After my bizarre meal at Potato Key I drove back on Highway 1.5 to see where it would take me next. The highway crossed miles and miles of the pristine waters that sparkled under the midday sun. It was a perfect day for driving and exploring the New Keys.
A half hour later I arrived at Sinking Key, a rather curious name for such a beautiful island. It presented itself well with palm trees lined up alongside the road overlooking the beach along with trees with colorful orchids blooming from its branches lined up along the median of the highway that passed by countless souvenir shops and restaurants. Yet there was no traffic here, no cars to be seen anywhere. I drove on a few minutes more when I spotted the city hall with its parking lot overflowing with cars. Apparently there was something going on, and my curiosity got the best of me to find out what it was.
I walked into the city hall to join what was a meeting in progress. The room was so full that there were people standing because all the chairs were taken, yet they stood in silence to focus their attention on the man at the podium.
“Who knows how much longer we have,” the man said, “but we need to get moving soon. All of us.”
“But where?” asked someone in the audience.
“Who knows where, but as I speak we may be headed to our respective dooms.”
“Respective dooms,” chortled another attendee. “All because we live on Sinking Key.”
There was murmuring throughout the room upon this revelation.
“Yes, just as the name implies, we’re slowly sinking into the ocean, and we need to find ourselves new homes and fast.” the man at the podium announced.
“But I’ve lived here 20 years and I see no signs of us sinking!” an old man spoke up.
“That’s because it’s a very gradual sinking we’re going through. It may not be obvious now, but in 20 years we’re most likely going to be knee deep in water!”
More concerned mumbling. I decided to speak up.
“Excuse me, I know I’m a mere visitor but there’s something I’d like to point out,” I said.
“Oh, please do,” the man at the podium invited me on stage. “Anything to put our troubled minds at ease.”
“Thank you,” I took my place at the podium. “As I was driving into Sinking Key, I couldn’t help notice a corroded sign along Highway 1.5. I took a closer look and saw this inscription:”
Welcome to Sinking Key
In the name of Britain I so claim this island. Deal with it.
Captain James Sinking
There was a hushed silence as everyone stared at me in disbelief. I waited a few minutes before sensing my time was up, so I left City Hall and returned to my car. I looked back at City Hall one last time and heard nothing but silence. Even the ocean was quiet. Shrugging, I got in my car and drove on to continue my journey.
To be continued…