The Ballad of Gilligan's Island

"Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale ..."


I was stressed. Mistress Minx was stressed.

This issue finally came to a head one evening as we were finishing up some of the work at the Bank.

Miss Dawes' office was littered with take out Thai food cartons, half consumed cups of coffee, discarded copies of files, and the psychic debris of too many late nights at work.

I slumped in my chair, the computer keyboard at my left hand and stared out the window at the night sky. A quarter moon stood out against the black skies above and the city lights below, beckoning me to stray from my duties.

"Michael, are you going to get me that data, or do I need to do it myself?", Minx snapped from her desk.

"I wish you would!", I snarled back.

"What did you say?", Minx replied coldly.

I stood up and faced her.

"I said, get it yourself. I've spent the last two weeks here until after midnight working and I'm fucking tired.", I said as distinctly as I could.

"Well so have I!", she retorted. "And I'm no less tired than you are."

"So why don't you try sleeping for a change?", I said walking to the window.

"Somebody has to do this.", she said. "And I'm the only one qualified."

I turned to face her.

"We're gone two weeks and the whole place falls apart. Jesus!", I said in disgust.

"So why don't you go home if you're so fucking tired? I can get along just fine without you.", she said sourly.

"I'm sure you can. Good night.", I said crisply, walking towards the door.

"Where the hell do you think you're going?", she shouted.

"I'm going home. To bed. To sleep. Before I say something that we'll both regret, Miss Dawes!", I said turning to face her again, my anger barely in check.

A coffee cup slammed into the wall and shattered next to my head as I turned towards the door again.

Slowly I turned back towards her.

"If you weren't my Mistress and my boss, I'd paddle your ass.", I threatened.

She stood up and walked to where I was standing and stared into my face.

"Give it your best shot. But ask yourself: Do I feel lucky? Do ya? Punk.", she responded without a blink of emotion or humor.

There was a deadly hush before we heard a clapping from the direction of the other door to Minx's office.

"Time!", Dr. Grace Denoblis said walking into view. "Return to your respective corners until the bell for the next round."

"How long have you been there?", Minx asked.

"Long enough to hear both of you squabbling like children. I'm ashamed of the both of you.", Grace said sitting down at Minx's desk.

"Well she started it.", I protested.

"I started it? You're the one who got smart mouthed with me!", Minx retorted.

"Knock it off, both of you.", Grace ordered." I think the both of you need a time out. Michael, go to your office and wait until I call you back in."

I muttered under my breath about the injustice of it all and went back to my office.

When Grace called me back in, I was still in a foul mood. Minx was sitting in front of her desk facing away from the door.

"Michael, kneel next to your Mistress please.", Grace commanded.

I did, and faced away from Minx, still angry.

"Michael, look at your Mistress.", Grace directed.

I did and saw that she was weeping.

"I'm sorry Mistress.", I said, my anger gone at the sight of her tears.

"I'm sorry too Michael.", she replied. "I shouldn't have thrown the cup at you."

"Now, listen to me both of you. I understand why you're tense. You have a lot of work to do here. And Michael, your Mistress has commented that she's a bit paranoid about Dr. Kimball and his group. Do you feel the same way?", Grace continued.

"Yes. With Kali, at least I have the comfort of knowing that Lydia enjoys tormenting me too much to kill me. But Dr. Kimball is another story. I've started checking under the hood of the Eagle for bombs again.", I admitted.

Grace leaned back in her chair.

"Then I suggest you both go away for awhile. Susan can handle some of the more routine things here Minkin and even if you don't want to admit it, your staff can get along without you.", she said.

"But where? Hell, Dr. Kimball and his people could have an office in this building for all we know. Maybe I'm being too paranoid, but after Campo, I think you would be too.", I objected.

"Oh, I have a place in mind for the two of you. Isolated, beautiful, restful, and romantic.", she said knowingly.

"Sounds like just what the doctor ordered.", I replied.

Minx looked down at me.

"We need a vacation if only to help those sick puns of yours.", she said with a small smile.


"A three hour tour , a three hour tour."



Twelve hours later we were deposited by helicopter onto one of the islands in the Hawaiian chain.

"I'll fly by once a day.", Jazmyne said as she helped us unload. "If you need anything use the radio."

"I was a little surprised to see you here.", I said stacking the supplies. "The last time we met it was in Alaska when you crash landed us on a glacier"."

She laughed.

"Well the word kind of got around that I was a pretty good pilot after that and I wound up being put on a retainer as a pilot for hire. What I didn't know is that it was Ay'esha paying the bills while they checked me out for possible recruitment."

