read on A03. this is basically one big joke based on Teru’s character profile. hopefully y’all like smitten Teru as much as i do
This was it. This was the night.
And so what if Teru had previously proclaimed no less than seven other nights to be ‘it’? Those were just practice rounds, warm-ups so that the blonde could arrange everything perfectly.
His plan of attack was flawless. Teru had already “run into” Shigeo on the boy’s way home from school yesterday and invited him to dinner, conquering the hammering in his heart that somehow never quieted despite Teru having asked Shigeo to hang out the aforementioned seven times earlier.
The cardiac distress was all worth it, though, for Shigeo had accepted with a small little smile that honestly had no business being so lovely. The esper was to arrive at Teru’s apartment at 6 pm.
The microwave clock blinked 5:47 as Teru eyed the dinner spread for the umpteenth time, checking for flaws. His modest table housed double the typical number of chairs and displayed a platter of raw oysters, lemon slices artfully garnishing the plate.
A few hours before Hurricane Matthew made a fuss in eastern Virginia, I was on the water with my cousin Mark. Mark left a corporate career to become a waterman. He has started an oyster aquaculture business on the York River on 240 acres of oyster grounds (100 ha) leased from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. The beds - which are in view of the site of Cornwallis’s surrender to Washington at the end of the Revolutionary War - are also in view of Mark’s home on the river. He measures his commute in feet.
His aquaculture operation takes microscopic oyster spat to seed size, about the size of a coin. Seed oysters are then transferred to shell beds or cages to mature and reach market size.
On the day of my visit Mark pulled a cage to send me home with about three dozen tender beauties. His grounds are in mid-salinity waters in the York, and his oysters are fat and sweet and not too metallic at the finish. The cage shown here holds about 500 oysters that have been growing contentedly for about fourteen months.
Mark has rigged a pontoon boat with a crane and winch, and he uses a platform that functions as a large funnel to return by-catch and wash water to the river. The cages are also home to hundreds of sea squirts, crabs, and bottom-dwelling fish.
He is still looking for a brand name for his oysters. Visitors are encouraged to leave suggestions, and a wall on his deck is covered with dozens of post-its with ideas. I offered “Clay Bank Sweets,” but I think my favorite is “High Mark Oysters.”
Addenda: Mark will never be found on a boat without a Tilley hat. This is an immutable truth. The fish shown in this photo set is an oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau), and so large it must have taken up residence in the cage at a very early age. The little crab is a black-fingered mud crab (Panopeus herbstii) that has lost a claw. If it still has a molt left in its lifecycle it is possible the missing cheliped will regenerate. If you look closely at the photo with the flag you will see a streak from a smudge on my camera lens where a sea squirt got me. For such small, brainless things, their aim is uncanny.