Chowder is a viscous, creamy, souplike food: beloved by many; feared by some.
It can contain various ingredients aside from its chowdery base, such as potatoes, corn, clams, and other seafood. This story is not about those chowders.
What you are about to read is the tragic tale of The One Chowder, the Forever Chowder, the Chowder that Shall Not Be Named, or most accurately, Mermaid Chowder.
This monstrous and omnipotent soup is not available from your local pub, your grocer, your friendly neighborhood fishmonger, or even from specialty food shops on the Internet. No, Mermaid Chowder is obtained in one place alone and that place comes and goes as it wishes. Most think it merely an urban legend, but those who believe live to someday find and eat at the Phantom Chowder House.
The last sighting of the Phantom Chowder House was in the middle of the parking lot of a grocery store in Sneads, Florida. Witnesses said it had been apparently built and put into operation during a brief moment around 3:04 PM when no one was looking. There was no chowder house and then there was, just like that.
During the week of its manifestation, rumors spread of its mysterious properties. It was said that the tiny and ancient-looking shack became a spacious and elegant restaurant once inside. It was said that it had last appeared some 400 years ago in Tibet and that all those who ate the Mermaid Chowder were still alive today. It was said, most emphatically that the Phantom Chowder House was not of this world and was not to be trusted.