A novel excerpt by K L Andrews
Age upon ages, time upon times, I have stood, living mountain, since near the beginning. I do not say “from the beginning” – only the Creator was from the beginning – but near, yes, very near. Age upon ages, time upon times, and never weary, until perhaps . . .?
For centuries I was tended by the Creator by whose wisdom my roots delved deep, stretched wide, sounding the source of springs to give strength as I reached upward and outward, exulting in being alive. In the delight of invention, the Creator grafted my parts together in a riot of variety. Exuberance set smooth-skinned sycamore alongside cross-hatched crevices of oak and pine. The peeling paper of silver birch mingled with wrinkly hornbeam and pitted goat willow. Lichen and moss clothed my limbs, adding reds and yellows and greens to the pallet of russet, umber and brown.
Around my feet, vines grew up and over and among, forming natural byways, pathways, highways. Corkscrew hazel wound through willow and walnut, clematis climbed through cashew, chestnut and cherry, hawthorn and rose, fig and persimmon and date.
In time creatures arrived, small and great, feathered and furred and scaled. Instead of the secret sound of growing and the whispering of wind, a cheerful cacophony arose. As the multitude migrated to nestings as each preferred, their chatter became a softer symphony of song, never intrusive but ever present, and I rejoiced to play host and home.
My creatures brought blessing, enabling new seeds to sprout, adding to the already lavish abundance. Chicory and chives, bergamot and basil, cardamom, clover and mint. Snapdragons, chrysanthemums, sweet-faced pansies. An extravagance of colour – pinks and blues and purples and whites – were added to my pallet and with them were brought a rainbow of aroma. Soothing honeysuckle softened spicy jasmine, viburnum gave place to lilac, lavender to chamomile and dill, fruity and rich, delicate and crisp, exhilarating and calming in turn.
And so together we grew, joyously providing for each other as the Creator intended.
Time passed. And in time, people of all races were led to make their home at my feet. By then my girth was so great that to compass it would take a man until the sun approached its zenith if he started at its rising. My roots twisted above as well as below ground, thrice the height of man, providing shelter in which they made their homes. They learned the arts of growing and tending, reaping and foraging. They also mastered the art of exploration, climbing up and around and through, delighting in discovery. My boughs were broad enough for nineteen to walk abreast without fear of falling, wickering vines lending themselves as guide and guard, and a profusion of primrose, gardenia, rosemary and fern feasting the senses.
Generation upon generations tended me and were tended, shaping and being shaped, and together we grew.
There came a season when desperation drove my people up into my arms for refuge. They found hollows in plenty to furnish homes and halls, chambers small and large. Such was the need that whole families, moving up, took root and so made their dwellings alongside the owls and anteaters, adapting to tree life. They ventured down only as demands required, but over time, demands became few. Generations passed, and my people forgot about living below. If ever they recalled the stories of their origins, it was only as legend or fable.
They are my people now. Tree People. And I am Home Tree.
Age upon ages, time upon times. And never weary? Perhaps. Until now.
“We’re going to be last, Tòsha! Please come back!”
“Just a few more clusters further down – honest – they look perfect!”
“You know what Mentor says: ‘Do not be greedy –”
“– for we have plenty to share with the birds.’ I know! But the birds have plenty to share with us. Come on, Yadi,” Tòsha cajoled, “the best fruit is always further out. You know that.”
Tòsha’s dark eyes skittered about, judging the best way down through the maze of intertwining limbs. As he lowered his lithe body from one vineway to the next, his brown-black hair just a shadow among the variegated leafage, he was all but hidden from view. The branch he was aiming for was narrow, broad enough for only two people to walk along, or three if they were careful, but from it grew branchlets laden with purple fruit. A quick run across an intervening myrtlewood and he would be filling his basket. He hurried forward, heedless of the brambles that clutched at his close-fitting tunic.
Suddenly, with a sharp crack, the bough gave way beneath him, crashing through the network of vines and forks and hurling a cacophony of crows into flight. His eyebrows leaped into his hairline as he stumbled, fingers flailing and bare feet scrabbling for a toehold.
“Tòsha!” Yadi’s cry slithered past Tòsha’s ear like an ineffectual rescue line.
Before Tòsha could truly panic, he was jerked to a halt, his harness chafing his armpits. Two or three ripe plums bounced from branch to branch – plop! plop! plop! – into the depths below.
