She went upstairs to the bathroom to steady herself a minute, and picked up a guitar from the parlour on her way back.
Jackson was sitting with his back to a tree while David lay stretched out on the ground. Without a word Juno sat down halfway between them, guitar ready. Jackson sleepily opened one eye. David didn’t stir.
She shut her eyes, called on the Magic, transcended time and space, amplified her spell and began to sing.
The effect was instantaneous. She hadn’t even got to the first chorus when Jackson was on his feet and David had flipped up as if electrified, his mouth hanging open. All over the yard folks were rising, their eyes and ears wide.
Singing about how you couldn’t return to from where you came but just had to keep on going, Joni’s voice rang out through the patterns of sun and shade under the old trees in the canyon.
Afterwards there were several seconds of total silence. Cass was first to speak. ‘Wow!’ she said. ‘And I didn’t even know you sang!’
‘What chord did you do over the neck like that?’ asked Ray, one of the English guys.
Jackson moved towards Juno as if in a trance and crouched down beside her. ‘That was beautiful,’ he said simply, but his voice sounded funny. Emotional.
‘Thank you,’ said Juno with a modest smile. ‘I wrote it when I should’ve been painting.’
This statement jerked David into partial life. The power of speech still seemed to elude him, but he took the guitar from Juno and shakily played a few chords. ‘G,’ he then said to Jackson in what could only be called total shock. ‘It’s tuned in an open G!’
He finally turned to Juno, real slow. ‘Why’d you never say?’ As well as utter amazement there was a new tenderness in his voice, and Juno hated to admit that he looked at her like never before.