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TALES FROM THE CARIBBEAN

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Dave was on the last leg from school to Cruz Bay. This year's football season was history, they won their championship game, but he was badly bruised and sore--his cell phone rang—it was Aura. Dave had not talked to her since he had received the unsolicited, porno pictures that came from her iPhone. Aura asked him about the weather because it was snowing in Burlington, NJ, but Dave wanted to know who sent the pictures.

"What pictures?" she asked.

"The ones I received from your iPhone last week," exclaimed Dave.

"From my iPhone?" she inquired. Aura was confused and although she was shocked, it explained why her iPhone had mysteriously disappeared from her purse, and why she didn't see it on the floor next to her bed until today.

Dave told her all about the images, but reassured her that never, for one second, did he believe she had anything, whatsoever, to do with them.

"Oh Dave, I'm so sorry about this, but that explains how my iPhone ended up on the floor next to my bed and why I overlooked it—it wasn't there until somebody put it there today. My roommate Isabelle is the most likely culprit, but I won't make any accusations until I have the proof. My Dad has friends near here and before he died, he gave me a phone number and said if I ever needed help to call the number-I'll call the number and ask their advice, they'll know what to do.

"I miss you, Princess," said Dave. "Even more than I ever imagined was possible."

"I miss you too," said Aura. "And it's been difficult at school, especially since our track team is already practicing for our first track meet in March. I've been running with the cross-country girls every day and my legs are so sore.

"I can relate," said Dave. "After missing a month of practices during deer season our last game was a killer."

"Did you win?" asked Aura.

"Yes, but barely, I got lucky and knocked down their final field goal attempt—we won by a single point."

"Oh Dave, I'm sorry I couldn't be there." "Oh, something else, I had the jeweled cross and chain appraised by a local jeweler before I put it in a safety deposit box. They asked me a lot of questions about it until I told them it came from my mother and that my father had given it to her. Once I explained who he was and whom he worked for, their questions promptly stopped. The jeweler called in another expert who identified the markings on it. He said it was a mystery to him how a cross with Spain's Royal markings on it could end up in the Caribbean, but he nevertheless said, it is priceless."

"Dave that necklace alone could easily pay for your college tuition at the best American or European university, are you sure you don't want that necklace back?"

"No way Aura." It's a gift for you—the only lady in my life besides Mom and from this day and forevermore it is yours—no matter what."

"Enzo, darling, you are my knight in shining armor, and I love your mother too and she has become my best friend, but why did we wait so long to find each other?"

"Maybe we loved each other in another life time," exclaimed Dave.

"We must have been lovers too," purred Aura. "It's like I've known you forever—my Dad and Mom would've liked you too."

"Aura, I'm on my way to the boat shack. Dad and I are leaving for South Florida when I get there. We are going to dry-dock the Circus; put a new diesel in her, put a new water line stripe and bottom paint on her. You probably won't be able to call me again until we reach Miami. After we finish the refitting and painting we're renting a car and driving to Chicago. I cleared the trip at school today and they gave me a long list of assignments for when I'm gone. They complained about me missing so much school, but since we're paying them $29,000 for two semesters of schooling, they didn't complain much."

"Oh, Dave, that's such a dangerous trip! I will be terribly worried about you. Please be careful and call me whenever you can."

"Will do," said Dave.

When Dave arrived at the shack his Dad was ready to go. The monk and him had loaded the treasure boxes on the Circus under the cover of darkness the night before and he had stocked up on bottled water with plenty of provisions, and emergency rations. Hurricane season was over and they were ready to rock and roll. Not wishing to answer questions about their cargo his Dad laid a course north by west above Puerto Rico and west by north across the silver banks, west then north towards the Turks and Caicos Islands, west towards Cuba and Great Inagua Island where they could pick up the north flowing equatorial current and ride it north to where it merged with the Gulf Stream and then on to Miami. The non-stop trip would take about a week and it would be a hard run. They planned on doing it by taking turns single-handing the Circus until they reached Florida. If luck was with them they would make it safely into the inter-coastal waterway in the U.S. without having to answer any questions. This course is always near enough to shallow water that if they detect a fast approaching vessel on their radar they could easily reach shallow water and if need be, sink the Circus before they were boarded.

Big Jesse and Dan were there to see them off and so too were the Gypsy sisters? Because of the sensitive nature of this trip, nobody was supposed to know about it, but nothing can be kept from Mona and Catrina. One of them reads stars and planets and astrology while the other one looks into her crystal ball so, keeping anything from them is impossible.

"May the pagan gods Neptune and Poseidon add their blessings to God's and ours for your safe passage," said Mona. "We came to warn you not to return by the same course you left on. Two moons form now there will be great danger in passing too near Cuba or any of the other islands between here and there. Set your return course east from Miami, and make your first landmark the southern tip of Great Abaco Island and continue east by a little south out into the Atlantic Ocean for 900 plus miles before you cut south for home. The captain seemed perplexed by their warning but promised he would do as they suggested. He wondered what catastrophe was about to occur in Cuba or to the islands between Cruz Bay and Miami, but the sisters turned and hurried away without revealing that information. Could it be an unseasonal hurricane or tropical storm, a war, another earthquake like the one that devastated Haiti or, a volcanic eruption like the one that buried Montserrat? The great ring of fire that passes through the Caribbean holds many mysteries and nobody knows when the mountain's will blow—except, that is, the Gypsy sisters?

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John Stark
About This Author
The author of the "Tales from the Caribbean" fictional column. He attended school at Waynedale Elementary, Maplewood, Elmhurst HS in the Waynedale area. John had 25 years of professional writing experience when he passed away in 2012.
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