...The evening was enjoyable, after an dinner, and a magnum of champagne, everyone at the table congratulated their expedition for discovering the artesian spring at the bottom of Arboria Island Pond.
No one questioned Phillípe Pârfait’s absence at the dinner table since his arrival, no one took a liking to him anyway and his crass manners grated everyone like coarse sandpaper on a fine wood finish. Since Phillípe and Professor Langlois wrapped up the concept for an Arboria Island recreational area in a PowerPoint Program of profits and dollar signs, everyone else knew the State of California would put the kibosh on it, if word got out about their intentions.
Somehow, Phillípe invited himself to the Arboria Island expedition, and he wasn’t getting along well with all concerned from the start. No one at the celebration table ever missed him. Phillípe was obsessed with the concept of turning the island in to an exclusive commercial enterprise, so that turned off several people who ordinarily would have attended the dinner to be busy with other things. Furthermore, even with all his ersatz charm, Phillípe Pârfait failed in his drive to turn the island in to an exclusive resort.
Phillípe's Pârfait amorous endeavors, aggressive attitude toward women, including his long-suffering wife Monica, on whom he cheated regularly and the aggravation he caused Pârfait Industry executive staff, caused a low turnout; most of those invited were busy with other responsibilities. His swindling of associates, relatives and even the Gnostic Cathar Spirits was his eventual undoing.
Marceline and Darôk had work to do with the State of California and permits from Redwoodville planning officials concerning Arboria Island Environmental Reserve, planned to stay another week. Phillípe’s funeral service, reluctantly given by a traveling minister in Redwoodville’s small non-denominational chapel was somber and bare. Only six people attended the funeral and cremation: Monica, his wife, Marceline his niece and her mother Angeline, and Hênri Pârfait, who delivered a eulogy for his brother, Darôk Camul and Sarah Davidson. Hênri Pârfait, his wife Angeline and his sister-in-law Monica Pârfait planned to leave the next day take care of family business back in New York City.
After a quiet dinner at the Jefferson Restaurant, the funeral attendees thanked each other for attending, and everyone headed toward their rooms at the Humboldt Inn. Worn out from the day’s activities, the two lovers just fell into in each other’s arms on a large settee in Darôk’s Room 25. All Darôk could say to Marceline, as his steak rumbled around in his tummy looking for a quiet corner, in which to digest, was that his love for her would be one for the history books of romance. “Someday, my darling, they will write about us, in this time of tumult, as the world’s last two contented lovers...”
© 2018, R. L. Lyons. All rights reserved.