For some moments, he dangled, swaying slightly at the end of the tether, scolded by a family of squirrels nesting in a nearby oak.
“Don’t worry,” he chided. “I’m not after your hoard of nuts.”
He glared up at the tree’s gaping wound, a gash of rotting heartwood, puzzled by what could cause such a rupture. He peered at the other nearby boughs, suspicious of their innocent-looking greenery. But his toes soon regained their wits and found a place to stand. With an impatient huff, he scurried to find another way toward the frosty gleam of fruit.
“Tòsha? What was that?” called Yadi.
“Nothing – just a dead branch.”
“Dead? That’s impossible. We are nowhere near the Lowest Reaches!”
“I know.” Already Tòsha was dismissing the mishap from his mind. “No matter, I have nearly finished.”
“Tòsha, please! We’re supposed to work together.” Yadi had been growing as fast as a bush bean, and he was finding himself too clumsy to follow his friend. “If you blunder, it will count against me, too. You don’t need to gather it all!”
“I don’t need to, but I can.” There were advantages to being small when one loved scampering toward the Outermost Reaches. He strained forward, ignoring the rot above him as he glimpsed pale blue patches among the fruit and foliage, invitations to see what lay Beyond.
The fruit hung temptingly just ahead of Tòsha’s outstretched hand, sweet fragrance teasing his nose. “I’ll be fine – the tether is too short, that’s all. This part is easy – plenty of footholds, too!”
“Don’t you dare take off your harness! Just leave the rest.”
“I won’t take it off – just loosen it a bit.” Tòsha grasped the sisal rope, gave it a shake to gain a few extra inches. He considered calling up to Yadi to untie and lower his tether point but doubted that Yadi would agree, and he didn’t want to waste time climbing back up to change it himself. Instead, he squirmed out of one shoulder strap, strained an arm, and brushed the fruit with his fingertips. Thorns clawed at his close-fitting tunic. Hooking the remaining strap in the crook of his elbow, he groped for a firm toehold and stretched again. A twiglet snapped underfoot, spiralling into the sparse leafage before being lost among the larger branches of the Lower Reaches far below. This time he was within reach of several blushing clusters. He filled his harness basket efficiently, stripping the branch of all its treasure, all the while peering toward the empty Beyond, trying to piece together the blue patches into something recognisable.
“Tòsha, if you don’t –”
“Coming!” he called. Hitching his harness over both shoulders, he scampered back up a twisted vineway.
“Try one!” Tòsha said, tossing a sticky plum to Yadi who accepted the peace offering with a rueful snort. Tòsha brushed off a greedy wasp before biting into his own. Purple juice oozed down their chins. They flicked away the seeds, licked their fingers, and adjusted their harnesses before setting off.
“What about that dead branch?” Yadi’s puckered forehead betrayed a lingering anxiety.
“What about it?”
“We should tell Mentor.”
“What does it mean?”
“How would I know?”
They climbed a few moments in silence. Tòsha’s thoughts were on the Beyond. If only we had time to clamber further out . . .
“But I didn’t! The harness held.”
“But if you had! You of all people should know better.”
“Well, you know. Your mother –”
“Leave my mother out of it!” A tight fist seemed to clench the base of Tòsha’s throat. He swallowed hard, pushing away the pain.
Yadi tried again. “If you won’t take care of yourself, think about me. If one fails both fail, and that means another season training – foraging again! I already know I’m not fit to be a forager.”
“You do well enough.”
“Because you help me. You’re good at this. Some say you’re one of the best. But don’t make me go through it again!”
Tòsha halted, abashed. Yadi was like the brother Tòsha never had, though his broad bulk, hair like parched grain and eyes as bright as periwinkles were so different from Tòsha’s thin frame and nutmeg skin. Tòsha didn’t want to jeopardize the Choosing for either of them, and to be held back was unthinkable.
Then he laughed, and called out, “But we haven’t failed, have we! Even with a falling branch, I’m here and we are well, and both our baskets are nearly full. You can get on with tillage or compost next season, just as you planned.”
“Compost! Not me! I’m for mender.”
“I heard Dèshen aims for compost.”
“Dèshen? Honest? I assumed he was for maker. Seems a waste of talent.”
“Seems he has a talent for waste!”
