul before leaving. Paul was better prepared for Devon after that. Paul had also known that Devon had been secretly using the pump organ late at night when no one was around. The security team super visor noticed the erratic behavior and told Paul.
The day before the concert, Devon was greatly depressed when he noticed the antique pump was being removed for some reason by four big burly men. He watched them pack it ever so careful. Devon felt like his best friend ever had been taken from him.
At supper that night, Paul discussed in a business like manner the concert. The two younger shires listened and responded to questions and comments. Devon just nodded occasionally. he was so depressed. Paul took no pity on him though. He thought he was in trouble when Paul told the other two to go on to bed since the day would arrive early tomorrow. He told Devon to wait for him in the media room and not the music room.
Devon went to the media room and sat in a chair like a scooled little school boy. Paul walked in a few minutes later.
"I have something to show you. It has taken me a lot of trouble to get it for you but for you I have it and you alone. I am going to show you a video. I will then leave. You can watch it as up to 5 times before it will no longer play. I want you to think about what you about to see and just meditate on it for a little while."
Paul went to the media computer and set the counter. He pressed a bunch of buttons that set a timer going. Before he shut the door to the media room, he saw the lights being dimmed and the curtains being drawn shut. The sound level knob beside Devon began to flash and Paul shut the door.
He heard Devon crying later that night in his bed but figured it was normal given the circumstances. Paul didn't see Devon much the next day until it was getting time to leave for the concert. All of the kids about crapped when they actually saw a helicopter land to take them to the concert.
Sebastian had taken great pains to ensure his guitar was wrapped and ready to leave with them. Amanda had packed her keyboard also. Devon just stood around. Paul would later figure it was concert jitters. They all left and the chopper landed on a marked building atop the concert hall.
The supervisor appeared out of no where. Devon liked him immediately again. He assured Devon that everything he had wanted was done. The other two left to dress in their cusotme. Devon just stood around watching things. Paul asked him if he wanted to change and Devon shook his head no. He told Paul and the stage supervisor that his fans should see him as he normally is, not anything fake.
Then it was time. Devon froze. He heard the music kicking up. He heard the tune that made him famous. The fake, the lie. He heard Sebastian kicking up his tune. He knew he should be on stage now.
"It's time Devon" the stage manager said.
"what do you mean you can't?" the manager asked motioning to Paul.
"I can't do it"
"You have to do it Devon. There are 125,216 people waiting on you"
"OH GOD! I can't"
"What's wrong Devon?" Paul asked concerned.
"I can't do it anymore. I'm a fake?"
"I can't make you do it Devon, but there are lots of people out there for you, NO ONE else except you son. What's wrong? A fake? is this the lie?"
Devon looked at him and could only nod.
"Devon, listen to me. You wrote half of that song. The very song that your one and only brother who loves you is playing"
"Peewee only wrote the words, you wrote the music.
Remember, it takes two"
"But I can't"
Paul took Devon over to a small room where a computer was imaged into several screens.
"Make all of it disappear except for the feed to Grandma and do it NOW"
"But its time for him to go on"
"He won't fucking do that unless you fucking moron do THIS. NOW DO IT!" Paul said in his administrative voice. the man pushed two buttons and stepped back.
All of the sudden Devon was looking at his grandmother and Rosie.
"What's wrong Paul? Is something wrong? Devon is supposed to be on now" Devon heard his grandma say.
"Grandma, I need you to tell Devon right here, right now what has happened to Peewee about his song please"
Devon stepped to the monitor & camera after Paul physically pushed him into the spot.
"What's wrong dear?"
"i CAN'T DO IT ANYMORE. I'm a fake"
"You certainly are not a fake. Iris, get me that letter now from Peewee. Now you wrote one half of that song Devon. Listen to me closely. Here is a letter signed by Peewee where he admits that he wrote only the song, not the music. He has agreed that you will pay him $5,000 every time that song is played by you. Iris do this"
Devon saw Iris step to the camera.
"She's right, you give him something called royalties. he gets some when the radio stations play the song also. This, Devon, is his signature. I can get him to tell you in person after the concert but it will take some time to set that up"
Devon felt better immediately and nodded.
Paul pushed Devon out the door into the central stage. The music had now gone on to the other songs that he used to sing too.
"is that better?"
"I feel better"
"OK, how about this" and he physically led Devon over to a private room where the elderly priest was sitting in regular clothes watching a monitor.
The priest looked over as someone walked into his room.
He stood "What's wrong Devon?"
