Serenity and Dead William’s Island

(Not sure where this came from, but consider it a delayed Halloween treat.)

Two-mast sailing ship, little sail up, golden sunsetThe good ship “Serenity’” welcomed all who dared tread her boards and strut the stage after sunset. But there was a price for admission, one that a surprising number of folk from all walks and situations were willing to pay. 

There were fortunes to be won by those who left the hamlet of Everyday and crossed the golden seas to the Haunted Harbor at Dead William’s Island, and stayed the required week to become a serenity player. It mattered not whether one had not one whit of acting or musical talent, whether one was a sorcerer at setting a stage or a dunce at the drums. One solid week, nights and days, on Dead William’s, and the brave (or desperate, as is often the flip side of the same coin) that came back to the mainland were pale and radiant with a depth and dedication to the craft that was, to put not too fine a point on it, spooky.

Spooky, yes, but incomparably well suited to the secret manifesto of the Serenity Twilight Offshore Playhouse.

The afternoon sails were always blessed with clement weather, the playbill simple and delightful: A comedy on Fridays, a tragedy on Saturdays, and a musical concert on Sunday afternoons. All new compositions, players that seemed familiar under the makeup and costuming, seeming to be former friends and families, but quite obviously changed (or perhaps removed?) from their core.

Those who wished to return to the mainland disembarked when the ship readied to return to William’s, those who wanted more of what Serenity whispered to their starved souls, stayed on board. Some of those who disembarked had never been to the Haunted Harbor at Dead William’s Island, and had no wish to go. They were happy in the hamlet.

Others who disembarked were performers, and they walked straight through the streets of Everyday and up and over the mountain road that connected the hamlet to the rest of the world, the better to share the gifts they’d been given via the good ship Serenity.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2019)

 

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