20. Epilogue

3:35 PM day 8

Seven castaways sat around the large communal table contentedly finishing up a delicious lunch of perfectly seasoned halibut and diced fruit. Some chatted idly while others attempted to listen to the small radio that stood at the end of the table.

"Now it's time for our daily program 'Oddities in the News'." Said the familiar voice of the radio announcer.

Gilligan who had been talking to Ginger instantly snapped his attention to the radio. "Hey, I love this program!"

Mr. Howell nodded his agreement and tried to shush the others into silence. Being polite didn't work. "Quiet!" He demanded which did indeed produce the desired results.

They all listened attentively as the report continued. "Two men were found drifting in the ocean about fifteen miles off the shore of Honolulu clinging desperately to a boat. What's odd about that, you may ask. The boat was a five-foot long replica of a much larger ship. The tiny ship had a lower deck, a helm and an engine, all perfectly crafted with the minutest detail. When rescued the two men refused to offer any explanation for their predicament or the vessel's size."

"Those must be the two guys that took the shrink ray!" The Skipper exclaimed.

The Professor nodded from his seat at the end of the table. He had deliberately chosen that spot in hopes of decreasing the possibility of something or someone bumping his arm, which had been occurring with unprecedented frequency. Although healing properly the injury was still quite painful if touched and it seemed like every time he turned around he managed to bump it into something or other. He was beginning to feel like Gilligan. "It would seem that they had a bit of trouble with that machine as well."

"Sounds like those two chaps got what they deserved." Mr. Howell said with a decisive nod.

"Crime doesn't pay."

The millionaire raised an eyebrow in the young brunette's direction. "I know where you can get two to one against that."

"She's right." Ginger agreed. "Truth and justice always prevails over the forces of evil and greed."

"Was that from a movie you were in?" Gilligan asked, impressed by the quote.

The movie star shook her head, bouncing her perfectly styled red hair. "From a fortune cookie."

That brought a good laugh from the entire table.

The Skipper looked across the table at his first mate. "Little Buddy, you just about finished with lunch?"

Gilligan dropped his fork onto his plate and put a hand on his stomach. "I'm stuffed. I couldn't eat another bite if you paid me."

"Well, that's good." The Skipper rose from his seat and moved over behind Gilligan and placed both hands on the boy's shoulders. "Because I want you to go fetch some firewood."

"Firewood?" The first mate turned with a small frown. "But I'm not finished listening to the radio."

"Well, I say you are. Now, the girls need it to cook dinner tonight."

Gilligan sagged a little. "Skipper, I've been working all day!" He began to list each task on his fingers. "I checked the lobster traps this morning, brought fresh water up from the stream, collected two buckets of coconuts, cleaned the fish for tonight and that was just before breakfast! I'm bushed."

"You had plenty of time to rest. Now it needs to be done."

"But they won't need that firewood until tonight and it's not even one o'clock yet."

"Gilligan, I gave you and order!"

"But, Skipper…" Gilligan flinched slightly as the Skipper's hat smacked across the back of his head. His look of surprise quickly morphed in to a large smile.

"What are you grinning about?" The Skipper asked testily.

"You know somethin'?"

"What?"

"It's good to be back."

THE END

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