Community of Kracton last year fell prey to boosterism. It was widely said what was needed is a bit more obvious of a historic perspective than Mr. Yeardley’s antique domicile. Victorian as it is a colonial homestead converted in the late 20th century and much decorated with vinyl gingerbread it would hardly do for a representation of the community history as worse than anything it resided on a remote side-street behind the landfill and was rarely visited. Even despite so many books within and that it housed the largest collection of kerosene lanterns and stuffed squirrels within a hundred miles it was not enough of an attraction and the undesignated site was irretreivably not considered worthy of mention on Kracton's paper placemat maps.
It was a prime modern example of inaccessible history
So up the merchants with prominence of mind built a twenty-foot high brick lighthouse, despite the lack of any direct maritime history of any significance other than the burn and sink of the steam ferry Frontenac on Dead Lake… the fathers and mothers built the Kracton Lighthouse on the road west of town in from Wetwater Falls, in a small triangle formerly of chicory and Queen Anne’s lace and a few scattered rocks, right across from the Revolution era cannon that nobody really noticed before then. From where the cannon arrived they know not as there has never been recorded any Battle of Kracton, not even a skirmish or whiskey or tax or free love rebellion. The Bannerman decor afterward, after the build of the faux lighthouse, became subject of a planting of brilliant orange and yellow marigolds.
As to the sort-of tall but not too tall beacon the incandescent once it was ignited proceeded to flicker with a spastic rhythm on all nights save Halloween ‘cause the psychic-for-hire selected by the fathers and mothers of Kracton never pulled out his crystal pendulum to check the conflict of ley lines before the John Anderson & Son’s Albino Electricians hooked the past up to the nearby present of the streetlamp. It was a small detail.
There was he hoped much hope of a rise for Jefferson to be divined yet in Kracton in his position of responsibility for operation at this shop on High Street, the place on High Street where everything is at, perfect or otherwise the original place of our creation and the pivot point of the Kracton Commons. A place much better thought of than actually witnessed, a pit of dry masonry interfaced with weeds.
There was a design and Jefferson had a purpose, a calling. The proton beam from the alien vessel had struck him during the lightning storm that had struck him. It takes things like that, like a bolt of electric hurled out of heaven to hit a drunken profligate man as if he were a dumb brute beast and turn him to god’s grace. It was a revelation, a breach of faith in a lost time that he had been personally touched by the almighty highest being of all - a flash of white light and he was there with it... like he was there forever. A philologist would have called it something else from a proctologist if evidence had been scientifically collected.
From that incident forward there would be no change from the strength then endowed in Jefferson’s faith. A faith derived through a Baptism of Electricity. And with it he had a purpose that he was now in charge to shape up to a respectable prosperity -- to charge up, bring up to his god’s Standard of Voltage, as he talked at the morning crew on his first day… a Standard of Voltage as he explained it to turn this sandwich shop around in his perfected consistency.
Talked at them like a driven avenger. His normal small nutlike eyes alit with fire and glitter, with sparks and his tongue was like a whiplash of thunder on the mountainous crests of their docile minds. It was as if he had followers in this assortment of the minimally employed.
During which Jefferson unconsciously displayed oddly natured compulsive techniques with a soiled mop handle - as if he were possessed, and he then ran the day crew, the post-pubescent part-timers and townies who endured through the stations of their shit. He said, "We will have a winning team or bust,” as he instructed them to hold out their hands in prayer. And so they were there stood in a circle of fervent prayer with their hands extended out over the three-day old egg salad.
With a desire to win over by a grand gesture all of a heathen generation, and as he perhaps considered wisely, Preacher Jefferson being in need of a few additional points of divine intervention -- to go the halfway that oddly short little guy that he now knew and confessed as his personal god required in order for HIM to take over and handle the other half to achieve ultimate victory in a world of blasphemous sin, flatulence and fornication destined to burn in the very Hell that Preacher Jefferson had visited, vicariously or otherwise while sprawled out naked in the corn field that memorable night on the outskirts of Sumner Hill Nudist Colony in the pounded rain and hail.
