INTRODUCTION: The Common-Law Wife of Old Trout

INTRODUCTION: The English Professor

Every story told is a morality tale, whether you believe it or not, whether you like it or not.” He drank alone on the stern deck while sounds of laughing, glasses tinkling, and a softly thrumming bossa nova floated aft over the cockpit. He looked out at us in the other boats, his pale blue eyes meeting each of our gazes evenly, and somewhat sadly. He smoked, if you can believe it, tobacco-- as if people still did that— from a pipe, of all things. “Every story is just another battle between the angels that fell and those that pushed them.” The hair beneath his crumpled yachting cap was stark white, no hint of gray, as if it had always been that shade, long before the deep wrinkles had begun to crease his face. “There’s a simple test: ask yourself, is the telling of this tale more likely to cause a body on the abyss’s edge to walk away from it, or leap?” He sucked hard on his pipe stem, glowing the bowl a deep demon red. “I leave it to you to judge."


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