"I didn't know you had a helicopter rating.", Minx said.

"Oh I got that a few months after I got hired by Ay'esha. I've got a jet rating now too. The Mother of Many thought it would be useful if I had ratings for everything."


The spot Jazmyne picked to land us on was a white sand beach near a lagoon that had a small waterfall running into it and a trail leading into the interior of the island.

Grace briefed us on our destination before we left.

" The island is a cultural preserve for the Hawaiian people, and privately owned. Very few people are allowed on it, so treat the land with respect. It doesn't exactly qualify as a desert island, but there's only one road and two towns, both on the far side of the island away from where you'll be. As long as you stay within a mile or two of the shoreline, you'll never know the difference."


"Your call Mi'lady. Set up camp here or inland a little ways?", I asked.

"Inland a little. If we can find a spot next to the stream, that would be perfect.", she said looking around us.

After a few minutes walk we found a clearing big enough for the tents and close to the stream, as well as being hidden from view of the beach.

The last thing I wanted was visitors.

I set the tents down and using a palm frond swept the clearing clean of debris before setting the domed enclosure up. A few more minutes work and I had all three tents set up as Minx and Jazmyne went back to the beach to get the supplies.

It was nearing sunset before Jazmyne lifted off and left us alone on this "uncharted" desert isle to survive in the "wilderness".

"If you need anything, use the radio. I'm going to be doing some charter runs while you guys are here, but I'll check on you once a day .", she said as we walked her back to the helicopter.

"I think we'll be fine. After all I can walk to town if I have to.", I laughed.

"I can worry.", Jazmyne replied.

"Yes you can.", Minx said. " But this isn't one of those times."


After Jazmyne lifted off we walked back to the camp where I rummaged through the supplies for our first dinner on the island.

It turned out to be what the military laughingly describes as an MRE or Meal Ready To Eat of chicken and noodles.

That was enough to convince me that whatever else I did tomorrow, fishing would be on the list for sure.

The company and the scenery more than made up for the meal, as we laid on the beach and watched the sun descend into the Pacific, the long tropical twilight cloaking us in its warm gloom.

Minx didn't say much to me after dinner and I wondered why. I wasn't sure if I'd said something wrong, or if it was just the quality of the meal or lack thereof.

She got up from where she was laying on the beach and walked back towards the camp leaving me to watch the moon rise and listen to the soft sounds of the sea.


I guess I fell asleep because when I woke up the moon was setting and the tide was creeping towards where I lay on the beach.

When I rolled over to get up I saw Minx sitting near me, watching me with a gentle smile on her lips.

"I came back to get you to play and you were sound asleep.", she said. "So I decided to watch over you."

"I'm sorry I fell asleep on you.", I replied embarrassed.

"Don't be. I enjoyed watching you. You are a very different person when you sleep."

"How so?", I asked curiously.

"Because you turn back into that man I saw that first night. Passive, yet with a fire burning inside him, waiting to escape. A hidden passion.", she said helping me to my feet.

"I'm sorry that man is gone.", I said as we walked towards the camp.

"You won't let yourself be that passive any more. You're always on duty like I am now. Waiting for the call to battle. Well, Grace was right. We need this time together, away from everyone and everything. ", she said.

"No phones, no lights, no motorcars, not a single luxury; Like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be.", I sang softly as we stopped before my tent.

"Go to bed ... little buddy.", she said stroking my cheek.

"Night ... Skipper.", I said kissing her hand softly, and crawled inside.


"The Mate was a mighty sailin' man, the Skipper brave and sure"


I woke up to the sound of rain on the tent and rolled over to look at my watch, then remembered I'd removed it and packed it away to avoid reminders of work.

I sat up finally and peeked out to see the sun break through the clouds and cast a glow on the red soil of the clearing as the rain slowed to a halt.

That was my cue to get up and make breakfast for Minx.

I slipped into my shorts and a T-shirt and unzipped the tent, poking my head out in time to catch a big raindrop in my eye.


I didn't let that dissuade me for long and in a few minutes was setting up the camp stove and starting the coffee for breakfast.

Powdered eggs don't leave much to work with overall, but I managed to get a semi-decent looking plate of scrambled eggs together along with canned bacon for the Mistress's breakfast.

A quick foray into the surrounding jungle led me to a small cluster of fruit trees and I managed to grab a couple of mangos from one of the lower branches to go with the meal.

