Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chapter Two - Spread the Love

First, here the post on the contest and prizes:

And, here's Chapter One

Chapter Two

It was so cold that my teeth were chattering something fierce. When I attempted to say "So, you sell tuna, salmon and halibut?" - I instead said, "S-so, you s-sell t-tuna, s-salmon and h-halibut?"

"Yes, ma'am, striped bass and sturgeon, too, depending on the season," Milton said as he rearranged a bug-eyed dead fish on the display table. "Catch 'em and sell 'em."

Milton O'Brien had picked me up from the airport, greeting me at the baggage carrousel with a heavily callused hand-shake and dark blue eyes framed by deep happy wrinkles. He'd gathered my bag and led the way to his old van, his strides long and quick. I'd had to move my short legs double-time just to keep up.

The ride to Cisco Farmers' Market had been fast and horrifying. San Francisco had lots more traffic than I was used to, and Milton drove as though he wasn't concerned about causing or acquiring dents.

Once we reached Cisco, though, I was immediately grateful that I'd won the contest. I was going to get to spend three glorious days at a market that overlooked the "other" ocean. Sure, it was cold, much colder than I'd expected, but the view was breathtaking and Milton had given me a thick wool coat to wear. I was sure I'd warm up soon.

"Oh. Look alive," Milton said as he peered down the aisle. "Here comes the boss."

"The boss?" I said.

"Yes, the one and only."

I wasn't sure if I heard humor or fear in his voice.

UPDATE: Voting is done for the day. See you tomorrow and thank you!