honestly don’t know if we’ll be able to keep it open through the
and Mildred were like two eyes in their sockets - securely fastened to
brain and comfortable with the fact that each and every movement was
tandem. And they’d been that way ever since they fell in love and
fifty years ago. Most couples at this point in their marriage bickered
we need new drapes, no we don’t, the meat grinder needs polishing, no
doesn’t, and so on. Not Darren and Mildred. They shared a bond few do,
brought them together and kept their relationship simple, pure, and
on a study abroad excursion right after the war that they met. Darren
Massachusetts, a junior at Harvard Divinity School. Mildred was a
major at Texas A&M. Both were from well to do families; one had
to be to
afford sea travel to the Pitcairn Islands. The Islands were slowly
depopulated to the point where the local government thought it prudent
an outreach program to encourage migration and investment from
Hosting rich students from America seemed like a logical first step.
small sign at the end of the ship’s egress ramp read “Ready for
All the other students immediately made their way to the receiving
which doubled as the library. Darren and Mildred, at this point only
acquaintances made on the long sea journey, remained behind, transfixed
on the hand-painted
kids ‘ungry?” came the man’s voice beneath a stained, used to be bone
ball cap just as his bobber plunged beneath the surface of the water.
the reel a few times, half-heartedly, but the bobber popped back up in
seconds. He didn’t bother to check if the bait was still on the hook.
knew the Captain’s real name, but he was friendly, evidently very
local standards, and owned most of the boats on the island. So everyone
him simply The Captain.
matter of fact I am,” said Darren. “The food aboard ship is horrible.
shook her head in agreement, “I noticed that too, all vegetables, and a
bit of seafood. Gad how boring.”
few minutes they were aboard the Captain’s boat, ocean spray drenching
they made their way toward Dulcie Island. Yelling over the grind of the
he proceeded to educate them regarding their destination, supposedly
uninhabited, and the adventures ahead. Darren and Mildred were eager
and without conscious effort grew closer as they listened, even holding
at one point without realizing it. By the time they arrived, both knew
study abroad programs were at an end. They had signed up looking for a
from their stead, practically predestined lives. They had found it, and
it hurt to change the menu just a little bit?” Mildred said as she ran
wrinkled fingers through Darren’s white hair. He just stared out the
pane window as he slowly stirred his dark rich beverage. It was late
usually their busiest time of day. Yet today the diner was empty save
couple on the other side of the room apparently only interested in the
Wi-Fi. So Darren and Mildred just relaxed in the booth, musing over
to bring me such pride, to watch guests as they fawned over my latest
special,” Darren reminisced. “Do you remember how I’d work for weeks to
something special, to honor the character and memory of a dish?”
fondly.” The young couple had left by now without ordering.
we’re lucky if we can sell a bowl of nail chips.” Darren took a sip
mug and nodded in the direction of where the couple had been seated.
we used to bottle it and sell it by the gallon.” Indeed, bootleg sales
of the Gods’ had been responsible for much of the word of mouth
banged his hand on the table, rattling the unused silverware, and said,
all they want is bloody skin and brains. My god they’re savages!”
just looked on with a mix of love and sadness. “You know the problem
know. On my trip to America last summer, it became as plain as the cut
nose on my face... goddamned zombies.”
wants to be a zombie. Do you serve brains here? Can I get a glass of
Mildred feigned. “And then they giggle amongst themselves as they flash
fancy credit cards. It really makes a mockery of something divine. It’s
is Mildred, so what do we do?”
walked behind the counter and shuffled around under the cash register.
back and tossed a pamphlet down in front of Darren. She scooched him in
beside him, placing her arms around his shoulders.
the wooden sign, where we met, really met, after getting off that study
nodded and snuggled deeper into her arms.
it’s time for a new adventure. Sure we’re old coots now, but what drew
back then? Remember what the Captain said to us that first night we
thought back to the gnarled old man. It did not seem like fifty years
Captain truly became part of his and Mildred’s own being and soul.
He said ‘Immortality is the greatest adventure, and long pig its
it Mildred, the Captain was right. What has all our fine dining been
for if not
to prepare us for new adventures?”
smile came to Mildred’s face. She pointed to the pamphlet and read
says right here, Franchise Opportunities Available.”
settles it!” Darren beamed as he and Mildred got up and headed for the
“Get the boat ready Mil, I’ll get the money. The bank and the library
still be open by the time we get there. I can deposit the money while
the phone call.”
they began a new chapter in their already long and happy marriage.
year they’d remodeled their diner, reworked the menu, and were busier
as word of mouth spread the news - the South Pacific now had its very