By the time I got back Minx was crawling out of her tent, emerging naked as Aphrodite did rising from the sea.

I started to look away from her and was stopped by her sharp tongue.

"If I didn't want you to watch I wouldn't have come out naked.", she snapped. "Get over it."

I reminded myself that she was after all only a woman, and I'd seen nude women before.

But this was Minx. My Goddess, my Muse, my Mistress.

I tried not to gape and busied myself with setting up a place for her to eat as she walked to the stream to wash her face.

When she returned her face was rosy from the chilly water of the stream and she accepted a cup of coffee with a grateful nod.

"We may be in the tropics, but that water is damned near as cold as in Scotland.", she said after an approving sip of the coffee.

"Where I grew up it was almost like being on Mars. During the day it would go up to the nineties and at night drop to freezing.", I said handing her a plate.

"That's right, you grew up in Southern California out in where was that again? Riverside, that's right.", she said nibbling the bacon.

"I'm flattered you remembered.", I said taking a bite of the eggs.

"Oh, I remember lots of things about you. You never told me you were in the Guinness Book of Worlds Records."

I almost did a spit take.

"That was a long time ago Mi'lady. And I did it to impress a young lady.", I responded.

"Did it work?", Minx asked wickedly.

"No. Her mother still hated me. Ultimately she married a gay priest.", I said.

"Her mother?", Minx asked with an innocent expression.

"No, the girl. Michelle was more interested in horses than men anyway. Although I do remember a faint stirring looking at her riding crop and boots.", I confessed.


"Hey!", I protested. "I didn't even know what a pervert was at that age."

"I did.", she said smugly.

"Well, I think you were born to it.", I teased.

She cocked her head at me like a parrot.

"Not exactly. I found out I was dominant when I was fairly young, but I didn't join Ay'esha until after I graduated college.", she explained.

"And your parents never knew?"

"My mother knows about my interests, but my father doesn't. That's why I have to be fairly careful about parties. Father worries about the family image."

I squinted into the rising sun before looking back at her.

"You know, this is the first time we've ever even talked about your family. I know your family owns the Bank, but that's about all.", I said smiling at the memory.

"Why are you smiling?", Minx asked.

"I was thinking about the job interview.", I said honestly.

"Why does that make you smile?"

"Because of what I thought when I read the name on the door and what I found inside it."

"What did you think?"

I hesitated.

"I thought 'Spoiled rich girl in a family business. Probably propped up by Daddy's money' . " , I admitted.

"And instead you found me.", she laughed." I wish you could have seen your face."

"Have I ever told you what that wait was like, what I felt during those months? I was sure I had failed you and you had abandoned me.", I said.

She set her cup and plate down and motioned for me to kneel beside her.

"I promised I would never leave you. ", she said, her voice resounding in my mind as she gazed into my eyes.

"Yes Mistress.", I murmured.

She stroked my head and then stood before me, radiant in her glory.

"I'm going down to the beach. Care to join me?", she offered.

I hesitated. I had to clean up the dishes, and since we were going to be staying a few days, I had to dig a latrine hole.

But her smile and her open affection for me, free to be expressed far from prying and critical eyes, turned the tide.

"Last one in does the dishes!", I said and sprang to my feet.


A swim and then a rinse in the fresh water of the waterfall took very little time and the rest of the day stretched out ahead of us, warm and lazy.

As I did the dishes I thought about Minx, dozing in the shade of the palm trees.

I was the luckiest man in the world to have a Mistress like her.


I finished my chores and heard the droning of a helicopter approaching.

"Mama Cat One this is Kitten, radio check please.", Jazmyne's voice said from the handitalkie.

I walked over to the radio and picked it up.

"Kitten this is Tom Cat One. I copy five by five.", I replied.

"Affirm Tom Cat. Need anything?"

"Negative Kitten, Mom and Tom are fine.", I called.

"See you later Tom Cat. Kitten clear.", she said and the radio went dead.

The chopper circled the island, buzzing like an overgrown mosquito and then faded out into the distance.

On to the next task, which was building a latrine.

Now that sounds like a simple enough job. Dig a hole in the ground and that's about it.


You have to make sure the hole is deep enough and in the right place.

I finally located a good spot and dug the required hole, but then I had to fill part of it in with beach sand to absorb the waste.

But it still seemed too ... plain somehow.

As I stared at it a fragment of an old song wandered through my mind and snickering to myself, I gathered bamboo and more palm fronds and made a small hut to cover it up.

"What are you doing?", Minx asked, startling me.

