Ionian gangster boy, p.4
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       Ionian Gangster Boy, p.4

           Mikey Simpson
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  Chapter 4 - New Direction

  As the sun started to warm the paths and roads of the resort Morgan could see that today was going to be another scorcher. Dotted around in the front gardens of hotels were lemon trees that were drooping from the heat. Morgan like the once green vegetation was wilting his t-shirt began to dot with perspiration, and he was beginning to wish he had stayed at the trickling stream by his apartment, out here in the open it was too humid the heat wave had arrived with a vengeance. Half an hour of window shopping and browsing the shops had left him tired, but had resulted in the purchase of some much needed safari shorts with baggy pockets. If it hadn’t been for the need to conceal a weapon on his person he would have passed on the chore, but the garment was a necessity.

  He quickly took refuge from the sun under the canopy of the bakery and then sipped coffee whilst getting an update on current affairs from George the baker. Only a few minutes of reflection about the local news had passed when Davie and Stevie screeched to a halt on two scooters. ‘Hey we’ve been looking for you all over the place, and the woman in the hotel wasn’t immensely helpful!’ said Davie.

  ‘We got these bikes and need something to do. You want to take a ride up to Sidari?’ Stevie asked.

  ‘Aren’t you guys in work today?’

  ‘It’s casual, needed as and when work crops up. Manos has told us to lay low this week, some guys are checking out the books, and we’re not on them.’

  ‘Interesting!’ Morgan wondered if it could have anything to do with the mafia, another of his businesses was under threat.

  ‘Anyway we remembered what you said on the plane - about touring the island and now we got time to look.’

  ‘OK, I’m up for it!’ Morgan approached the scooters. ‘But not on those things.’

  ‘What do you mean, got these at a good price,’ Davie said.

  ‘I would hope so. Both bikes are dropping to pieces, and where’s your helmets.’

  ‘Hey man it’s too hot; you’ll get all sweaty! Look around nobody wears them.’

  ‘Yes but they got decent bikes.’ he kicked the casing on the scooter and it rattled.

  ‘It’s okay; it runs well, although you got to keep an eye on the oil level.’ Stevie said.

  ‘Hop on, if we go now we’ll be able to get back tonight,’ Davie said.

  Morgan settled on the back of the bike, and they set off towards the dual carriageway. They got a few hundred yards along the road, and it broke down. ‘Guess it couldn’t handle a pillion rider.’ Davie said kicking it at the side of the road.

  ‘Where you get this pile of junk from?’ Morgan asked.

  ‘Across there at DB bikes,’ Davie pointed to a number of units and shops set back from the road.

  ‘Come on! I’ll give you a hand pushing it, we’ll take it back.’

  The next ten minutes were eventful as they risked their lives struggling across the carriageway; the Greek drivers raised concerns with their horns for the object being dragged before them. Someone even shouted. ‘You’re supposed to ride it, not push it!’ Davie’s reaction was to stick a finger in the air.

  It was hard work pushing the bike up an incline; the heat was incredible, and it wasn’t even mid-day yet. The two of them walked along the gutter of the road and stepped over a road kill cat. It looked like it had been there a while. The cats fur was hanging off, its half eaten body and could be smelled in the air. As they approached the bike shop, Morgan pushed the back of the bike to help it up the driveway to the shops front door. They sat on the bikes and waited for the owner who had acknowledged them to come out. As they looked at only a small row of new scooters, it was clear to see by the state of the rest that this was a back street operation. Here locals and the short on cash hired their transportation.

  ‘Where did you hear about this place?’ Morgan asked as sweat dripped off of his head, to leave a moist patch on his t-shirt.

  ‘Erica says he’s the cheapest.’

  ‘He might be the cheapest but look at the state of half of these. They need scrapping.’ As Morgan walked around them, he could see an assortment of bikes and parts piled up down the side of the shop.

  The mechanic finished a call in his office, came out and nodded to the boys. ‘Yia sas.’

