The Fleur de Lys

Nobody really knows where the Fleur de Lys came from.  It first showed up in the Spire with Jimmy “Two Shoes”, but Jimmy never told anyone where the zeppelin he arrived on started out at.  Even with something like the Fleur de Lys, it took a while for Jimmy to make a name for himself.  For a time, he was just a session player who’d fill in now and again at this place or that.

After a while, folks started to recognise the little man with the homburg and the trumpet that sounded like an angel crying when he played it.  After that, it wasn’t long before he had himself a regular spot, down at the Twelve Steps Club.  I can still see him now, standing in the spotlight, hat pushed low, eyes shut tight and fingers dancing over the stops.

Some people say there was too much poetry in his soul, but I think there was something missing.  Two Shoes used to chase the dragon, or chased whatever was missing in his life, until one day he just didn’t come back.  It’s generally accepted that it was Ray Parker, who played in his band, that found him, and found the Fleur de Lys lying right there beside him.

Ray Parker picked it up, and carried on just where Two Shoes left off.  Ray had been an alright trumpet man before, but with the Fleur de Lys, he became great.  That first night when he stepped on the stage and raised that trumpet to his lips, it was like time stood still.  None of us who were there can remember anything but a sense of calm amongst chaos; like we were all sheltering in the eye of a storm.

I got to know Ray Parker a bit, and he used to say he felt the transitory nature of it; that he was just a stop in its journey.  I guess Ray was right, because one day he came off second best in a knife fight with one of the band.  After that, the Fleur kind of disappeared.  A lot of folks were certainly interested, but it was never found anywhere in Ray Parker’s possessions.

There’s rumours though, from Down Below, of a kid playing the clubs.  They say that when he plays, it’s like he’s washing your soul clean with the sound.  They say you can tell it’s him by the flower etched into the brass of his instrument.


~ by Electro-mechanical Man on May 24, 2011.

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