I dropped the fronds I was holding and spun around.

She was wearing a grass skirt now and looked like a traditional vision of the White Goddess in all the bad jungle movies.

"I was finishing the outhouse for you.", I said proudly.

She walked past me and peeked inside and then looked back at me.

"No toilet paper holder?", she asked.

"I thought that was my job."

"Michael ...."

"I get the message. I'll be back with the TP .. or in a worst case a Sears catalog, in a minute.", I said and headed back towards the campsite.


That afternoon I proceeded with my plans for dinner, assuming I could get the fish to cooperate of course.

I waded in the lagoon, watching the fish slowly swim around me as Minx sat on the edge of the waterfall and watched curiously.

"What are you doing now?", she finally asked as I failed at one attempt to scoop a fish onto the beach.

"I'm trying to get fresh fish for our dinner.", I said looked at her. " I saw this in a movie once."

"Well this ain't no movie hot shot.", she called back. "You'd better plan on opening some cans tonight."

"Oh ye of little faith.", I retorted and focused on the movements of the fish again. Slowly, ever so slowly, one approached me again.

I thought of the bear I'd seen do this and then thought of Cary Grant in Father Goose.

Admittedly though, Minx was far cuter than Leslie Caron.

A quick sweep of my hands and my prey flopped onto the sand a few feet from the water.

Minx slid off the waterfall and into the lagoon with a splash and came up spitting water.

"You did it!", she sputtered.

"I told you I could. When I was a kid I always wanted to be an astronaut, so I studied the survival manual along with everything else. This is just the first time I've gotten a chance to really practice it.", I said crouching again, waiting for the water to calm down.

She waded up next to me, her grass skirt now a sodden mass of weeds.

"Let me try.", she said watching me carefully.

"Go ahead.", I said standing up.

Minx cupped her hands in the water and waited as the fish swam towards her.

She swept her hands through the water and instead of scooping up the fish, grabbed it instead.

She pulled it up flopping in her hands and squealed throwing it towards the beach and missing. The fish landed in the shallows and I waded towards it to capture it, but too late.

It swam into deeper water and towards the open sea, I'm sure with a fish story of it's own to tell.

By the time I finished I'd managed to catch three and Minx had caught one.

"You're pretty good at that.", I said as we carried our catch towards the camp.

"You're a damned liar, but I love you anyway. Why didn't you use a fishing pole?", she asked.

"If I was really lost on a desert island, I wouldn't have one.", I said reasonably.


I rigged a roasting spit and started our dinner cooking over an open fire while Minx retreated to her tent to apply some sun cream to her slightly scorched skin.

When she came out of her tent this time she was wearing a muumuu which disguised her considerable charms.

"Oh don't pout.", she said seeing the disappointment on my face.

"I wasn't pouting.", I said turning the spit slowly.

"You were, and you know it.", she corrected gently.

"OK, I was. I'd just gotten used to the view and then you hid it."

"I'm glad.", she said kissing me on the forehead. "I'm going to take a nap before dinner."

"Sounds like a plan.", I said and turned back to my work.


"To make the others comfortable in their tropic island nest"

As the fish cooked I considered our living arrangements. The nylon was a fluorecent red that was almost blinding in the tropical sun and spoiled the charm of the scene. I had been reasonably successful in building the outhouse, although I wasn't too sure how well it would stand up to a real storm.

Why not treat this vacation as an exercise in primitive living?

I had some tools, a machete with a saw blade on it and some nylon cord.

This might even be fun.


By the time Minx woke up and the fish had finished cooking I'd built a primitive frame work from bamboo poles I'd salvaged from the ground and was trying my hand at weaving palm fronds together for the walls and roof.

"What are you doing?", she asked as I used some cord to tie poles together.

"I'm having a good time. Dinner should be ready in a couple of minutes.", I said lashing an assemblage of palm fronds to the framework.

"Have you gone completely native?", Minx said in disbelief when she saw the framework.

I looked at her and shook my head.

"Mi'lady, we're on sacred ground so far as the natives are concerned. Now, wouldn't it be a lot more respectful if we tried to live as they do or did centuries ago?", I reminded her.

"OK Tarzan, have your fun.", she said. "Just feed me before you start swinging through the trees."


After dinner Minx discarded her skepticism and helped me assemble the wall of the hut then tied it in place herself.

"You never were much good at knots.", she rebuked, redoing my earlier work.

"Fine then. I'll design it, you put it in bondage.", I replied.

