Frederick came from a large family that lived in a well known valley between large settlements. Their company was known for producing intricate wire wrapped jewelry but Frederick often found his mind wandering as he toiled away at his work station mucking up whatever he was working on in the process. He longed to see what else the world had to offer and to create, really fashion the forms that arose in his mind as he flitted through the unseen wilds of his heart. Frequently a cousin would snap their fingers before his face drawing him back to the here and now with an exclamation, “At it again? You really do struggle to focus don't you? It will take forever to fix the mess you've made there!”
No matter what task they put him to Frederick drifted off into another space allowing his work to fall by the wayside: overheating smelting until ashen debris marred the surface, snapping wires he was trying to stretch out into more delicate strands, and melting away bevels on stones that were to be surface set on pendants. Upon returning to his home one evening he sought out his mother, “Ma, I don’t know why I can’t focus. The wilds call to me and I can’t control it.” With a deep sigh his mother motioned to a stool across from her at their small communal table:
“My son, Do you think you are the first with the wanderlust and an artist's heart? No, you've a distant cousin who lives o’er the mountains on his own. Gene is his name and much like you he had a curious mind when he was young. He was thrice the bother though in the workshop as he would often sneak off to have a go at making things. Oh, he once made such an explosion in the back storage shed that the roof popped off and the sides blew out. I still don’t know what he was on about half the time.”
:Laughing aloud his mother’s gaze glossed over for a moment and she appeared sad. “Ma”, Frederick beseeched, “Would...Would I be able to visit cousin Gene? Perhaps if I explore this nagging sensation it will help me focus at home?” His mother gave it no more than a moment's thought and her shoulders dropped in resignation, “I knew this day would come and have had things ready just in case. Tis but a few days walk to your cousin’s house.” Frederick struck out the very next day laden with an overfull pack and a slew of brambleberry jam sandwiches, his favorite.
Frederick took five days in all to reach his final destination. He couldn't help but stop at every stream or to watch the creatures here. The deeper into the mountains he traveled the less things seemed to fear him. He could watch a deer and her fawn grazing in a field for hours not a trace of fear in their stance or stare. As he toddled along he gathered many plant and rock specimens that called out to him with a glinting glance or wandering will. What a peaceful existence here amongst the wild woods he thought as he arrived at the glade. He could just spot the comely treestump home of his cousin in a field of wildflowers between the trees and beneath a blue sky. Frederick descended into the dell careful not to trample the gorgeous petals beneath his clumsy feet. Upon knocking at the front door a prickling sensation came up the nape of his neck. Frederick spun about just as the front door opened to catch a glimpse of a dark wing ascending the branches of a nearby tree. “Why hello there! You must be a cousin of some sort to find me out here. What brings you all this way”, Gene proclaimed boisterous and not without a little surprise? Frederick found himself herded into the small forest home even as he glanced backward for the feathered creature he felt must still be watching.
“Do you have a bird friend,” Frederick asked? Gene replied, “I don’t know to be sure for there is something about though I haven't caught a glimpse myself.” Despite this strange first encounter the two of them were of like mind and as such took to one another straight away. They often spent long days exchanging secrets, tips, and tricks. The two of them were able together to find new ways of forming beautiful crystalline structures that cast rainbows of light across the room when set in the window. Oftentimes if forgotten, the new accomplishments would go missing from the sill but this was not unexpected according to Gene and occasionally something would be left in its place. On one such incident Frederick awoke to find a black silken feather with a blue and purple sheen resting on the ledge catching the morning’s warmth. “A clue from our little friend”, Frederick smiled to himself before running off into the main house bellowing, “Cousin” into the crisp morning air!
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