Gregson looked out to sea. “Father, the ocean is a mystery. Your croc is the culprit, as sure as, I’m sure. No mystery there. I need to be getting home now.”

“What about your family, and your lawyer, and your estate?” The Father asked.

“You can’t escape your family, even if you want to. You are always thinking of them, even when they aren’t there—especially when they’re not there. Adults are so sophisticated with their legal and business senses, but they’re just grown-up kids with the same snot-nosed senses and larger vocabularies. My dad’s making out the will—you’ll get 10% of the family jewels and my sister gets the house. I don’t know what it is with chicks and houses—maybe a nesting syndrome—but the house always belongs to the female. The man belongs in the wide-open frontier—on the open ocean—where danger waits to swallow him up. It’s the only place he can be free. We can put the family jewels in my sailboat.”

The Father agreed. 10% was enough offering to keep his church going for 1,000 years. He was thinking of the inspiration God would give him for his next shopping spree. It took all day to load the treasure onto the boat.

Gregson thought he saw something changing on the Father’s face—something not quite human. It was prehistoric, malevolent, and evil, but maybe that’s just because the Father did battle with the forces of darkness. If you fight monsters, it can be difficult not to become one.

“Until next time, Gregson said. He waved to the Father, and sailed toward the peninsula where the Spanish Estate stood. Conversations with family were always superficial meals before long departures. It was important not offend, before everyone went their separate ways. Sometimes, you understand strangers more than the people you are closest to.

“I am about to sail around the world,” Gregson announced. “Give the estate to my sister, nieces and nephews. Evelyn, I won’t be needing your services. She glared at him like a whore who was given a venereal disease.

“Greg, I don’t think it’s safe to sail around the world,” his mother said.

“That’s the point. Goodbye, everyone.” He waved, and they waved, and he sailed into the pink horizon.

Meanwhile, the Father visited his shack, and his secret library, where a bloodied blade with alligator teeth hung on the wall. The ones who need God the most, are the ones who follow him the closest.

The End

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