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.
Showdown with the Cossatinos
“What was that?” Boggs roused from his reverie and stood.
“I think that was Nadia. Wait here, while I go and check. You might want to check that exit, see if it leads anywhere. It’s obvious Ormiston and your dad did not come in via that doorway on the cliff.
“You think we’re going to need an exit strategy.”
There was another scream, longer and nearer, and that wasn’t one of shock or surprise, but pain.
In that instant, I think he realised what was happening. “We both should go.”
“No. I got Nadia into this. See if there’s a way out, and if there is, call Charlene and tell her where we are. She had a rough idea so help might not be too far away.”
“You told her, too.”
OK, not happy about my willingness to share, but I’d already made the assumption there would be no treasure.
“Just in case. Go.”
He disappeared into the darkness, and, seconds later, the torchlight disappeared. A minute, maybe a little longer passed before Nadia came into the cavern, with Vince and Alex right behind her.
Alex shoved her in my direction, and I just managed to catch her before she fell down.
“Where’s your mate Boggs?”
“Dead.” I nodded my head in the direction of the body on the ground.
Judging by her dishevelled look, Nadia had put up some resistance, trickles of blood coming from her nose and mouth, both Alex and Vince had the bruises to prove it.
“The other Boggs,” Vince was angry, and I had instant and vivid memories of him. It would be silly to antagonise him.
“Do you honestly think where the treasure is involved that I would share its location with him?” Greed was something both Alec and Vince could appreciate.
I just hoped Nadia had told them nothing about who was in the cave.
“So much for being a friend.”
“There’s no treasure here, by the way. If it was, it’s long gone.”
“There never was,” Vince said. “We just fed the frenzy by dropping clues, though no one has ever got this close, at least not since Boggs and Ormiston. Couldn’t have them tell anyone there was no treasure or the maps would be worthless. Now, unfortunately, Sam you’re going to join them. Can’t have you telling anyone the truth.”
“You’re telling me Boggs and Ormiston were murdered?”
“Neither of them would let it go. And after everything we did for Boggs. As for Ormiston, he was just a raving lunatic.”
“He actually knew where the treasure was and was going to tell the world about it unless we gave him a cut of the map sales. Came down here making all sorts of threats.”
“And now you’re going to kill me?”
“No. We’re not murderers Smidge, we’re just going to tie you up and leave you here. No one knows you are here, so no one will know where to look.”
“I’ll know,” Nadia said.
“Of course, you will. But you’re a Cossatino first and foremost, and you won’t tell anyone.”
“You’re wrong Vince. I’m not like you, or any of them. Soon as I get out of here, I’m going to the police.”
Vince shook his head. “I was hoping you’d be more sensible than that, but clearly you’re not. I can’t tell you how much of a disappointment you’ve turned out to be.”
“One thing I can tell you, when I get out of here, I’m coming for you.”
“Of course you are.” He pulled out a gun and aimed it at me. “Cause any trouble and I’ll shoot him, so turn around and face the wall.”
“That’s your style isn’t it Vince, shooting people in the back.”
He ignored her, and we both watched Alex tie her hands beside her back and then her feet, then dumped her on the ground. Vince then aimed his gun at her while Alex did the same to me.
When he finished, and made sure neither of us could do anything, he rejoined Vince. “Goodbye. I can’t say it’s been a pleasure.” Then to Nadia, “We could have had something special, you know, how it was like back at school. You were so much fun then. What happened?”
“You’re nothing but a thug in a cheap suit, in fact, that describes the pair of you. I tolerated you because I was told to, Alex.”
He looked at me and I could see him trying to come up with a suitable retort about her current choices, but didn’t. Perhaps nothing he could say would make a difference.
“How are you going to explain my disappearance?” She said, not waiting for a retort.
“I’ll just tell them you and Smidge run away together. It’s almost believable.”
“Come on,” Vince said, after looking at his watch. Obviously, he had somewhere else to be.
“See you in the next life,” Alex said, and then laughed as if it was a huge joke. Vince just told him to shut the hell up, or he leave him with us.
Then they were gone, the silence and darkness enveloping us. I was surprised they had been willing to believe I was there on my own. They had to be following us and know for sure Boggs was with us. I tried not to think about what might happen if Boggs was somewhere else, tied up like we were and no one was coming to get us.
All I had to hang on to was what I’d told Charlene in general terms where we would be, just in case something happened to us. It was now a matter of how long she would wait before discovering we were missing.
“Not quite how I imagined the rest of our lives,” Nadia said. “What do you think happened to Boggs?”
“I told him to go, and I stayed. If we’re lucky, he’ll get word to Charlene.”
“There are two entrances, you know. I just found out from Vince. Loves gloating. He’s been expecting you or Boggs to do exactly what you did.”
“You could have walked away, not hang around on the beach. There was always a chance we’d be discovered.”
“I keep telling you I’m not one of them and didn’t invite them to the party. I guess now you have to believe me.”
At least that was true. They would not have tied her up and left her behind.
I shrugged. It didn’t really matter now. “For what it’s worth, I always knew I could trust you, but that’s not going to help us now “
“Don’t lose faith, Sam. We are going to get out of this, and when we do, I’m going to kill the pair of them.”
I couldn’t see how, and if I was by myself I might have given up. Now, at least if anything happened, I would not be alone.
© Charles Heath 2020-2022