The Mandrakes. Four men of alternative lifestyle. Introduced first in 'A High Country Tale', the four volume set marks down the early days of development of each of these unusual and exemplary human beings, equating how each eventually arrives in one another's lives.
The Teardrop, Volume 1
Lucas Laughlin Cevennes. Odd boy out. Had he been born a sheep, he would have been the black one. If he had been born into money, at the age of majority, he would have become the exiled trust fund baby. As it was, Luke fought proverbial currents, took roads less traveled, stuck to his guns, set high standards and learned from mistakes. He was a survivor. Oh, and he knew he was gay. From the ripe age of four, though no comprehension existed for the concept then.
Born into the sinful state of Man, as constantly reminded by the evangelism enveloping him, a young boy learns of the difficulties involved in growing up different. He pictured himself as ‘bent’. Through tribulative trial and error--- emphasis on error--- Luke finds that standing tall, in confidence of his own abilities, can be gauged differently by different people. It was all in the perspective.
And bent looked pretty attractive to him…
One Clear Day, Volume 2
Rome, Georgia. USA. The center of the universe for Calumet Alfrederic Broadhearst. Not to be confused with the Eternal city or the steppes of western Asia, the home place nestled into a bend of the meandering Coosa River. The stately manse provided haven, safety, benevolence, family… grounding. All in the poignant setting of a former cotton plantation supported by slave labor . Innately aware of natural talents and fortes, to which he gravitates, Cal presses forward in unassuming, self-deprecating fashion. The favor of the gods and exemplary role models along with the blessing of excellent genes prove to be an exceedingly suitable combination for carving a mark in the world. As well as grasping the most from life. He comes to grips with obstacles, problems and aberrations in a more adult manner than most adults. Clear knowledge that his future holds one other in reserve with whom to share the path he travels provides emotional sustenance in good times and bad.The most difficult aspect is harnessing the slippery trait named patience through the frustratingly long wait for their appearance.
Call of the Loon, Volume 3
Prodigy. The last word young Jacob Winslow Marshall would conjure were he to apply description of himself. Prescience. Now, that was a concept which he understood, though he couldn’t have picked the alien word out of a perp lineup. Until he could.
Elkin Pond epitomized the beauty that was southern Vermont but in Jake’s case the body of water provided separation between divergent worlds the boy inhabited. Finding succor in the warmth of an elderly couple’s sphere on one side enabled ultimate divestiture from the ignorance, negativism and narrow-mindedness rampant at the boy’s birthplace on the opposite edge of the pond. Though integrally important to him, the reasons for the tie to the hand-hewn home had dissolved the day his real Daddy left.
From earliest years of Jake’s life, he recognized a destiny of dramatic import in the dimness of a Texas horizon yet to be explored. The state remained as nameless as the inherent trait--- prescience--- by which he drew the certainty. Until he learned it.
He knew it to be where he must make way in order to fulfill purposes. Emphasis on the plural. There was a promise to be kept… and…
Fallsworth, Volume 4
If only goats had evolved differently, developing the specific vocal folds and larynx, think what a story they might tell.
Jeremy Fallsworth Kell. One of the Blue Mountain Kell clan--- Hagley Gap to be specific. The big family spat out children like a cut-rate combine. On the downhill slope of thirteen babies in fifteen years, Jeremy hardly raised a ripple upon his arrival. Though parents loved their children, so many in the brood left precious little time for individual experience. So, when the iconic Koromantyn up the mountain provided chance outlet for the young man, goat husbandry became an apprenticeship. The man himself rose to the role of parent, mentor, groomer, trainer and… well, family. Maybe not by blood, but by every other measure. And then some.
Banishment to the capitol city after a calamitous sundering split the trip of goats from the young herder. Luckily, Kingston goats apparently communicated by the greater Jamaica goat pipeline. The boy saw them everywhere as he adapted to city life. The beasts watched.
Becoming a father at barely eighteen changed the entire equation. Challenging the goatherd-cum-student to scale more than mountains in the metamorphosis to principled philosopher as foretold by the stars.
Yes, the Jamaica goats in Ambergai Gee’s herd most certainly had stories to tell. If perchance they were to grant audience to such a forum, the storytelling would be undoubtedly raveled in Lyaric: lilting dialect of the Rastafari. To a calypso beat. Claro que si…