  ‘Yanis, the bike’s knackered. I’ve only had it for two days, and it’s died!’

  The mechanic puffed on his cigarette and came over to look around it and then opened the gas tank to check the petrol level and then he played around some more, before shaking his head. ‘I thought I told you boys to check the oil level. These bikes are old and need a lot of oil to keep them running,’ he walked into his office and returned with some oil, poured some in the bike and then threw the can down the side of the shop. ‘Try that!’

  Davie jumped on it and turned the key before pushing the ignition button and pulling back on the throttle. The bike fired and then coughed a little as smoke poured out the back.

  ‘Give it a ride down the side road and see if it’s OK’ said Yanis, waving Davie off as if he’d seen it hundreds of times before. Sure enough the bike rode all right, and the scousers seemed happy enough to stick with it. Morgan, on the other hand, wasn’t too sure. ‘If you think I’m riding on that all the way up to Sidari, you must think I’m stupid. Well kill ourselves or have to catch the bus back!’ This statement was compounded by the fact that Yanis brought out his business card. ‘If you breakdown don’t let anyone else but me pick you up. Only me!’

  ‘Why’s that? You think someone's going to steal that thing!’ Morgan laughed.

  Yanis crossed his arms and raised an eyebrow. ‘This is Corfu, not England. Different place, different rules!’

  Morgan still wasn’t sure about setting off on a journey that he couldn't guarantee finishing. He approached the mechanic. ‘Yannis look we’re all workers, and we need reliable scooters to get to our jobs, is there nothing better than these bikes that you can hire out?’

  Yannis put his blackened hand up to his chin to think. ‘There’s nothing else available for the price you want to pay.’

  ‘How much is that? Say if I want one too, what do I have to pay?’ Morgan asked.

  ‘Theses bikes are sixty euros to the tourists, and I give them to you for forty a week. If you want better ones then it costs more!’ he pointed to the second row of scooters behind the new bikes. ‘They are eighty euro a week to the tourists I could do them to you for sixty!’ He opened his palms to the suggestions.

  ‘No we can’t afford that the lads said, we’ll stick with these!’

  ‘Yannis, which one of these is the best for sixty Euros?’ Morgan asked the mechanic to help him choose from the neatly lined up second row.’

  ‘The dark blue Piaggio is best. It’s fast and good up hills. Not like those, they are old and have seen a lot of miles.’ he pointed back to the boys bikes.

  ‘OK! I’ll take this!’

  ‘Come with me, you need to sign some paperwork!’ he encouraged Morgan to come back to his office and take a seat.

  Yanis sat at his desk and lit a cigarette, before delving into his desk drawer to pull out a pad. ‘I need to ask you a few questions for the records.’

  ‘Ok Morgan said.

  ‘What's your name, age and address?

  Morgan Nikolaos, 17, and I live opposite the clothes shop in Gouvia.’

  ‘The ones, down by the beach? You got a number for the apartment?’


  ‘Who you rent off?’

  ‘The baker!’

  ‘Oh, OK!’ the mechanic wrote the information down in Greek.

  ‘You have a full driving licence, that you can drive a car?’


  ‘Can I see it?’

  Morgan pulled his wallet out and produced the licence. ‘What details do you need?’

  ‘Only the License number!’ Yannis copied it down and returned it.

  ‘Sign please, and keep the top copy.’

  Morgan looked at
it and hesitated.

  ‘What’s the matter?’ Yannis asked.

  ‘It’s in Greek. I don’t know what I’m signing,’ the young man said.

  The mechanic leaned over the paperwork and described the information was for insurance and a contract for hiring the bike over a set period, before smiling and asking. ‘So you sign the paperwork for hire until the end of next month?’

  The boy paid ‘Does any of the paperwork go off to the police?’ Morgan asked foolishly.

  ‘Only if you get in trouble?’ the man asked suspiciously. Then added. ‘Do I look like a person who has a lot to do with the police?’

