If you have not read the opening episodes, scroll down to the entry below this one where the story first begins. Meanwhile, here are the current episodes of TABINE.
Tabine smiled over at Hank as they drove along the coast of the Florida panhandle.
“You ever been to Galveston? “ he said, glancing over at her.
“No. I don’t even know where it is,” she answered.
“Its along the coast a little before you get to Houston. Its actually an island – a barrier island.”
“I like islands,” Tabine said.
“Yeh, islands are nice. I’d like to live on one day.”
“I was on an island over on the other side of Florida once. I loved it. In fact, I killed someone there.” Hank laughed.
“You are sooo funny!”
“Have you every killed anyone?” Tabine asked.
“Are you crazy?” Hank said, looking over at her.
“I probably am crazy,” she smiled. “So, have you ever killed anyone?”
“No. Of course not,” he laughed. He looked at her again. “You are one weird chick.”
“Is that a compliment?” Tabine asked.
“Yes,” Hank laughed.
“In that case, I won’t kill you,” Tabine said, with a smile.
“Good. Let’s make it a deal then. I won’t kill you either.”
“I’ve got to admit though, I was seriously thinking about killing you this morning,” Tabine said, glancing over at him.
“Do you watch a lot of weird movies, or something?” Hank asked.
“What’s weird?” Tabine replied. “I worked for this guy once who made movies.”
“What kind of movies?”
“Let me guess,” Hank said. “You killed him.”
“No. My girl friend beat me to it.”
“Tabine, you are without a doubt, one of the craziest people I’ve ever met,” Hank laughed. “You ought to write movies. I’ll bet you’d be good at it.”
“We are in a movie right now,” Tabine replied.
“Oh yeh? What’s the name of it?”
“Umm…I don’t know. Maybe, ‘How Sally Killed Harry.’ “ Hank slapped the dashboard and broke into laughter again. She turned on the seat and smiled at him.
“I want to get out in Galveston,” she said.
“You mean you don’t want to see Houston? You’d be missing a lot. I mean, there are a lot of crazy people there – people just like you.” Tabine laughed and leaned back in her seat. She propped her bare feet up on the dashboard and wiggled her toes.
“ What color do you think I should paint my nails?” she said, glancing over to Hank. Hank looked at Tabine’s toes as she slid one foot across the dashboard and in front of his face.
“Umm, Something iridescent,” he said, chuckling at her toes wiggling at him just above the steering wheel. “Or maybe a glow-in-the-dark white,” he added.
“Oh I like that,” Tabine replied. ” ‘Glow Toes’! It might even help you see where you are going in the middle of the night.”
“Like when you have to go pee?”
“Exactly!” Tabine said, clapping her hands in enthusiasm. Hank smiled and looked over at her studiously. She seemed like a child in a way, but a child who knew too much for her own good…or a child who has seen too much perhaps. At any rate, she knew how to get it on in bed, that he knew.
Tabine stared out the window curiously as they crossed the causeway over to Galveston Island. She oohed and ahhed at the boats moving up and down the intercoastal, and the gulls gliding and swooping all about. She rolled the window down and smelled the air. It reminded her of being with Cully and Penny in St. Augustine. And somewhere in the back of her mind she recalled the scent of the air on the northern coast of Denmark as a little girl, and a fleeting memory of her parents came and went like a rolling surf.
“So, this is Galveston,” Hank said. “Its kind of bleak in the winter. People here have seen what the sea can do when it gets pissed off.”
“Sounds exciting,” Tabine murmured.
“Let me tell you,” Hank replied. “You’d be much happier in a cozy little bar in downtown Houston. Are you sure you want to get out here in Galveston?” Tabine stared out at the water along the seawalls. It was choppy with foaming caps that rose and fell. The surf pounded against the wall, and splayed out into the air above it like a Japanese fan, then fell back. Tabine shivered.
“Maybe I do,” she replied. “You could come and visit me now and then. I could be your ‘island girl’.”
“Oh!” Hank exclaimed. “Since we are here, I might as well take you to Bolivar.”
“Bolivar Island. It’s actually not an island, its more like a peninsula. But, it feels more like an island than Galveston.”
“What’s there….on Boliver Island?”
“Not much, really.”
“Sounds perfect,” Tabine said with a strange smile.
FERRY TO BOLIVAR
Hank pulled the car slowly up onto the ferry among the other parked cars.
“Come on, let’s get out.” He said, turning off the motor and opening his door. He took her hand and led her toward the front of the ferry as it pulled away and the captain sounded a long wailing horn. They leaned against the railing, the wind spraying their faces with a salty mist. Gulls swooped and dived in front of them as though leading the way.
“Brr, I’m cold,” Tabine said, with a shiver. Hank put his arm around her, laughing.
“If you think this is cold, you can’t imagine a winter on Bolivar, girl, believe me.” Tabine stiffened a little. She hated it when people told her there was something she couldn’t do. Hank glanced at her. Who is this girl?
They drove down onto the beach. The tide was out, and the beach looked wide and empty. Not another soul in sight. They strolled along the water’s edge holding hands. The beach was strewn with the kinds of offerings the sea usually laid down - seaweed, drift wood, some small corals, broken bits of shells, and now and then a whole shell. But then there were colorful tangled knots of cargo rope and pieces of netting too. There was someone’s sandal, and a soggy shirt. Tabine ran about like an excited child picking up one thing after another. She turned to Hank.
“I want to live here!”
“Here? Hardly anybody lives here. People rent beach houses, but they come and go. The locals as such amount to a handful. And even they tend to go inland during the winter.
“Let’s drive around some more. I bet I can find a place to stay. I want to be an island girl.”
“It’s actually a peninsula,” Hank pointed out.
“Then I want to be a peninsula girl,” Tabine replied.
“What would you do here all by yourself?”
“Whatever island girls do. Maybe I’ll write a book.” She turned to Hank. “It would start like this:
‘Tabine, the lonely island girl of Bolivar Island strolled the lonely beach, her eyes scanning the horizon where the sea met the sky. She would wait for him forever, even though they say he was lost at sea and presumed dead. Then, one day,’ she said, dramatically dropping to her knees in the surf gasping in disbelief, ‘she saw a solitary figure out there amidst the waves. His arms flailing frantically. Could it be?!’
“But no,” Hank joined in. “It was nothing but a few boards floating to shore covered with barnacles. Sadly she admitted, she might as well go to Houston and get a life.” Tabine got up off the beach and turned to give Hank an expressionless stare.
“Party pooper!” she said with a pout.
(To be continued….)