by Doris and Don Dawn
with the essential contribution of Ruddy Adam
“Flying carpet, you said? You gotta be kidding me.”
“Wish I would, Ruddy. Wish I would.” Suzette puts the phone down on the corner of a classy mahogany table. “Let me join you!” She hurries through the wide open doors to the veranda, where Ruddy, Celeste and Baldrún stand up, holding hands, bit at lost.
The soft green carpet scintillates, at first like an illusion induced by this warm and bright noon in Florida. Within the second, something akin to a fire, a cold breeze shining like the sun, swooshes the four persons off the green carpet. Silence.
Sts Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Church, St. Paul Island, Alaska, September 24th, 2022. Eight o’clock in the morning. Koto measures the parking lot next to the modest church with her calm pace. Edging the asphalt, she turns around, walking back towards Evgeny.
“You cannot stay in one place for more than a minute, can you?” Smiling up at his prodigious beard, she answers that no, she can’t and never bothered trying. The noble man rustles a “Da, da,” allowing her to turn around from his end of the parking lot and measure it back. For the n-th time.
The tattered green roof of the church scintillates. Then a swoosh of vivid plasma sweeps the parking lot before vanishing as fast as it occurred. Leaving behind the four Florida guys.
“Welcome to St. Paul’s Island. My name is Koto Bell and I am pleased to meet you. Let me introduce you to Evgeny. You heard of him from my husband.”
“Nice to meet you, Koto Bell. I am Ruddy, Ruddy Adam. Let me introduce you to the love of my life, Celeste, to Baldrún and to Suzette, to whom you’ve just spoken at the phone. Evgeny!” Ruddy steps ahead to shake hands with the only one his height on this island.
“You the only man on this island, Evgeny?”
“No. I count two men, Ruddy.”
“Where the other men?”
While the two men lock the eye contact, studying each other, for this is their first encounter, the ladies are heard chuckling, pausing a little while, then literally laughing out loud.
“This tiny geisha knows how to thaw the ambience,” says Evgeny with a smile that can only be guessed from his eyes. This because of his impressive beard.
“You wear no clothes. Don’t you chill under these glacial winds?” Asks Ruddy, bit surprised, rather looking to start a small talk.
“Don’t you? In your bermudas and silky shirt?”
“Good point! I don’t. Funny. Interesting? How comes?”
“It’s not about the air, the elements, but about the mind. My clothes have burned back in 1908, when I was a kid. But I didn’t realize that I have no clothes until last year, when a daemon opened my eyes.”
“Saturn, the paradoxical man. I’ve been reading about you, but I digress. Why did you summon us to this island?”
“Beg your pardon?”
“I did not summon you anywhere. On the contrary, I was under the impression that you had me summoned to this meeting.”
Ruddy makes eyes. Big and bigger blue eyes. “Suzette, Koto Bell! Come over here please!”
The laughter and the geometry of moving hands halt at Ruddy’s words. The two little ladies, the blonde Suzette from Quebec and the brunette Koto from Japan, approach the two men on the island, in leaps and bounds.
“Who had the idea to bring Evgeny and me together here, on St. Paul’s island?” Questions Ruddy in a stern voice. Evgeny seems to smile, always, as the ripened schoolgirls discern with a glimpse in his eyes.
“It was me,” speaks Koto shyly. Or trying the meekest move she knew.
“I am her accomplice,” dares Suzette.
“So you conspired together, little ladies. Why?”
“The ocean is dying, Master Ruddy.”
“Don’t call me master. Ruddy is fine.”
“The ocean is dying, Ruddy, and we have to do something about it. Before it’s not too late.”
Ruddy looks startled, at the two little ladies, at the other two getting closer to the conversation, at Evgeny. “Aha, I see, you’re talking about the Fukushima disaster. That happened eleven years ago.”
“And it still pollutes the ocean, the largest ocean on our planet. The calamity has never stopped, it cannot until we – you! – do something.”
“Ahem,” Ruddy is caught in politeness and he visibly struggles his words out, “look, Koto, I do not know how to say this. I have no clue what you want from me. Or from Evgeny. Really…”
“Please excuse my impetuosity,” speaks Koto with aplomb, “I know how well you understand the Word and–“
“How do you know that about me?”
“I’ve got my sources. Will go no further than mentioning my husband, Christian Bell. I know you through him.”
“Good. Is he involved in this kidnapping?”
“No. Not at all. He is still in Africa. Haven’t seen him for over a year.”
“Through a certain Boris Berlinsky – the boyfriend of my daughter, I met Evgeny – the last Tsar.”
“Koto, dear. Evgeny, just Evgeny. I’m nothing more than a bastard.”
“No matter. You two, together, you can heal the ocean.”
Evgeny and Ruddy exchange glances. As the Russian centenarian bearded nudist hermit keeps smiling with his eyes, Ruddy, bit impatient like any American, asks. “Really? And how on earth are we about to heal the Pacific Ocean?”
“Not on earth, Ruddy. Not on earth.”
Silence. Still silence.
Evgeny begins to measure the parking lot with his bare feet. One step at a time.
Before completing his third round, he stops next to Ruddy and whispers. “Tell us about beasts.” Then he walks two more steps to reach the point from whence he departed.
Time for Ruddy to initiate silence. A shorter silence. And he begins. Cheerfully.