The Island Part Eight
I reached for the door handle and eased the door open. There, right in front of me was……….
Bejaysus Kell, am I glad to see you. Man this place is so freekin weird. Come in. Suddenly I noticed he was wet through. Shit man, what happened?
You couldn’t wait for that skinny dip with those two lovely nurses you had lined up for us tonight at the hotel pool or what? Here let me get you a towel and some dry clothes of mine, if they’ll fit you."
“ Nah, it’s ok, I’ll only be a minute. Those two freekin goons saw me out in my new boat and rammed me.”
“ Yeah, I’m ok, which is more than I can say for my new boat. She’ll be ok, a bit of fibreglass and she’ll be right as rain in no time at all.
Fortunately I was just coming back in and I wasn’t too far from dry land. I had to swim about a mile or so. All that gym work came in handy I can tell you……
.......Listen, I need to go get sorted back in my room. Do me a favour, open up the bar when it’s time, I’ll pop in later to see if everything is ok. Shouldn’t be too busy tonight, I saw the two tourist boats leaving for the main island, full to the bulwarks they were. Here grab these keys. Catch you later.” And with that, he turned and slopped off down the accommodation block entrance hall.
“ Hey, Kell….” I called after him, “ Did you see a pretty fair-haired, freckle-faced girl with a backpack and the Lonely Planet in her mitts by any chance?”
He half-turned and raised his evenly tanned, muscular arm to wave the negative.
The next time I got that close to Kell one of us would be covered in blood.
I went to lay down a while to see if I could either get some much-needed rest, or if not make some sense of the crazy things that were going through my tortured mind.
After an hour or so of tossing and turning, I got up and slowly made my way to the bar.
It was a little early yet, so no more than three or four people waiting by the door to go in. Slowly over the course of the nest few hours, the bar began to fill up. It seemed to be a mix of inn and hotel guests, a few day-trippers and locals from the island as well as a few from other nearby islands with a boatman in tow to take them all back at the end of the evening.
The evening was uneventful until towards the end. The second builder from the morning trip over from the main island was standing, just about, at the bar. He was drunkenly demanding another drink. I wasn’t too happy about giving him one as he looked on the point of collapse already. Still, he insisted. I just ignored him for the time being and went to collect glasses.
Most people got the message as I walked around the bar calling time. All except one at least made the effort to drink up and amble out of the bar.
A young, edgy, wirey, blond wreck of a kid, maybe nineteen years old, refused to drink up. I just let him be for now.
Suddenly Kell appeared behind the bar and I went to greet him, hands full of empty and half-empty glasses.
“ Everything OK?" Kell asked
“ Sort of,” I said. “ That builder who is staying with us and fixing the plumbing in his own room is as drunk as a skunk and demanding another whiskey on the rocks. I’ve declined so far.I think one more whiskey will kill him.
Also, there’s an arsey kid over there in the corner refusing to drink up. If you could deal with 'One more whiskey' and 'Arsey kid' I’d appreciate it. I can carry on getting glasses in and get the bar tidied up."
“ No probs, you carry on, I’ve got both covered for ya.”
At that Kell just went right over to the wreck of a kid, grabbed his half-full glass and told him to get out. At first he refused. In the end, Kell had to strong-arm the fool out.
Then Kell took the plumber, ever so kindly, out of the bar and up to his room where he lay him down to sleep off his drunkenness.
Kell came back down and told me to get myself off to the hotel on the other side of the island and wait for him and the two lovelies he had lined up for a skinny-dip in the hotel pool with us. And that is exactly what I did. Later I got the low down from Kell on what happened next in my absence.
After all the stragglers had left, Kell knocked off all the lights and went outside to lock up the bar, the arsey wreck of a kid was waiting for him in the dark shadows of the beer garden, brandishing a very large knife.
The kid made a run at Kell, but in his semi-drunken state stumbled and almost fell. Seeing the big knife, before the kid could recover his balance, Kell did no more and no less than pick up the wooden garden bench, or rather benches, AND the table separating them, all as one hefty unit and swung around 360 degrees!
The unit, all one hundred and fifty pounds of it, smacked the wreck of a kid on the side of his head and damn near took his head off.
Blood flew out in all directions, splattering all over Kell’s nice clean clothes. The kid ran off with a blood-curdling scream like a stuck pig, blood spurting from every orifice, ears, nose, mouth, hell he probably had it coming out his ass too. The blood was all over the hedgerow and muddy footpath that passed for a road over to the hotel.
Kell swore “Shit” and thought that that was an end to it. It was only just the beginning. The worst was yet to come, a lot worse both for Kell and for me.