Preacher Jefferson hired a local artist, a world-untraveled townie, to paint a mural on the lengthy expanse of knee scuffed sheetrock just inside the door -- this meant that a few things had to be shifted around to make room for the project. The blasphemous cig machine, the dispenser of cancer was moved outdoors to the back alley.
Slow progress and for starters Garph Bell who was commissioned with a soft handshake went at it like a wailing banshee, a perverse precursor, with a wallpaper brush and painted the entire expanse of the wall in sight and an arm’s reach a sickly lemon green. It was an organic eco-friendly color.
Between Garph’s cuss and swear at the wall, at the brushes that lost their hair like wet shag onto the inexpensive floor tile at his bare feet, at glops of paint, he growled at customer’s children, he said, he had said that he had done this new wave impressionism style one time before in Newport at a used car lot. In fact, he had shown Preacher Jefferson newspaper clippings to support that at the Bhaghagotti Goomba Dent & Trade where the used Fords & Chevrolet’s had similarly been painted up with bold swirls and dashed attempts at spastic paisleys.
Heavy brush strokes, lumps of paint, horrendous streaks and bulbous drips as pendulous as honeydew melons protruded from the breasts of Garph’s sacred "Uma”, as he had informed us of the title of his inspiration later past midnight on the day of the night in which he received his morning glorious commission.
On Tuesday afternoon his frantic arm motions swung heavy in their arc across the white bareness of the wall and left traces of lemony green that resembled plant-fluid spurts gushed from a fleshy prophylactic geyser. Though it may have been the wet dream of an overhormoned cucumber it was later proclaimed an homage to men in black, for which Garph and Preacher Jefferson had reached a thematic though somewhat shadowy understanding between them.
For those of us in the know there was the hint of the Cadillac in the smear if one squinted eyes up and turned the head just slightly angled down to the left and made sure to catch the just-right angle of reflection off the storefront glass.
Preacher Jefferson was very pleased with himself though not exactly sure why, and Samson, the owner of the shop, though perplexed, thought it best at this development to not interfere lest he lose one more manager for the dying business.
When it seemed that no more creative effort could possibly be expended to turn away good customers Garph with the intuition of a true genius broke out his gallon of day-glo orange.
It was like Peter Max, Chagall and Long John on a bad trip on a picnic along the Interstate Defense System in a mock battle to out freak and maim each other. Screeched and crashed their tin imported-tiny-cars, Crescendo and Blitzer and Yugo all alike bashed and blazed purple and chrome Kenilworth semis loaded with pig shit run over pickle park and slammed on the brakes and blew their horses before they collided into the local brick bank at the intersection and set the small stream behind of the town of Lodi on fire. An event conceived by grand design to burn away most of the sheltered habitations of the citizenry of the small village. The run away. The residents of the Sumner Hill Nudist colony on the nearby rise were portrayed as silhouettes of little humanoid bodies against the distant light as they fled in flight across the sparsely wooded landscape, trees aflame and large gouged holes in the earth spewed forth Mercurial potions in brightly decoded methane clouds in a sort of Hieronymus Bosch melee and it was called FRACK.
All of this amazement of narrative with only the use of two colors confined to a limited gustatory palate. It was truly a color-field tour de force. It was a thing to go to visit just to see if Jesus was actually present. The Savior as lurker in the background. May those who say nothing inherit the ether? An extra brought in on a donkey or towed behind a bobcat that would stand up and make a scene like a cosmic lighten’ rod. It was, in the best analysis of the day, a disjunctive angst ridden explosive avant-garde art work and Preacher Jefferson actually did seem to wholly embrace that splash even as if he had been converted to a top-flight soap salesman.
On one early evening, possibly a result of a general sense of positive thinking and divinely inspired euphoria, when Martin was just starting on his shift, it was when Preacher Jefferson brought into the shop his younger second wife, Patricia.