by Ron Langston
Episode 12: The Inland Island Sea
There's nothing like a deadline to motivate, especially when the term
can be taken literally. Our plucky band of four had 15 more minutes to
find a unicorn. I was less heartened than the others as I knew the only
remaining unicorn was kept in an underground stable in Dubai, and the
fact I'd put her there only helped make the bile inching up from my gut
taste like irony.
This week's captor: The Culinary Cannibals of the Cutter Islands. "Or CCC
for short," they had informed me in perfect, oozing English. "We aren't
to be speared or clubbed following our obviously mocking quest. Rather,
we will be fed to the sharks they raise in the island's inland sea.
After 12 hours the sharks will be taken and their intestines excised,
our pieces and parts completing what will become enough sausage to feed
the entire population of 130." The fact our group's geologist, Khasolgi,
was now coughing blood no doubt ensured the sharks would enjoy their
last supper without hesitation.
Then I noticed the searing noon heat on my neck weaken, I checked my
trusty Seiko and dared hope we were far enough below the 41st parallel
to make my ploy work. "Let us go free or I will blot out the sun!" I
screamed. Indeed a partial eclipse did commence as I'd hoped; unfortunately, this small island was educated by correspondence courses
and last month the entire Mark Twain oeuvre was on discount. "Very well-played, Connecticut Yankee," the island leader, Liyolth, intoned in an
uncertain accent. "This month we will again feed the sharks with small
and furry mammals."
Next Week: If only I had been killed last week.