By sunset we had a small hut finished, actually not much more than two lean-to's braced against each other.

I had run out of bamboo fairly early in the project, and had started using some long branches from a fallen tree as part of the framework which formed a kind of arc, rather than being strictly pyramidal.

"Well?", I asked as Minx stepped back to inspect the work.

"Nice. Not thrilling but nice.", she teased.

"Harumph!", I said in mock displeasure.

We walked inside to look at the structure and a faint spicy smell like sandlewood filled the enclosure as the warm breeze rustled the foliage that formed the walls and roof.

She hugged me.

"I never would have thought you had it in you to do this.", she said looking at the construction.

"I just wish I had a camera. I'd like a picture of this before tomorrow morning.", I cautioned.

"Tomorrow morning?"

"When the rains come. I don't know how watertight it will be.", I admitted.

"We'll see. After all, you aren't building an ark. Now why don't you go down to the lagoon and take a break for awhile? I'll come get you when I want you.", she instructed.

I walked down to the lagoon and sat at the waters edge looking at the sunset and relaxing, nibbling at a mango occasionally.

A song ran through my head as I watched.

"I want to lie shipwrecked and comatose, drinking fresh mango juice ; Goldfish shoals, nibbling at my toes."

"Michael, close your eyes.", I heard Minx say from behind me.

I closed them and then felt her hand on my arm.

"Come with me slave.", she said softly.

I followed her as she led me along with a gentle touch and then stopped me.

"Stand here and keep your eyes closed.", she ordered and I heard her soft footsteps on the packed earth of the clearing.

"Open your eyes.", she said.

I did and saw that the clearing was now lit with a ring of small fires and before me was a long sandy path that seemed to glow softly before me.

At the end of the path stood my Mistress, wearing only a loincloth and a crown of white flowers.

"Walk the path Michael and you will share my bed tonight.", she said standing with open arms.

I started to step forward onto the sand and felt the heat radiating from it.

She had taken the hot coals from dinner and had spread them through the sand as a firewalking path.

It would not be the first time I had done this, but the reward this time was far greater than any before.

The first time was to prove it to myself. The second was to win a bet for Mistress Jatanna.

Minx had never asked this of me before.

I focused on my breathing, remembering my instruction on an island not far away.

"Remember people, the coals are hot enough to melt aluminum cans. But if you concentrate, you will walk across them without pain or injury. Remember your breathing, take your time. Concentrate. You are light as a feather and you just drift across the path.", he had said.

And I had done it.

Further back in my mind I remembered my training at the Spa in how to walk silently even on a gravel path.

I spread my hands and arms wide and walked forward, focusing on the sight of my Goddess waiting for me, oblivious to anything except her proud smile.

One step, two, then five. A dozen. But the fire did not burn. I was Shadrach in the furnace.

And then I stood before my Mistress and knelt before her head down in submission.

"I offer you my pain Mistress, if it pleases you.", I said softly.

"I will take the offering my slave and the heart that offers it as well. It is a pure spirit that kneels before me.", she replied.

"But I desire you and that is not pure.", I countered.

"Do you wish to make love to me slave?", she asked.

"Yes Mistress. But I am not worthy of that honor."

"Come with me slave. I shall determine your worth this night in my bed.", she commanded.


"The weather started getting rough."


That night set the tone for our stay on the island.

We fished and ate and slept and made love when and how SHE wanted to.

This included being staked to the ground while she teased me with her body, unable to do anything other than accept her attentions, and once in the lagoon under the waterfall.

I'm sure we must have made the fish think a shark was thrashing around in the lagoon.

And the number of obscene things a beautiful woman can do with a banana might surprise you. Or perhaps not, depending on your experiences.

I slowly regained my tan and started losing some of the swivel chair spread I'd been developing from long days at the Bank, and the steady exercise of the swimming made me feel more alive than I had for some months.

I stopped worrying about the Bank or Ay'esha and so far as Dr. Kimball was concerned, he could go to Hell.

But in-a-gadda-da-vida crept a viper known as the weather.


The morning rain storms became a little more intense each day and a bit longer, but I started taking advantage of it to do the dishes by leaving them in the rain.

She and I had made two other huts by this time, open at the front and rear, more for the practice than the need, moving the supplies into them from the tents, and Minx had started spearfishing in the lagoon to get the fish for our dinners.

"Excuse me, but I'm the lioness here. I gather the food... you eat it.", she said when I commented on it.


"Oh you're a pussy all right.", she retorted as she walked by me carrying a bamboo spear, her naked body once a pale white, now a dusky tan.