"I i i can't"
"of course you can. Everyone is expecting you too Devon. Why after the word spread on Sunday, we have private screens set up around the church for people there watching you, our benefactor. You alone, son, has managed to keep our church open. The congregation wants to see you next Sunday if you up to it. They all want to thank you for all you've done"
Devon just stood there motionless.
"and your parents are watching from above. I bet they are proud of you and your siblings. You have done so much and will do more I feel it in my bones"
Devon started to tear up.
"Be strong son, be faithful. You know it is written that faith without works is dead being alone. If you don't try, nothing will happen"
Devon just nodded and left the room. The priest and Paul was watching him leave. He got about 20 feet from them and stopped. He looked around. Paul thought he was confused. Then Paul saw the stage manager walk to him. Devon said something to him. The man spoke into a microphone and walked Devon off out of their sight.
Paul and the priest had no choice but to watch the monitor at that point. Paul had carefully prepared this concert to be a special one. From the monitor, Paul saw someone walk to Sebastian and say something to him.
Sebastian then walked to center stage. A small white light was on him. Sebastian looked around at the audience slowly still playing. He turned back to the stage and took his hands off his instrument and put them in the air. The music stopped immediately. Sebastian was looking at someone--that was Amanda. He put his hands on his instrument and played 4 strings and put his arms out again. The band in front of him was confused. But Amanda knew, she played her keyboard with a big introduction. Paul and the priest knew something was going on when Sebastian turned around smiling.
He put his hands back on his guitar and began to play along eventually getting into Devon's first hit song. Then Sebastian walked out of the light and some lights that were going around and around, Sebastian later learned it was lasers that did it all and slowly Devon was raised to the center of the stage.
Wearing only a headset with microphone, he slowly gained in vocal strength to end the song just as it had made him popular. When the lights came on at the end, he quickly turned around not wanting to know how many people were there. He thanked everyone walking to his brother. His brother was all smiles. Devon patted him on the back and was in the middle of walking over to Amanda on the other side of the stage when he saw Reuben and his two friends. He froze in mid-step for only a moment and then walked over to Amanda, then back to Reuben and shook each of their hands.
"i WANT TO thank all of you for coming to our biggest concert ever!" and he rose his hands over his head and started clapping. Not knowing what to play next, Reuben watched carefully for any lead.
It came, a low rolling bass guitar from over to his right. Sebastian had began a slow rolling song. Reuben could only strum along. Even Amanda was watching for some type of a lead. Devon just continued to clap his hands together over his head. Soon the audience was clapping in time.
"Now I'd like to play a song that my brother wrote entirely by himself"
The rolling bass stopped as Sebastian looked at him bewildered. They wrote the song together, out on the concrete bench, at least he thought it was the song that he was supposed to play next.
"Give me a minute to get something set up, just keep clapping"
and Paul with the Priest watched Devon do something he didn't usually do. He took the rytheum guitar of Sebastian's and turned it over on the floor. he took something out of pocket (that the stage manager had given him earlier) and Devon began to stroke the guitar using thing. He began to pick out music that even Sebastian hadn't thought was possible.
Devon then took up the guitar and began to skip across the stage putting the thing he'd taken earlier back in his pocket. He stopped at Sebastian's side and handed him something that'd he picked up from just off stage. Sebastian knew what it was but he'd never sung before. But, gallant for a new challenge, he put it on. Devon was watching.
Devon then stopped dead. Everyone stopped dead. Devon looked at him like a devil and began playing a version of that song the Sebastian had started. Sebastian had written a whole verse but Devon said no, quite vehemently. Now, he was on focus. It'd had only been two weeks but Sebastian had forgotten some of the words. He simply died out from memory. he mouthed "sorry" to Devon.
Devon just strode away skaking his head but smiling. He went to Amanda and smiled. He just strumed a steady beat.
"OK, time to let ya'll in a little secret"
Devon looked over at Sebastian who had turned a little red from embarrassment.
"My brother did write that verse he just tried to sing for you. Did you like what you heard?" Devon asked as he took his hands off his instrument while the audience echoed back its approval.
Devon reached into his back pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. He took it over to Sebastian who took it and turned even redder. It was his piece of paper. His brother had kept it never telling him he'd be singing it. The words came back to him in a flash. Sebastian turned his back to the stage. He knew not to say anything since his microphone was still live.