  The mechanic came out to the forecourt and asked Morgan to follow the same procedure Davie had just exercised on the side road. As Morgan rode back up to the shop, Yannis was standing with a flimsy helmet. ‘Here you go! By law, you are requested to wear these, but it’s up to you whether you do.’ He stood watching some locals drive bye with no crash helmet, children stood between their legs holding the handlebar.

  ‘Oh one more thing, don’t try to take the bike down the path to the apartment.’

  ‘Why’s that?’

  ‘You’ll piss the locals off with the noise, and if you’ve had a few to drink you’ll damage the bike! There’s plenty of room on the main street. Park it there.’

  This made him laugh out load. ‘OK!’. The mechanic was comical, telling him, "It was OK, to get wasted and drive the scooter with no helmet on!" What a crazy place this truly was.

  Morgan placed his helmet into the storage area under the seat and then spun the scooter round, it wasn’t the best looking bike on the market like the new Peugeots or Piaggios, but it was practical and could probably take someone on the back, unlike the boys bikes.

  ‘Show us the way!’ Morgan shouted to Davie as they rode down onto the dual carriageway away from Yannis.

  ‘We have to follow the road signs for Paleokastritsa first, and then we can pick up directions from a junction.’ Dave held a map in his hand, as he drove along slowly.

  ‘OK, lets go!’ Stevie shouted and sped off in front by twenty feet, fumes trailing behind him.

  At the first set of traffic lights, Morgan felt intimidated as the congestion built up behind them. He looked around nervously at the cars, pickups and numerous scooters that gathered around them revving their engines as if they were at a starting line waiting for a race to start. When the lights changed to green, the noise was deafening. Cars overtook the bikes and the scooters weaved in and out of one another, as they picked up speed to advance themselves out of the bustle. Soon the mass of traffic had spread out infront of them, until it vanished. Now they were alone, to sometimes ride alongside one another. The scenery also started to change as the two lanes converged into one fast moving road that started to snake through a more rural part of the island. For the first time he saw donkeys at the side of the road and old peasants working in the olive groves.

  Half an hour along the road to Paleokastritsa they came to a fork in the road. Morgan was anxious to watch the two riders in front and follow them. As they neared the signs it was clear that they needed to peel off to the right, so he followed them into a little S shaped bend and then opened up the power to start climbing up the hillside road. As the group climbed higher they came to a ninety-degree right bend that again had a steep incline. Here along sheltered areas of the road Morgan experienced driving through pockets of warm air that felt like driving through an oven. The trapped pockets of heated air made the tarmac sticky to drive through and difficult to breath, these sheltered parts of the road soon gave way to a fresher cooler experience as they neared the mountains summit to smell the musky pine of the conifers that lined the roadside, where shepherds with flocks of sheep or goats grazed.

  At the top of the mountain, was a little village called Skripero, here they stopped at a cafe and bought soft drinks. They sat on top of their scooters and looked back at their climb. It was incredible to see the panoramic view of the island, from the inland mountain villages that gave way to the valley roads which led to the coastal resorts, and the secluded bays and beaches that holiday makers craved. On the horizon, over a narrow stretch of water you could just make out mainland Greece and a little to the north Albania, between the land masses ships and yachts navigated the main straight to and from Corfu town.

  It was eleven o’clock when they resumed their journey over the mountain range to descend into Corfu’s interior. They followed the snaking road along steep contours, which made it difficult to keep control of the bikes. Sometimes HGV’s trundled past and forced them wider than they would have liked, into the edge of the road. It was dangerous trying to avoid the potholes and loose gravel when taking the corners and at one point Morgan rattled the suspension of his bike, which forced him to stop and examine the bike’s damaged undercarriage. Minute’s later worst was to come when Stevie slid off the road into thick undergrowth, after misreading a bend. Morgan feared the worst as he approached the accident. Only when the dust settled, could they see that Stevie had managed to avoid a substantial drop onto the road below. After that Stevie understandably was a bit jittery and so rode at the back of the group. The road trip continued deeper into the islands interior along narrow roads that cut villages in two. The trees in the lower part of the mountain range offered cover, and cool protection from the heat of the midday sun. They were now making considerable progress, and it wasn’t long before the gradient eased, as they approached Sidari on the coast.

