Like the Fond, Uncounted Rain, We Fall All the Day

The doorbell rings.

It’s only the thought that it might be my monthly delivery from Quel Fromage! that gets me out of my chair at all–but of course it isn’t. The green jumpsuit, the white plastic boots, even the multitude of thin wire bands he wears around his neck and wrists, might be a uniform, but it clearly isn’t U.P.S.

He begins without a greeting. “Got the year, Jackie?”

“Year?”

“Sure yeah. Sorry n’all, but the gizmo glitches when it jumps sometimes. Date and time all fuzzled.”

He doesn’t look insane. As a guess, I’d make him in his early twenties, college student type, only with a green jumpsuit. His head is shaved in a wide band up to the crown. Above that, a thick mop sits like a luxurious blond yarmulke.

“The date?” It takes me a minute. “The eighteenth,” I say. “June 18th.”

He goggles at me. “Eighteen? Like twenny-two eighteen?”

Now it’s my turn to goggle. “No. What? Do you mean the year?” His words—Got the year, Jackie?—come back to me. I take a breath. “It’s 2016. What year did you expect it to be?” Continue reading “Like the Fond, Uncounted Rain, We Fall All the Day”

Voyage of the Ballyhoo (Part Six)

(This is the final bit of the story, folks. If you aren’t up to speed, you should go back and read parts one, two, three, four and five.  It won’t take long. Thanks.)

“Hey,” GP said, “Wake up.” He was jostling her shoulder. “We’re here.”

She sat up, blinking at the bright sky. They were beached on a crescent of pale, pink sand, snugged between two rocky headlands.IMG_6901

“I fell asleep,” Kip said dully.

“Understandable,” GP said. “That jump from Iceland put us all out of whack with the local time. I could use a nap myself.”

Kip stood, unsteady. To judge from the sun, it was mid-afternoon, but it felt like long past midnight. She shook the muzziness from her head. “So, this is the place?”

“Yep,” GP answered. He went inside the cabin, and when he emerged a moment later, he was carrying two shovels and had the rolled up map tucked under his arm.

“You ready?” he asked, handing her a shovel.

They climbed down into the sand and began trudging up the beach. GP led the way, shovel on his shoulder, whistling bits of Pay Me My Money Down and the song about the singular lass from Tallahassee. Kip still groggy, dragged along a few steps behind.

“So,” she asked, “how do we know where to dig? This is a pretty big beach.”

“Mmm,” GP agreed. “Fortunately, we are not obligated to dig up the whole thing.”

“Well, okay. But…where do we start?”

GP stopped and planted the blade of his shovel in the sand. He pulled out the map and unrolled it for Kip to see. Continue reading “Voyage of the Ballyhoo (Part Six)”