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Oliver Benjamin                            
sentimental ambience normally found on greeting cards and the dust
jackets of commercial religious texts.
Refreshing himself hours later at a jerk chicken stand he asked
the young Rastafarian vendor the location of a particular farm, the
one he knew supplied Niles’ former distributor.
“You got dirt on your face,” he answered bluntly. Roy grinned
and wiped a forearm happily across his cheek. The jerkman directed
him higher up the road, to the apex of the island.
Meanwhile, Dolores and Bern were on a boat headed out to a private
atoll, giddy like children.
“It was a sign, I’m tellin’ you. We’re walkin’ a signposted path.”
“Sure feels like it,” she replied to her husband. He put his arm
around her misshapen midriff and squeezed affectionately. Since
leaving the states on a trip around the world they had seen signs
everywhere, subtle suggestions pushing them this way and that, like
a boat under the influence of thermal underwater currents. The
undulating sea of information seemed to have an intelligence of its
“How come stuff like this never happened at home?” she said.
“I dunno,” Bern answered, “Maybe ‘cause we were landlocked.”
He stretched his arms out to the horizon and spread them wide. The
breeze kissed at his bloated belly. “We should fix up our version of
Mr. Bojangles,” he said. “It’d be good to make an impression.”
Dolores agreed and within minutes they had drawn the ship’s
passengers around them, clapping.
…jumped so high, jumped so high. Then he’d lightly touch
By the time they touched down at the small port the sun was
setting, the passengers were drunk, and Doobie Doobie Doo looked
more promising than ever.
“Welcome to Saint Marty’s,” a chubby young man said as they
disembarked. He was dressed unaccountably in a grass skirt and held
a long spear pointed towards the darkening sky. A rubber fish was
impaled on it, Next to him stood a smiling older woman in sarong
and warpaint. “I’m Colin Bidden,” he greeted them, “the governor of
Saint Marty. This is Polly, my wife. Have you all come for the show?”
The tourists cooed a collective rum-soaked “Yessss.”
“Then follow me!”
Bern skipped ahead of the group to speak with the young man.
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