I ignored the implied insult and continued weaving my fishing basket as the shadow of a cloud passed over the sun.

"Ah well.", I said to myself aloud, "All good things must come to an end."

I walked down to the lagoon with the finished basket after adding stones to keep it from floating, and watched as Minx cast her spear into the water neatly piercing her target.

"I bring a gift for my Goddess.", I called to her and waded into the clear waters with the basket and set it down so she could drop her wiggling prey into it.

"Very nice.", she nodded. "That will keep them cool as well."

The sun dimmed a little more and a breeze started ruffling the surface of the water casting spray off the small waves that swept into it from the beach.

"Time to retreat.", I suggested.

She gripped the basket by one handle as I took the other and waded towards the shore as I heard the first distant rumble of thunder in the distance.

"Looks like a squall. I'm glad we're not on the windward side of the island.", I said as we hurried up the path to the huts.

When we arrived, we set about stretching the tent material across the rear of the hut we were living in and moving things back away from the front, to keep them out of the rain. Before I could do the same thing to the front of the hut though, the storm arrived.


In our shared hut I tuned the radio to the weather frequency. I hadn't bothered to do it before, simply because the weather was so damned nice.

"This is the National Weather Service broadcasting from Honolulu. A severe storm warning is in effect for the northern islands. Radar mapping shows large areas of severe rain and thunderstorm activity."

The report was interrupted by a loud crack of thunder overhead and the sound of lightning generated static that almost blew the speaker out.

"A small craft advisory has been posted for all vessels in the Kaulakahi channel and the Kauai channel to seek safe harbor immediately."

Another clap of thunder and flash of lightning was enough for me to turn the radio off and look at Minx with a grimace.

"Sorry about the change in weather. I guess I'll find out if I know how to build a hut.", I offered, lighting a lantern as the hut grew darker.

"You mean we'll find out.", Minx replied reaching for her clothes for the first time in ten days and throwing me mine.

The storm raged around us and at intervals water blew in through the interlaced fronds like spray from a sprinkler, more annoying than dampening, but still enough to cast a chill into what was once a cozy nest.

I finally built a fire using some of the bark from the branches of the wall supports, being unwilling to go into the storm to fetch wood for a fire from the supply in the other hut.

We huddled together for warmth and watched the storm as it trampled across the island blowing rain in a blinding mixture. Suddenly I heard a cracking sound and looked out to see part of the roof of the supply hut collapse into a mass of bamboo and wet foliage.

"Oh shit!", I shouted over the noise of the wind and started outside to salvage what I could before the rain soaked everything.

I hadn't gotten more than a foot from the hut before Minx dragged me back inside and threw me to the ground.

"Are you crazy? There isn't anything in there that is worth you getting killed for.", she shouted. She sprang at me as I started to get up and I managed to catch her in mid-air, falling backwards with her straddling my chest.

"Sit! Stay!", she barked.

. "Well sit on my face and tell me that you love me.", I managed to gasp out despite the weight on my chest.

Before she could reply there was a splintering sound and a large palm frond fell across the ground directly in front of the hut with a resounding boom where I had been only two minutes earlier.

I looked up at my Mistress with a sick expression as she closed her eyes in prayer and thanks to the Goddess.

As with most tropical storms, this one blew out reasonably quickly, but the damage had been done.

Most of our camping supplies had been soaked and most importantly, the radio we used to contact Jazmyne had been in the hut when it collapsed.

I pulled it out of the debris and switched it on.

The indicator flickered weakly and then faded out.

"Is it all right?", Minx asked moving some of the fronds off the pile of boxes.

"I think the battery shorted out from the rain. Let's see if we can find the spares in all this mess.", I said dragging more of the greenery off the supplies.

After a few minutes I managed to get the spare battery pack out from under the mess and clipped it onto the radio.

This time the light came on strongly and stayed on.

"Modern technology.", I said pressing the transmit key.

"Honolulu Unicom, this is Whisky Kilo 27.", I said reading the ID off the radio.

The response was a hissing noise, devoid of intelligent contact.

"Honolulu Unicom, this is Whisky Kilo 27.", I repeated.

Again nothing but static.

"We'll have to wait for Jazmyne to come around. If all else fails, we can make signs in the sand telling her to land.", I explained shutting off the radio.


"Now this is the tale of our castaways, they're here for a long, long, time."

We spent the rest of the day salvaging supplies from the ruins of the hut and taking inventory. We were OK on food as we had been using the local wildlife rather than the MRE's, and frankly a little water can't hurt them anyway.