I was getting bored waiting by the hotel pool. The sky suddenly lit up as if the whole firmament was ablaze. This did not make sense. It was past midnight and suddenly it was like sundown. It looked like the whole horizon was at the epicentre of a holocaust. How little did I know what forces of evil had been let loose.I looked up skywards and saw figures and shapes that looked like ghosts flying off in all directions. Clouds are amazing things at times, you can with very little effort make them look like anything you please.
I waited a long time and eventually headed back to my room at the inn. Little did I know at that time that the reason Kell didn’t turn up was because of his run in with the kid. I had no idea that Kell was in the middle of an orgy of extreme violence that almost cost him his life. Even Kell himself thought it was all over. He got that one wrong.
I started to make my way back to the inn along the dirt track. About halfway home I saw a silhouette coming towards me, about one hundred yards ahead.
I recognised who it was just from his build. "Kell" I called out, is that you?"
"Yeah, just about it's me, what's left of me." Kell said.
When he got up a lot closer I could see what he meant. He looked awful. Covered in spats of blood and more than one or two grazes. One in particular worried me. On his left cheek was a very nasty looking injury that looked like it could have been a bullet wound. And that was exactly what it was.
" Shit Kell, what happened man, you look you've been in a war!"
" I have been in a war. Come on, lets go back to the inn and I'll tell you all about it. Stick close to me, I aint sure this is all over yet."
" Who was it Kell, those two goons who rammed you earlier on?"
" Them? Nah those two are just a couple of idiots. This...." he said pointing at the mess of blood and gore all over him.".....was the work of a very, very dangerous and heavily armed lunatic with a grudge."
As we ambled slowly along the path Kell brought me up to speed with what had happened back at the inn with Arsey Kid.
" After I sent him scattering up this path bleeding heavily and squealing like a pig, I went to my room to calm down a few minutes. Then I went looking for those two nurses, though to be honest I didn't much feel like any skinny dip. Sorry about that huh.
Anyway, no sign of the two lovelies, maybe they got wind of my little interlude with the Arsey Kid as you call him. So I decided to just come over here to let you know what had gone down back at the inn.
I was walking along here somewhere when the next thing I know I hear what sounded like a rifle going off somewhere in the bushes close by. I felt something hot graze my left cheek and realised I was in deep doo aha.
I quickly ducked and ran to where the shot had more or less shot come from. In less than thirty seconds I stumbled upon Arsey Kid, hunched down amongst the gorse and heather, re-loading his weapon of choice.
I managed to get the rifle off the little shit and dragged him to his feet. Whimpering like baby he was. I marched him back to his mum's cottage and man-handled him inside.
He started to whinge and moan about how everybody at the inn had it in for him and his mum after she was caught out thieving and got sacked.
I told him he was being ridiculous and killing innocent folk like me wasn't the answer to all his problems. Then I made the biggest mistake of my friggin life. I handed the rifle back to him and told him to put it away.
What I didn't realise was that he had in fact managed to re-load the rifle in the bushes seconds before I grabbed a hold of him. I should have checked that out before I handed it back to him, I guess.
Anyway, he turns the rifle on himself and says he's gonna kill himself. I managed to calm him down when suddenly.....
The little smack head turns and aims the rifle at me and says if he can't kill himself then he's gonna kill me! And before I know it that bad boy rifle goes off with the loudest bang you ever heard in your effin life.
Fortunately, I managed to shift an inch to one side just before he pulled the trigger. The bullet flew right past me and went smack into the kids own television set. Bloody thing exploded like a bomb going off. At that point I decided to bail out.
I just went back to the track and carried on up to the hotel to meet you. And here we are. Are you Ok?
I could hardly believe what Kell was telling me. And to finish his tale of terror, he asks me if I'm ok!
One thing was clear, war had been declared, and, as things turned out not too much later, that was just a sideshow to what was going on with mister bitter almonds and what he was up to with the ghosts of the Elysian Fields figureheads down at the museum.
I gazed up at the fiery sky and saw more ghosty clouds zipping across in all directions. A lot of activity seemed to be concentrated over where the museum was in the Elysian Fields.
Tonight it was all going to come to a head and there were going to be at least two more mysterious deaths. And I was caught up in the middle of it all. Thank god I had Kell next to me. If it wasn't for his comforting presence I don't know what I would have done.
Suddenly Kell stopped in front of me. "Ok stop here a moment" he said in a low voice. I just heard something up ahead I don't like.
" Quick, get down behind that bush right there and do not make a sound."
We both ducked down under the bush. In less than a few seconds soft footsteps and some sort of clicking noises could be heard close by.