Yadi groaned. “Spare me, Tòsha, spare me!”
They continued up the fruiting branches, fragrant with almond and cloves, until they reached the Foragers’ Fork, a spacious juniper where foragers gathered before setting out each day. The other six members of the pod had clearly been waiting with their mentor for some time, slumped along the bough in attitudes of bored resignation. A faint drone of contented bees hinted at the success of their labours. The pod-marra had already removed their harnesses, neatly coiled the tether ropes, and hung them on pegs set into a convenient limb nearby. Tòsha and Yadi hastily added their own to the last empty pegs.
The broken branch was forgotten.
“Last,” stated Mentor Leven. “Again. Let us hope your baskets show good reason for it.”
His deep voice included the others as he intoned the lesson with pedantic measure. “Remember that one of the responsibilities of a forager is to return in good time. Training sessions have a limit to teach you this responsibility. Those at Atah Mezàvah need to know how much there will be to divide fairly. Also, in the dark season, foragers must be accounted for while it is still light enough for a search if the need should arise. You would not be the first to venture too close to the Lower Reaches, hoping to find renewal among the barren branches. It is better to come back early with less, than to put others to inconvenience and even danger.”
“But if a few extra moments can provide so much more, what is the harm?” Tòsha argued.
Mentor Leven’s eyes widened like an owl’s. “We have talked about this before. It is our way to regard others, not just ourselves. You know the sayings. ‘Better to eat a morsel in peace than a feast in strife.’ Besides, we can only take in so much each day. ‘Surfeit leads to waste just as scarcity leads to want.’ Balance is a blessing in every part of life. But enough. We will see what your efforts have provided.”
Mentor Leven led them along a gently bending hawthorn path whose sharp spines had long since broken off under the tread of countless bare feet. Eventually they reached a winding vineway that linked to Atah Mezàvah, a massive, green-and-grey-splotched sycamore. The smooth, dappled limb gave plenty of space for sorting. There Tòsha saw several white-haired workers moving among the dozens of baskets and bowls, each of which contained portions of wild fruit, mushrooms, and beech nuts, the treasures of that day’s foray.
“Greetings, Ghera,” Mentor Leven called. “The One be with you!”
A squat, wispy-plaited figure straightened, hand to her back, squinting to see who had spoken.
“Ah, Leven! The One grant you joy. You have set your pod to foraging again, I see. And what have you brought for us today?” The elderly woman hobbled closer, her long crimson-and-mustard tunic flaring around her knees, grey-fogged eyes welcoming the pod. “Don’t be shy.”
Tòsha and his pod-marra quickly handed over their baskets to three workers who had gathered to inspect and apportion the contents. Ghera gestured to a younger helper who upended a small barrel. Pressing gnarled knuckles to her hip, Ghera slowly sat down.
“Do you still miss it?” Mentor Leven asked gently. “Foraging?”
“There are days when I miss the challenge of finding a worthwhile tract and the freedom of roaming the Outer Reaches, but these days my stiffening joints prohibit such clambering. Nay, I know my place is here, and I am content.” She flashed a gleam of mischief. “Well, mostly, eh?”
“If you would, Ghera, please speak to my charges about what they might expect at this season of your vocation. This will be their fourteenth harvest, and they will soon face the Choosing.”
“Gladly, Leven, gladly.” Turning to the pod, she cleared her throat. “Some of you no doubt aim for forager at your Choosing. Else your mentor would not suggest we waste our time in this way.” She tossed a shrewd glance at Tòsha. “Well chosen, I would say, especially for those with a will to wander.”
Yadi jabbed Tòsha with his elbow, and Ghera chuckled.
“You should know, however,” she cautioned, holding Tòsha in her milky gaze, “that there will be occasions, whether you seek them or not, when your service will be required here at Atah Mezàvah. For many, it is a welcome time of rest, for others an arduous time of endurance. All vocations, however loved, bring trial as well as joy. The forager’s joy is the freedom of rambling. The trial is the restriction that arrives with age and infirmity, leading to our service here at Atah Mezàvah. It is we who oversee the distribution.”
Ghera nodded. “Look for yourselves.” Her gesture swept their eyes beyond the baskets to where the bough on which they stood joined a massive trunk of tamarind whose furrowed grey bark was fractured by a crack barely wide enough to admit two people.
