The blare of the boat's horn snapped me out of my daydreaming of lands far away and lives that were happy. Suddenly, almost too suddenly, I was whipped back to reality of blue skies and open seas. At last, for once in my life I felt completely on my own, no one behind me telling me where to go, what to do and how to do it. I felt in charge of myself for the first time in a long time.

"So you're heading out on your own huh, lass?" I pivoted on my right foot to see an old sea dog with short gray hair and a long blue sea coat. His head was covered in a captain's hat and his feet were submerged in fishing boots; he cradled a small tobacco pipe in his hands.

"Yep, finally on my own." I said as I turned back to look at the sea. I bent over the railing of the boat to get as close to the water as possible without actually being in it.

"I be guessing a pretty girl as yourself is heading to Waffle Island for that ranch deal thing?" I slightly blushed at his compliment.

"You'd be guessing right." The man walked up beside at the edge of the railing of the boat, he bent over as I was.

"Aye, I work on that little island. It's a nice cute island, good for ranching and all that. I can see a fine lass as yourself settling in nice there," I smiled to myself. "So what be your name, lass?" I cocked my head to face the captain. I straightened up and held out my hand to him.

"Mallory." He gave a toothy smile as he grabbed my hand as well and shook it.

"Pretty name for a pretty girl." Ok, at first his compliments were sweet, but now at this point I was starting to think pedophile.

"Thanks. And you would be?" I said as we released hands. He smiled at me very proudly.

"The name be Pascal." I looked back out to the ocean where now on the horizon the tiny island was just barely visible to my brown eyes.

"Well Pascal, I thank you for the boat ride." I said sincerely, but my voice wasn't really in it. I was too focused on the little lump in the straight line of the sea. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Pascal tip his hat to me.

"My pleasure Mallory. If you need anything, just holler." The old man strode away to the captains quarters slowly sipping at his pipe, blowing small clouds of smoke in the salty air. I continued to stare at the island; I just knew this place would mean good things for me, if for just once in my life, I knew I would be happy on this island.

My eyes were locked on that island; it was almost as I grew oblivious to everything else around me, even oblivious to the storm that was quickly creeping up on the small engine boat.

--

I suddenly snapped awake in an unknown little room. Sure, it was small and cozy but that didn't stop me from freaking out. I quickly hopped out of the little well made bed and walked to the room door and opened. It expanded out into a long hallway lined with doors that went into rooms that looked much like the one I had just been in moments before. I calmed a bit, since now it was obvious I was at a hotel or inn or something to that effect. I aimlessly wandered the place until I found stairs leading me downstairs to the main floor.

When I emerged from the staircase I was slowly greeted by faces I didn't know. One of them being an older stocky woman with braided pink hair. Her face was very settled in and full of wrinkles. The other was a younger woman, maybe only a bit older than I was, with short red hair in a simple but elegant evening dress.

"Dear, are you alright?" The older woman asked, she had a heavy smoker's voice. I looked at her a bit confused.

"Uh, yes I'm fine. Should I not be?" The younger woman stepped in and answered for her.

"While you were still on the boat, a big storm came and made you pass out. Pascal carried you here." Great, exactly what I needed, the pedophile holding me and thinking he's a hero. I sighed and looked at them apologetically.

"Oh, well I'm sorry I worried you both…even though I don't really know who you are…" I trailed off looking shy.

"Oh my! Forgive me; I don't know where my manners are," The younger woman chirped. "My name is Colleen, and this is my mother-in-law—"

"Yolanda." She cut Colleen off.

"Uh, hi. I'm Mallory." I smiled shyly. Yolanda looked at me very proudly.

"Welcome Mallory, I'm the culinary master round here, which is just fancy talk for a good chef." She smiled at me. I looked around my surroundings slowly, and then I looked back over at them.

"Uhm, where's 'here'?"

