Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new instalment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
And the perils of writing on the fly often leads to back revisions to aid moving forward, and this is one of those occasions. A few revisions were required.
Short of jumping over the side, there was no way we were getting away. And judging from the expression on Rico’s face, now very plain to see halfway along the pier, he was not happy to see us.
Boggs stepped off the deck and joined me on the pier, just as Rico made it to where we were standing, just as it started in a gentle up and down motion with the water, churned up by a passing speed boat, but it was fear rather than the pier’s motions making me feel sick.
The sound of another boat caused me to glance in the opposite direction, out towards the sandbar, where I could see another large boat coming in our direction very quickly, and by the shape of it, quite possibly a police launch or the coast guard.
Rico had seen it too. “What have you done?”
“I called the police,” I said, trying to act braver than I felt. Even with the police on their way, Rico could still do something we’d all regret.
Movement by the fishing store caught my eye, and I saw it was two of the men who’d left the boat with Rico earlier, retreating. They’d seen the situation and were retreating. A police car with its siren blaring and lights flashing just stopped at the entrance to the pier and two officers were getting out, guns in hand.
Those men would getaway. Rico had seen them too and looked relieved. Odd for a man about to find himself in a lot of trouble.
Boggs blurted out, “There’s a dead body in the cabin.”
Rico shook his head. “That’s not possible. I’ve been gone for an hour and it isn’t possible he put himself there.”
He looked around to see the officers coming from the land side of the pier. There was no escape for him, or for us, but this could still end up a sticky situation for us if Rico decided to shoot his way out. Boggs said he owned a gun, and if it was not on him, it might be in the boat.
Rico climbed on board and then moved to the hatch. He lifted the hatch cover and folded it back to show an opening into the cabin. It hadn’t been locked; it just looked like it was. Just as the officers made it to the boat, he stepped in, then down into the cabin.
A minute later, when he came up Rico looked visibly shaken like he’d seen a ghost.
The police launch had arrived just off the stern, kicking up the water and causing the boat and pier to rock violently, two men at either end ready to secure their boat to ours. The land-based officers also arrived, somewhat out of breath, to join Boggs and I on the pier.
I recognised the officer who appeared to be in charge, a man called Johnson, the police chief’s deputy. He was known to shoot first and ask questions later. What worried me the most, he had his gun drawn and ready to shoot.
He looked at me, Rico, Boggs, then back to me. “What’s this all about?”
“There’s a body in the cabin,” Boggs said before I could say a word, still sounding very frightened, but whether it was the body in the cabin, Rico’s fury at his meddling or the fact the police were involved was hard to say.
He switched his glare to Rico. “That true?”
Rico nodded. “I don’t know where it came from, but it wasn’t there an hour ago.” A last look back at the cabin, he stepped off the boat onto the pier.
The seaman aboard the police launch slipped a rope over the bollard at the rear of our boat and then jumped on board to secure it. Another seaman did the same at the bow. Two more jumped on board, one covering Rico and the other going into the cabin.
When he came back up on deck he was talking into his cell phone.
I think Rico had a lot of explaining to do.
© Charles Heath 2019