  Around them, there was a lot to see in the countryside. It offered grazing land with peasant farms dotted here and there. Occasionally church bells were heard in the hills, and the bleating of sheep hidden in olive groves.

  Morgan who had a full bike license had never come to terms with travelling on a bike in the UK. There had been no fun in it, perhaps it was because of the restrictive unfavourable weather or use of helmet that separated the rider from the sights and sounds of the roads. For whatever reason he had always driven a car, but now he could see the benefits of the cool breeze, the wind in his hair and the connection to nature as they drove through it. The bike was versatile and ideal for the island. It also offered a convenient means of getaway, along small narrow tracks and the claustrophobic towns not built for cars.

  Morgan had started this trip at the right time with the aid of his companions, he was relieved that the boys had been with him on what could have been an intimidating navigation of the islands hill roads. The same roads that showed how compact the island was, with just 24 miles being covered in the journey.

  On entering the town, the scousers pulled over near to a pastry shop where a narrow lane led in-between commercial properties down to the beach and sea. ‘Come on lets go and take a look!’ Davie encouraged them to stretch their legs and leave the bikes behind.

  ‘Where are we going?’ Morgan asked, taking his bag from around his shoulder.

  ‘There’s a series of cliffs here and isolated bays, I’ve been wanting to take a look since we got here.’

  Sure enough as they walked across the sand, along dunes and then climbed a little onto formations that jutted out into the sea, to produce a series of canal like bays where the water lapped in to sandy shores.

  ‘Hey this is great!’ commented Stevie.

  ‘Bet you could fish off here,’ Davie held his hand to his eyes to reduce the glare of sunlight off the calm water.

  ‘Who’s up for diving in then?’ asked Stevie.

  ‘What over here?’ Davie looked over the edge. ‘It doesn’t look that deep to me!’ as he turned to look back a shirtless Morgan dropped his bag, ran and jumped off the cliff into the water below.

  There was a large splash and then a few seconds passed before the diver returned to the surface, ‘Ah! Jesus!’ Morgan shouted as the shock of the water refreshed him.

  ‘Hey, you alright?’ came a call from above, as Stevie leapt past Davie who was peering over the edge. ‘What are you doing! You don’t know how deep it i
s,’ he threw a large rock into the sea near Stevie to try and measure the depth.

  ‘Come on you pussy!’ Stevie shouted his older brother.

  A few moments later Davie reluctantly joined them in the tranquil azure waters that calmly washed the north shores of the island. ‘You guys are nuts, you might have broken a leg or something!’

  ‘It’s deep enough,’ Morgan laughed.

  ‘It’s not that deep, I touched the bottom,’ Jamie nodded, he looked at Davie to provoke a reaction.

  ‘Come here you little shit!’ Davie started to swim for his brother. ‘What would mum have said if we got hurt,’ He swam after Stevie who was already powering away back into the bay to the shore.

  The water was exactly what Morgan needed to cool down, he dived a little and realised that If any of them had jumped another ten feet to the right they would have been crashing down on rocks in shallow water. That said no one was hurt so it seemed OK. He soothed his hung over head and swam into shore as the boys collected their belongings from the cliffs. It was time to get in the shade and relax in a bar until the sun’s heat diminished.

  As the afternoon wore on the scousers played pool in a nearby bar they found that backed onto a decked area and the beach. Morgan had a couple of beers and then got changed into his new shorts, his others were still damp from the swim and wouldn’t conceal the revolver he now had on his body. After some banter with tourists, he broke away from the main bar settled in a comfortable chair under a palm to catch up on some badly needed sleep. The boys continued to drink and watch a repeated football game of Man Utd and Liverpool, whilst talking to the locals at the bar about jobs and the nightlife.