"That would be the Sundae Inn young miss." I turned around to see a tall wealthy looking man behind me. He looked like the kind that hated kids, or in my case, 19-year-olds, but he smiled at me heartily and genuinely. "The name's Jake, I run this place with my wife." He pointed over to Colleen, who blushed. I looked around me to see a small front desk, tables and chairs along with a kitchen and bar on the side.

"It's cute." I remarked, more to myself than anyone else. Colleen had a sudden wave of shock wipe over her petite face; I stared at her dumbfounded.

"Oh Mallory! I forgot, the mayor wanted to see you once you were awake."

"Why me?"

"You're the first to arrive on this small desolate island in years. Mayor wanted to know what made you want to come to this place, and how you like it." Yolanda filled me in. I thought about what she said for a moment.

"Uh, I just moved here. I don't even have my house yet, how am I supposed to know if I like it here?" Yolanda shrugged.

"Mayor's kind of an idiot."

"Mother!" Jake exclaimed. "Don't speak of Hamilton in such manner. He tries his best."

"And fails." Yolanda said under her breath as she looked away rolling her eyes. I chuckled silently to myself. Colleen, being the attempting peacekeeper, smiled weakly at me.

"Hamilton is our mayor. True, he is a bit of a scatterbrain—"

"Idiot." Yolanda cough-interrupted. Jake scowled at his mother.

"But he does his best since his wife passed last year." Colleen concluded. "But all that aside, he would like to see you. He should just be outside or somewhere close to the inn." She smiled at me, I grinned back.

"Ok, thanks. I'll see you all later." I waved to them all and walked out the door to Waffle Town.

When I walked outside, the warm spring air automatically bit at my pale skin. I had always had pale skin, but now looking at it, I smiled to myself, as I thought that my days of ranching would bring on a lot of sun. Suddenly from around the corner of the inn, a short plump man came jogging up to me. I guessed it was the mayor. His nose was rather large, and his hair was half gone, he was noticeably shorter than I was. The mayor smiled brightly at me.

"You're Mallory, correct? How do you feel?"

"Fine, thank you." I said politely.

"My name is Hamilton; I'm mayor of this little island. Pardon me asking, but why did you decide to come to our humble town?" I thought about it for a moment. Hmm, well let's see. I left to escape my psychotic abusive ex-boyfriend, and controlling temperamental parents. But was I going to tell some space-case mayor that? Hell no.

"Just wanted to get out on my own with a change of scenery." I told him, half telling the truth. It seemed pleasing enough to him as he smiled bright as, if not brighter than the sun.

"I see. An ambitious young person as yourself is just what this island needs. So, I'd like to officially welcome you to Waffle Island! Welcome!" We both smiled, but then he started clapping his hands together like I was a baby that just learned to poop on the toilet for the first time. It was degrading, but I suppose his heart was in the right place.

"Thank you." I said happily.

He cleared his throat and looked at me a bit seriously. "Now, on regards to your house…" I looked at him skeptically.

"What about it…?" I egged him on.

"Well, it's not quite done being built yet…" My facial expression remained un-phased but inside I had a little mini episode. I bought that damn house and land two seasons ago, and it's still not done being built? What are those carpenters doing during work hours, playing freaking ping pong? Come on! "Well, I shouldn't say that exactly. It is done being built, but the carpenters are still perfecting it. It will only take maybe two days to complete." I calmed inside a bit, but I still say they were playing ping pong or something.

"Uh, that's alright I guess. So where am I gonna stay til then? Here?" I pointed behind me to the Sundae Inn.

"Actually, I've arranged for you to stay at Souffle Farm. Souffle Farm is a family owned business here on the island that sells farming stuff, like seeds and fertilizer. The owners will let you stay there in exchange for some minor part-time work. I figure it would be good for you earning some money since you're new." Uh! I have to work!

"That sounds great." I lied flat out. It's not that I was being lazy or anything, I just didn't expect to be working on my first day at this place.

"Wonderful!" Hamilton said happily, not catching my drift that I lied. "Follow me, I'll show you Souffle Farm."

Oh goodie.