The biggest casualty was the supply of toilet paper.

"We don't have any left at all?", Minx asked.

"Just this.", I said holding the sodden roll up for her inspection.

"Have you checked the outhouse?", she asked.

"Not yet. I just hope it's still standing."

A quick inspection showed it still intact, but the paper in it was wet as well.

"Would you consider this an emergency?", she asked.

"I wouldn't, but for a young lady of delicate sensibilities, I think yes, it qualifies.", I agreed. "Should I walk to town and buy some?"

"I'll think about it.", she said.


As darkness fell, it found me gathering stones from the beach to build a crude oven while Minx rewove the fronds for the new roof. I had an idea concerning the toilet paper, but I wasn't sure if it would work or not.

Dinner that night was not as festive as the previous nights, each of us involved our own thoughts about the events of the day.

I was concerned about Minx and whatever her concerns were, they were unknown to me.


The moon came out and cast a silver glow over the clearing as Minx yawned.

"Would you be heartbroken if I slept alone tonight?", she asked.

"Are you kidding? I've been allowed to sleep with you, instead of at the foot of the bed, more in the last week than I have in the last few years. I've got a little more work to do before I go to bed anyway.", I exclaimed. "Off to bed with you. Just throw my sleeping bag out before you go to sleep."

She stroked my cheek and wandered into the hut as I started stacking the stones around the fire like a small wall to reflect the heat towards me.

A few minutes later I doused the fire and propped the toilet paper on a stick across the rock walls. If it worked, the paper would dry out. If not, I'd have roasted toilet paper and a small fire to deal with instead.

My sleeping bag bounced out of the hut along with my pillow, so it was evident that Minx was going to bed for the night.

"Good night Skipper !" I called.

"Good night Gilligan !" her sweet voice sang in response.

I watched the toilet paper start to steam slightly from the heat of the rock and settled back against the rolled up sleeping bag to wait.

It was easy to fall asleep on the island with nothing but the wind and the surf to disturb the silence and I wasn't at all surprised that staring into the fire made me drowsy.

I bowed to the inevitable and closed my eyes.


I woke up to the smell of slightly scorched paper as the sun rose into the sky, a red haze stretching to the horizon.

"Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.", I said to myself and got up, moving stiffly in the coolness of the dawn.

When I plucked the toilet paper from the stick and gingerly unrolled a few inches, it was stiff and rough, but it was usable toilet paper again.

I hurried to the little grass shack out back and placed the roll on the bamboo peg and then dashed back to start breakfast while I waited for Minx to awaken.

Minx slept in that morning and it was almost noon before she came out of the hut wearing shorts, but no top.

"Good morning my slave.", she said still wiping sleep from her eyes.

"Good Morning Mistress.", I said handing her a plate of pancakes I'd kept warm using the rock oven.

"That's pretty good.", she said looking at my handiwork.

"It's amazing what you can find in Boys Life magazine and the Boy Scout Handbook.", I said modestly.

"You were a Scout?", Minx asked incredulously.

"Hardly. Not exactly my social class.", I said shrugging. "But you know me. I read everything."

"You really take this survival stuff seriously.", she replied with a thoughtful note in her voice.

"Old habit. I wanted to make sure I could take care of myself no matter where I wound up."


I sighed before answering her the memory still sharp and painful after all these years.

"Because, when I was eight years old, I lost my family. Not lost lost, but misplaced. We were moving between two houses a mile apart and when I got home from school there was nobody home.

"Not only nobody home, but everything was gone. This was when I lived in the mountains and it was snowing and dark. I thought maybe everybody would be at the new house, so I started walking.

"A mile isn't much when you get older, but a mile in the snow and dark when you're eight years old is pretty tough.

"When I got there, all the things were there, but my family wasn't. So I sat in that cold house because the heat wasn't on yet and waited for somebody to come."

"But they did come.", Minx said kindly.

"Yes, and when they did I was scolded and put to bed, still cold and still hungry. Nobody asked if I was all right, or fed me, or anything other than scolding me for being in the snow.", I said turning away from her so she couldn't see the angry tears from the memory of that lost little boy.

I felt her arms around me comforting me.

"And that's when you decided to make sure you could take care of yourself.", she said.

"Yes.", I said tightly. "And I never let anybody else take care of me until Denise. And then she died."

"And then I found you.", she said.

"Yes. And then I had to learn not to try and do everything for myself. I had to learn to trust again. And it's still hard sometimes."

