The Island Part Five
Authors Note: Dear readers, at the end of this part you will see a link to all previous parts of the story so far. Do please check them out, none of them are very long, but they will help you to understand where I have come from to get to here.
As the silhouetted shape filling the doorway to my room extended his arm towards me I glimpsed some dark shaped object in his hand. For a nano-second, a small flash of light bounced off whatever it was. To me, it looked suspiciously like a pistol. So this was it, my end was just one second away.
“ You must be the new barman….,” said an unfamiliar voice. “…..and you look like you have just seen a ghost if I might say so. Don’t get up, take your time. Pinter’s the name, I run this place. Have you seen Kell in the last half hour?”
I shook my head in the negative. I was just so relieved that this guy hadn’t come to pop a cap in my precious little ass, I couldn’t speak a word. What I was convinced was a gun was nothing more than a semi-mat black, mobile phone. Phew!
“ Ok, well if you see Kell, tell him we’ve just fished a body out of the water. Local builder who went to the main island this morning to get some widget or grommet or some such. Came back on the same boat as you I believe. Ruddy-faced chap with a permanent smile fixed to his face? Looks like we need to put an ad in the paper for a new builder. Saunter on into the bar in your own time, first day, and all that. No rush. And if you see Kell, tell him I’m looking for him.”
And with that, he was gone. I sat up thinking about how much stranger this trip was going to get. Not to mention how much more my nerves could take. The girl I first saw on the boat trip over to the island, and later at the museum, was the only bright spot so far.
Also, Kell seemed like a good sort. And Pinter was friendly enough. But the ghost girl, the unexpected visit from the threatening mister bitter almonds, and now a dead body floating in the sea, it all was getting to me a bit.
After a while, I sauntered through to the inn bar. Behind the bar was a young wholesome-looking girl called Samantha. She was Pinter’s young pony tailed daughter and was busy serving pints of beer to a group of three tourists.
I went over and introduced myself and was struck by her prettiness and a vibe of unfriendliness towards me. Maybe I was just being a touch paranoid. It had been a hell of a first day so far. No more than two minutes later she announced, “ Right I’m off, it’s all yours. Dad said you’re an experienced barman, so I guess that means I don’t have to show you no ropes huh.”
And with that, she flounced out like a precocious pony with some attitude problem.
Minutes later Kell suddenly appeared and came behind the bar to greet me. He stood with his back to the bar and asked if all was okay. I told him we needed to speak about one or two things. I was desperate to unload the day’s events so far. I felt like I could trust Kell completely. Later events would prove that to be more than a fair summation of the man.
“ Errrr….ok, we’ll have a chat later. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Things can get a touch strange here at times, you’ll get used to it in a day or so.”
Just at that moment the door into the bar swung open and in walked a couple of what looked like local fishermen. Kell half turned to see who had come in and quickly turned back to face me.
“ Ok, keep a careful eye on these two goons. They can be a bit of a handful at times. No worries.” he said, as he flashed me the loveliest, brightest, confidence-boosting white tooth smile.
“ Pinter is looking for you. Something about a body being fished out of the sea a short while ago?” I said, in a low voice.
“ Yeah, I heard. Smiley the local builder. That’s what happens when you spend half your life pissed out of your brains. You get to develop a stupid grin, rosy red nose and cheeks, and found dead floating in the big blue. Oh well, looks like I’ll have to fix what he started and couldn’t finish. I wonder if he managed to get that grommet he went to collect. I’ll go take a peek. See you later.”
And with that Kell was gone. I couldn’t make up my mind if he was cruel or simply pragmatic. Not much one can do once somebody has kicked the bucket I supposed.
My mind began to wander a little. Did mister bitter almonds have anything to do with Smiley’s death? Who knew, I certainly didn’t.
At that moment, I suddenly realised the two goons were standing in front of me.
“ What was he talking about as we came in? The big fella, the blond bombshell? We saw him turn to clock us coming in and then turn back to say something to you.”
The guy didn’t so much speak as mumble with a growl in a very unfriendly tone.
“ Oh….errr…just the weather, that was all.” I replied, as convincingly as I could muster.
“What can I get for you two gentlemen?”
“ Two pints of best bitter, with plenty of head on ‘em.” The other one ordered in an equally unfriendly growl towards me as the first guy.
Just as I finished plonking the two pints of beer on the bar, in walked the girl from the boat. Oh boy, was I pleased to see her. How little did I know that, first off I was going to be so busy I wouldn’t get even half a chance to chat with her, and when I did get to spend a little time with her later, it would be for the last time. She simply vanished into thin air the moment I took my eyes off her for a few seconds, never to be seen again to this day some fifty years on!