Tòsha strolled over to peer inside and saw that the fissure opened into an ample hollow in which had been erected slatted shelves that held apples, squashes, roots and other riches, the harvest from orchards and vegetable plots, ready to be shared as needed. The chamber was large enough to allow air to circulate so the foodstuffs would not rot.
He started as Ghera’s voice chittered at his shoulder. “It is our duty not only to arrange the daily distribution but also to check and rotate the produce to avoid spoilage and waste. Know that when you choose foraging, you also choose Atah Mezàvah. Every privilege bears its own responsibility.”
Tòsha groaned at the thought of such sedentary tasks. For him, the best part of foraging was scrambling toward the Outermost Reaches where he could glean a glimpse of Beyond. Perhaps he would think differently when he was old, but he hoped the duties at Atah Mezàvah were far in the future.
“Beyond, eh?” Ghera whispered, as if she knew his thoughts. “Take heed . . . you may be given what you seek.”
A chill slipped down Tòsha’s neck, but he stuck out his chin and said, “I would receive it gladly!”
“Indeed?” said the old woman. “Then all will be well, will it not?” She turned back to the others.
“Thank you, Ghera,” said Mentor Leven. “It is helpful for these young ones to hear from you. Now we must take our leave. May The One grant you strength and wisdom.”
“And may The One guide the Choosing,” Ghera replied. She lifted a crooked hand as they departed. Tòsha glanced back to see Ghera’s squint following him. She gave Tsha a final nod, then shuffled back to her sorting.
The pod-marra followed their mentor up the ancient ivy, which wound around the trunk in a bristly spiral toward his chambers. There they would continue the day’s instruction.
“Why so quiet?” Yadi asked. “Changing your mind about the Choosing?”
“Hardly!” said Tòsha. “Think I’d seriously consider any other vocation?” He tossed away his mood along with the twig he had been stripping.
Yadi retrieved the peeled stick and tucked it into a fold of his tunic. “Might be useful.”
“You’re always collecting things that might be useful!”
Yadi snorted at the jibe. “Well, they might!” he argued, then added, “What did she say to you?”
“Nothing. Just rambling about the Beyond. She must miss foraging. My mind would shrivel if I were hedged in at Atah Mezàvah after so much freedom.”
“You’ll end up there yourself, you know. Someday.”
“Ha! Not if I can escape it,” laughed Tòsha. He refused to brood over such doleful thoughts. “Come on, else we’ll be last again.”
They hurried to overtake their friends now crowding toward their mentor’s chamber.
As Tòsha settled into his favourite nook, he set his eyes on his mentor but allowed his mind to meander. Mentor Leven’s heavy eyelids, half-closed beneath grizzled eyebrows, always reminded Tòsha of a sleepy owl. And like an owl’s beak, the small blobby nose bent downward. Someone had once told Tòsha that in his younger years, Mentor had pulled out all his whiskers in despair over a particularly difficult young one, and if Tòsha wasn’t careful, Mentor would pull out what remained on his head in despair over Tòsha. He wasn’t sure whether to believe this story, but it was true that Mentor Leven had no beard. And though his stump-shaped body looked clumsy, Tòsha had seen him climb as nimbly as any of the foragers. Tòsha speculated about why he wore tunics of an un-dyed weave instead of the bright colours favoured by most people. Mentor Leven blended into the greys and browns of his chamber like a chameleon in a woodpile.
Perhaps he hides so as not to be disturbed in his studies, he thought.
Tòsha looked again at those cowled eyes, finding it easy to imagine that Mentor Leven was dozing. “But,” he mused aloud, “he never seems to have his feathers ruffled.”
“You have something to contribute, Tòsha?” asked Mentor Leven, his eyes snapping wide and alert.
“Uh, no, Mentor, sorry. I didn’t realise – I –”
“Mind wandering again, is it? Do try to stay with us.” The stern words were softened by a kindly twinkle.
“Aye, Mentor,” said Tòsha. He tried to appear attentive. He would miss working with Mentor Leven. Rumour said that somewhere in the past, Mentor Leven had had a wife, but if that was so, she was never mentioned. Perhaps she had died. Perhaps his devotion to the pod grew out of the absence of young ones of his own. Perhaps . . .
Outside the chamber, a mistle thrush rehearsed before joining the avian choir.
