Greetings, all. Joe here. Iâ€™ve decided to switch to first person because I never liked third person all that much. That is, I donâ€™t mind reading it, as itâ€™s the most appropriate format for some tales, but writing it just isnâ€™t my cup of tea. And Iâ€™m kind of picky about my tea.
So. Youâ€™re probably wondering who was yelling at me in the last installment of my story. I wish I could say it was the voice of God or even the voice of a remarkable talking chimpanzee, but no, it was merely the voice of a very unhappy man.
â€œYou down there!â€ he was shouting at me. â€œIâ€™d like to have a word with you!â€
Feeling uneasy, I climbed the shore to meet him.
The man fixed a stern eye upon me. â€œDo you realize youâ€™re constructing a building on private property?â€
â€œA building?â€ I laughed. â€œItâ€™s a sandcastle.â€
â€œA castle is a building, isnâ€™t it?â€ he asked, not laughing at all. â€œAnd youâ€™re not allowed to build a castle or any other structure on Mr. Kasaharaâ€™s property without his permission.â€
â€œIâ€¦I didnâ€™t know this was private property. Iâ€™m sure Mr. Kasawhatever wouldnâ€™t care about me making a lousy little pile of sand thatâ€™s just going to be washed away â€“â€
â€œYou think so, hm? Well, why donâ€™t we ask him if he cares or not?â€ The man suddenly focused on someone behind me. â€œGood day, Mr. Kasahara! I found this gentleman here trying to assemble a fortress on your property.â€
I whirled around and found my self face-to-face with, you guessed it, Mr. Kasahara. By this time I realized his name was familiar somehow, but I hadnâ€™t placed it yet.
â€œA fortress?â€ he asked in a casual tone. â€œAre we at war?â€
I smiled, trying to remain calm. â€œLook, Iâ€™m sorry. I just wanted to dig in the sand a littleâ€¦I thought I was still in the park. Iâ€™m leaving on a boat in â€“â€ I glanced at my watch â€œâ€“ seven minutes. So I promise I wonâ€™t be any more trouble.â€
Mr. Kasahara scrutinized me a moment. â€œWhatâ€™s your name?â€
â€œWell, Joe, Iâ€™m afraid youâ€™ll need longer than seven minutes to make amends for what youâ€™ve done. Youâ€™ll have to stay here and dig some more.â€
I laughed. â€œYouâ€™re kidding, right?â€
â€œNo, Iâ€™m not.â€ Mr. Kasahara smiled. â€œYou have to stay for at least three days. You dig each day and keep everything you find, even if itâ€™s a chunk of rock. After three days, Iâ€™ll take a look at what youâ€™ve found. If itâ€™s adequate, you can go. If not, you have to stay awhile longer. Iâ€™ll make sure you have accommodations, equipment, whatever you need.â€
â€œWait a second!â€ I said, freaking out a little, which is against my nature, as Iâ€™m a fairly laid-back guy. â€œYou canâ€™t keep me here. Donâ€™t I have rights? I demand to speak to the island authorities!â€
Mr. Kasahara smirked â€œIâ€™m afraid I am the island authorities, Joe. Nowâ€¦take a stroll around town for a few hours. Visit the market. Iâ€™ll have my men build a temporary home while youâ€™re gone. And Iâ€™ll make sure you canâ€™t get on that boat.â€
â€œButâ€¦this is ridiculous! Come on!â€
â€œIâ€™ll see you in a few days, Joe. Let Kreios know if you need anything.â€ He nodded towards my sandcastle, which was in the process of being dismantled by the man who had yelled at me earlier.
When I turned back, Mr. Kasahara was wandering off.
And thatâ€™s when I remembered where I had seen his name. At the tourist office the day before I had glanced at a brochure about Lemur Island. It had mentioned Kasahara as the owner of the island, soâ€¦he really was the sole authority.
I glanced out at the sea again and wondered how long it would take me to swim to the next island. Then I caught a whiff of hibiscus and felt the warm breeze play with my hairâ€¦and decided that staying another three days wouldnâ€™t be so bad — even I was being held against my will.
I turned and headed for the marketplace.
(continued on Page 2)