"It always will be. But you know now that you can trust again.", she said releasing me and walking towards the privy.

I watched her go and waited for her return.

When she did, she had a square of the toilet paper in her hand and a look of admiration in her eye.

"I don't know how you did it, but thank you.", she said waving the paper.

"Another triumph of science and technology over ignorance and superstition.", I said modestly. " And speaking of superstition, there was a red sky this morning."

"So what?"

"It means there's going to be a storm again. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning.", I explained.

"So far you've been right, so I won't question it. What do you want to do?", she asked, all business again.

"Two choices. One, ride it out again; Two, call Jazmyne to pick us up."

She looked around at our camp slowly, at the huts we had built, towards the privy and then ultimately back to me.

"If you're up for it, I'm willing to stay.", she said.

"Are you sure?", I asked cautiously.

"Michael, I'm actually having a good time, and I'm not going to let a little bad weather spoil it. Now I'll finish reweaving the roof and you find some fresh bamboo for the frame. We have a roof to build and if you're right, not long to do it in.", she said.

She walked to the hut and tossed me the machete, then happily settled down to work, humming Ode to Joy.

Myself, I whistled George of the Jungle as I chopped bamboo to proper sizes for the repair and carried the poles back to Minx. We added a little extra internal ribbing to the hut and wove the fronds tighter to prevent a reoccurrence of the previous disaster.

"We'll see what happens this time. I feel like the guy in Monty Python and the Holy Grail that kept rebuilding his castle after it sank in the swamp. Then burned and sank in the swamp. Then burned, capsized and sank into the swamp.", I said examining the work.

"If you have that little faith in your work, I should have decided to go home.", Minx said.

"Oh I have faith in the work. It's the whims of Pele that concern me."

"At least this island isn't actively volcanic.", she reminded me.

"Yet.", I said looking at the ground.


Those words were prophetic enough as early that evening we felt a small earth tremor.

"I wish sometimes you'd keep your mouth shut.", Minx said after the quake ended.

"What, the idea of hot lava surfing doesn't appeal to you? Think about it. Today on ABC's Wide World of Sports, hot lava surfing from Hawaii.", I said in the tones of a sports announcer.

"Would you like to sleep on hot coals rather than walking on them?", she replied with a dangerous glint in her eye. "It would give new meaning to the term 'toasted buns' ."

I did a quick shuffle off to Buffalo after that comment and retreated to the relative safety of the beach.

At least there, all I had to worry about would be sharks.


As predicted, the rains came again, but the huts withstood it without a problem at all as Minx and I shared a sleeping bag ,a cup of hot tea and watched the lightning drawing traceries of light through the heavens.

I smelled the flowers in her hair as she leaned against me and thought of the happy times in my life, spent with a loving woman and the beauties of nature as entertainment, and sighed.

"Why the sigh my pet?", she asked looking into my face.

"Happiness Mi'lady. Contentment. Peace. All of the above.", I said.

"Good.", she said, and snuggled closer as the storm rumbled outside and the scent of the firewood filled the hut like sweet perfume.


When Jazmyne flew over late the next afternoon she had a message from Anna.

"Mom Cat and Tom Cat, I have a message for you. RTLS, I repeat RTLS.", she said.

"Confirm your last message please Kitten. The message reads Romeo Lima Tango Sierra.", I repeated.

"What's RTLS mean?", Minx asked.

"It's NASAese for return to launch site. It means come home.", I explained.

"Tom Cat did you copy? Romeo Lima Tango Sierra.", Jazmyne called.

I looked at Minx and at the helicopter hovering over the beach .

Minx looked at me thoughtfully for a moment and took the radio from me.

"Kitten, negative RTLS. Come back Sunday.", she said and switched the radio off.

She walked back towards the hut, her hair gently swaying down the middle of her back as she walked away, then half turned to face me.

"Well slave, are you just going to stand there, or are you going to get that ass of yours to work. I expect to be fed well tonight.", she commanded.

I waved at Jazmyne as she hovered over the clearing and then set off for the lagoon.

My Mistress was awaiting her dinner.


When we returned to the City, things seemed just a little better.

The forces of evil in the form of Kali took a break, Dr. Kimball and his people had been located and informed of the severe consequences of further interference with Minx and I, and even the Catbert like activities of the Bank's Human Resources department seemed less annoying and more amusing than ever before.

Everything was wonderful except for one minor problem of course.

Minx's new nickname for me.

Despite my pleas, she insists on calling me Gilligan.