Tòsha’s eyes strayed around the chamber. For seven harvests, the pod-marra had trained together. Most of them anyway. Only the twins, Pio and Pèi, had joined them after they failed at the last Choosing. Not failed exactly, Tòsha corrected himself, just not ready. From what Tòsha had heard, it was only Pio who had been held back, and Pèi had refused to leave his brother behind. Tòsha guessed that it might feel disloyal for the younger twin to advance before the elder, although he had never been so brazen as to ask. In any case, they seemed as attached to each other as two halves of a peach pit.
The sisters Kimi and Kaia were more like the wings of a maple seed, Tòsha reflected, connected but ready to break apart when ripe. He guessed that, not being twins, their affinity was of a different sort. Kimi had been born three seasons before Kaia and her fair, freckled cheeks were nothing like Kaia’s smooth russet features. They shared the same eyes, however, green as unripe olives, and the same willowy form. In their tunics of purple and moss, they sat tall and proud as a pair of iris flags.
His attention grazed toward the only other girl in the pod, little Mènet. If the sisters were irises, Mènet was a fern frond, slowly and quietly unfolding in a shaded lee. Only a little taller than Tòsha, she had eyes the shape of apple seeds, bright as ripe blackberries. A cherry-red cord was woven through the single sable plait that ran over her shoulder and down to her waist. Tòsha could never tell if Mènet’s stillness was a lack of confidence or the opposite, but he had only seen her riled when someone teased her younger brother. She was always protective when he was around.
It was a pity that Yadi’s brother was so bossy, but that might be because he was so much older. He must have seen eighteen or nineteen harvests at least. To be fair, he was always kind to Tòsha. Maybe sisters were different. Dèshen would know, he had a sister. Dèshen would know even if he didn’t have a sister. Dèshen seemed to know everything. What a burden that would be! he thought.
His gaze wandered to where Dèshen perched, close to the mentor, attentive as usual. His dark head, crinkly as a black walnut shell, was slightly bowed, and his hands were gripped together as if he truly took hold of the teachings. Tòsha marvelled that he aimed for compost and tried to imagine what he found so inspiring in converting smelly waste into fertiliser. Dèshen’s intensity dragged Tòsha’s ears back to Mentor Leven’s words.
“. . . and remember, when Choosing you should consider your gifting, for part of the blessing of work is the satisfaction of doing well. The other part is the benefit to others, for The One has provided your skills and interests for the good of all.”
Ashamed of his inattention, Tòsha tried to concentrate on his mentor’s words. He loved training, but as for sitting and listening…! With his fingernails, he pinched the skin of his forefinger, hoping the pain would stop him from drifting again.
“Give regard to which vocation brings you joy in itself. The more you enjoy what you do, the more skilled you will be, and the greater will be the gift you bring to others. Though final approval remains with Yoshev Rosh and the Care Takers, few have been redirected. Yours is the smallest pod we have seen for many harvests, however, so it may be that they will make proposals for the good of the community. Consider well their counsel. But listen also to your heart, for The One has many ways to reveal his purposes.
“Tomorrow begins Harvest and, as usual, we will help bring in the field crops. This Harvest, however, you will work with the pod rather than with your families.” He smiled. “Enjoy the freedom. That is all for today.”
“Did Mentor Leven mean that the Care Takers are going to direct someone in particular?” Yadi asked, leading the way down the worn poplar path. “He might know. After all, he’s practically a Care Taker himself.”
“Aye, they will direct you to compost,” Tòsha joked, prodding Yadi in the back.
“And you two must be aiming to be close to the food!” Tòsha taunted. Pio and Pèi, a head taller and a harvest older than the others, were burly young men, and both aimed for grower. “Surely you’re big enough already!”
He sidestepped quickly, missing the swipe Pio casually flicked at his shoulder.
“Not jealous, are you Little Tòsha?” Pèi countered. “You could do with fattening up. We could use you as a pea prop! But of course, the hard work might be too much for you.”
“We all work hard,” Yadi argued. “Besides, ‘Work that is loved –’ ”
“ ‘– is no work at all,’ ” finished Tòsha. “Stop quoting or we will think you aim for a Mentor.”
Yadi reddened. “Everyone knows that a Mentor is appointed not chosen,” he mumbled through the laughter.
“How about you?” Dèshen asked, looking back to include the girls. “Decided yet?”
Kimi and Kaia spoke in unison.