Devon began again with the lyrics they'd written together. he sang it all the way thru and this time he'd ended up next to Basty. when the opening came near, he looked at Sebastian and said "go"
And Sebastian sung his verse all the way thru. At the end of it, the audience went wild with enthusiasm. At the end of the song (one more verse), Devon introduced everyone again.
They played about 7 more songs and it was getting near the end of the concert. This time Reuben came up to the microphone that had been turned up full for this. Paul hadn't clued none of the kids on what was about to happen.
Devon and Sebastian quickly turned to look at him. This had never happened before. They looked past Reuben and saw Paul gesturing from the top of his head in circles down to his waist and bowing at the same time. Sebastian smiled but Devon looked bewildered.
"While all of you have seen Devon playing a variety of guitars, he has kept one talent to himself and his family thought it was time to share it with you" Reuben said spreading his hands out as the band cleared out a space and the ancient pump organ was moved on stage.
Devon literally stood in shock. There was his instrument, his ancient friend. He almost felt like something was being revealed that was a deep secret. he looked across to Paul. Paul was smiling and doing circles with his hands meaning go with it. Devon had to turn his back to the camera. He was crying now, tears falling out of his eyes profusely.
Sebastian came over to him and removed his microphone. He put his hand over Devon's.
"It is time to show the world what you can really do Dev, don't disappoint us"
Devon could only nod. Sebastian took his shirt sleeve and ripped it and handed it to Devon. Devon wiped his eyes and smiled at him.
Devon turned around after a minute or so.
"I should explain my behavior. I am sorry if I disappointed any of you. My, our parents died in a tragic car crash with a drunk driver last summer. <he almost began blubbering at this point but stopped to compose himself> our caretaker, sniff, took us in and, well, this is one of his instruments in his house. It is over 150 years old and I am honored to be given the privilege to play it for you"
The audience cheered. Devon went to behind it. He pulled a lever out and began to play a familiar piece that the others easily recognized. At the end, he thanked everyone.
Devon just looked at the instrument. Everyone eventually stopped playing and just watched him. Everyone came over to him asking what was wrong. He'd just shake his head. Devon asked for the stage manager to come to him on stage. They had a private conversation when Paul was beginning to get concerned about. The stage manager said something into his microphone and all the instruments of the others went dead.
Devon's microphone was still live. The stage manager brought the microphone that Reuben had used earlier and placed it next to main box of the pump organ.
After that, the stage manager started getting everybody off stage. Sebastian was resisting but Paul put his hands on physically moved the boy. A big TV appeared behind Devon as he sat there looking at the instrument.
After all the lites dimmed except for one on him, he began to pull different knobs and pushing a few keys and the audience grew really quiet.
"After the last concert two weeks ago, I had an anxiety attack, enough to seek help. This instrument is so personal, that the song I'm about to sing, no one has heard it before and I'll permit no one to play with me. Sorry guys"
As he played thru some music, he lastly said "this is so personal, I hope I can continue afterwards but I might not be able to. If I can't I am extremely sorry"
and Devon went into the music. All the TV showed was his closed eyes and occasionally a tear would escape. He sang the song that would elapse all his other songs for the next 15 years in popularity and money all the way thru. Afterwards, there was not a dry tear in the house. The song was dedicated to his mother and dad who'd passed away. Devon could only spin around on the stage and walk off. He was lowered where he'd been raised up.
The stage manager quickly got Reuben and the others to play something until Devon could be found and decided what he wanted to do. Amanda and Sebastian were also so broken up, they could hardly be comforted. The stage manager found Devon below crying his eyes out. The elderly priest stood away. The stage manager tried talking to Devon but nothing could be done. The manager looked at the priest who walked up to Devon.
Together, alone below the stage, they talked. The priest walked away back to his room. Devon was alone for a few minutes. he finally stood up and told the manage to raise the platform again, he'd do one more song. The others could join if they wanted.
so Devon rose slowly and the spot light again was on him.
raised to the top, he went to his old friend and moved a bunch of levers again. he began at that time to play Amazing Grace which blew Paul & Reuben's minds. Amanda stood just off stage smiling thru tears while Sebastian had fainted earlier. He missed the whole thing. Luckily he was in Paul's arms.
Devon thanked everyone for listening to his two songs. He lamented about what the priest had discussed with him earlier. He looked to the sky and said this one is for you. The audience watched Devon push the pump organ back off stage since it had been on wheels. Then Devon took the rhythm guitar and began a rift that Reuben was hard pressed to match. Amanda had returned to her keyboard and was watching. After 3 minutes of soloing, Devon sang a song he'd composed only two days before.
The show ended after that.