“Fire keeper,” said Kaia.
“Healer, of course,” said Kimi, tossing her autumn-bright curls.
Fiery hair, fiery nature, thought Tòsha. It’s a marvel that she doesn’t aim for fire keeper along with her sister.
Mènet hesitated. “Perhaps the Care Takers should decide. They know best what is needed.”
“But if you ask the Care Takers, they may say you are not ready for the Choosing,” Tòsha contended. “You could be held back until next harvest.”
“Not always a bad decision,” began Pio. He was still defensive about missing the Choosing last Harvest.
“Not bad at all,” said his twin. “Look how we’ve carried the rest of you!”
“Like we need carrying – Hey!” Tòsha yelled as Pèi swung him off his feet and over a shoulder.
Jesting continued until they reached the fork where, like falling leaves, they scattered. The twins headed down to the planting where their father laboured, others to homes in the Inner Reaches. Yadi and Tòsha veered toward the Outer Reaches.
“You still aim for mender?” Tòsha asked Yadi as they jostled each other along the ridged hickory byway.
“Seems a good fit to me,” Yadi replied. “Why?”
“I always picture you as a maker – you have many good designs.”
“Not many, and not always good! You heard Mentor when I suggested that new kind of harness. As soon as he pointed out how easy it would be to get tangled, it seemed so obvious!”
“Aye, but you would grow with experience. The idea was good. Or nearly so.”
“Seems safer to go with something I know I can do.”
“Perhaps – if you really like it. But –”
“Can you believe Dèshen actually aims for compost?” Yadi said. “I asked him. Says he has ideas of how he could improve the process. Sounds like a mender to me.”
“Everyone sounds like a mender to you,” teased Tòsha, giving his friend a nudge. “Someone’s got to deal with the waste, and if he finds joy in it, all the better. Like Mentor says, ‘Different skills plus different desires makes for different vocations.’ ”
Yadi snorted at Tòsha’s mimicry. “So you were listening,” he said. “Ruffled feathers indeed! I thought you were off with the ravens.”
“If only! Then I really would see Beyond.”
“You and your Beyond!”
Their banter carried them to the divide where Yadi headed further up and Tòsha further out.
“Drop by early tomorrow,” Tòsha called after his friend. “We’re sorting the dried berries before Harvest.”
Tòsha loved this part of the walk home, a flaking white aspen path lined with cordons of apple and pear whose early sweet blossoms had now ripened into crisp red and aromatic green. Wisteria and laburnum wove a roof overhead, a canopy of greenery and empty stems which had carried purple and gold. Few lived out this far, so he often had the way to himself, and he loved the time it gave him to dream. He usually tried to imagine what might lay Beyond, piecing together the fragments of blue that he had foraged in the Outer Reaches.
But today that pensive peace was splintered by the niggling memory of Yadi’s words from that morning. Even if Yadi had been angry with him (angry? or worried?) why bring up Tòsha’s mother? ‘You of all people should know better.’ The words picked at a neglected pain that Tòsha had hoped was past.
Of his father Tòsha knew little, only that he had been a Ranger and that he had never come home from his last commission. As far as Tòsha knew, only Rangers left Home Tree, and then only for a specific undertaking at the bidding of the Care Takers. Tòsha did not even know what kind of task had taken his father from him.
But his mother’s memory was an imprint of emotion, a reassurance of nestling close to her. She had smelled like cinnamon. Imah rarely spoke of her, but she had once told him that his mother had been a maker, skilled with willow and reed. He liked to imagine her with long ebony hair, plaited and twisted like her basketwork. Her legs, he knew, had also been twisted, but that had not interfered with her making. Sometimes, in that not-asleep-not-awake state before rising, he had a vision of himself playing at her feet with the wickerwork animals she had fashioned for him from pieces gleaned from her weaving, animals which still inhabited the crannies of his chamber. The bittersweet reminder guided his fingers to the tiny willow bird he carried in a fold of his tunic.
His memory leaped forward to that night when Imah arrived in the stifling stillness. He had cried when his mother refused to get up, though he had desperately called for her. How old had he been? Three harvests? Four? Mingled tears bound grandmother to grandson. And Imah had remained.
You of all people should know better. What had Yadi meant?
He pushed aside the uneasiness shadowing his memory.
Read more about the author K L Andrews HERE.