  A couple of hours later the heat had been taken out of the sun, and the bar was awash with holiday makers wanting a tea time swill or a snack to set them up for the night. It was busy as Morgan woke to the sound of music pounding in the bar area as blonde haired waitresses started their shifts.

  ‘What time is it?’ he asked as he approached the scousers at the bar.

  ‘Four o clock dude, where’s your watch!’ Stevie could see the pale skin where it used to hang.

  Not wanting to get drawn into a conversation he lied. ‘It came loose when we jumped into the sea.’

  ‘Christ, that was an expensive piece of kit. Do you want to go back and look for it?’

  ‘No, it will be buried in the sand by now. Don’t worry it’s insured’ He said.

  ‘Well it will make a present for a snorkeler,’ Stevie acknowledged.

  ‘Have you had a enjoyable beauty sleep?’ the bar man looked in disgust. ‘You’re missing drinking time, here have a beer!’

  ‘Yes come on we’re going to stay here tonight, the blondie behind the bar says she got a spare room above the bar for the night, what do you think?’ Davie was keen to take up the offer.

  ‘It’s not a bad idea, but I gotta get back to Gouvia to see a man about a job, if I don’t see him tonight it’ll get filled.’ Morgan made excuses to slip away while he had the opportunity. He had a chance to look over his father’s private villas that were rented in the resort.

  ‘Look man! It’s going to get dark soon, and those roads are killers, you’d better stop. Look at what we got to keep us company tonight,’ Davie gave a cheeky smile.

  ‘Let him go, if he wants to kill himself,’ Stevie rubbed the side of his leg that was grazed from his fall earlier in the day.

  ‘Look I’m sorry guys, but if I set off now I should be alright!’

  ‘OK, but we warned you!’ they both shook their heads, but as soon as they turned to face the bar their only concern would be to chat up the busty babes on display.

  When Morgan walked down the main street the pavements were crowded with tourists window-shopping in the abundance of clothes, jewellery and electrical shops. These small premises were filled with bargains, and knock off gear. The street was one way, but still the odd scooter would weave along the road in the wrong direction as local’s went about their everyday business. The boy stopped to browse through the English Sunday papers in a rack and noted the speculation that he had made it to Greece under a false passport. The headline read ‘Burdett boy tracked to Greek islands,’ he read on. ‘It was only a matter of time before he would be held for questioning relating to the murder of his father, the police had many questions about his estate.’ Guess that says it all, now the mafia will step up their game before the police try to get involved. He felt uncomfortable as he rubbed his neck, the noose is tightening, he thought!

  Morgan placed the papers back in the rack and mixed in once again with the tourists who appeared different shades of red from sunburn. As he neared the cafe and lane where they had parked he saw some road signs to ‘Canal d’Amour’ It pointed toward the rocky outcrops they dived from, ‘Sunset Beach and Peroulades,’ pointed westward away from the main resort and then the main towns were listed. To the East was Roda, Ahravi and the south-facing road led back across the mountains to Corfu Town. To memorise his route back to Gouvia, he turned and followed the angle of the interior road. Then looked up the hillside, to see a mixture of pastel coloured apartment blocks. In the distance beyond them, commanding the best views were more exclusive villas. Maybe they were the ones he wanted to see.

  Now he had visualised the initial route back to Gouvia, he entering the cafe. He purchased a more detailed map, with his order of coffee and chicken salad sandwich. As he sat at the rear of the cafe in a red leather cubicle he studied the other routes of towns on the east coast of the island. Suddenly he was alerted by the sounds of Italian voices at the counter. He cautiously looked over whilst munching on his snack, to see two middle aged men sitting near the entrance. The Italians had a stylish way to do everything he thought as he watched them cross their legs to get more comfortable and read their newspapers. Morgan studied their animated hand movements as they spoke and drank their cappuccinos. It was odd that Italians would venture to a mainly British resort when they craved the historical centres, which satisfied their cultural tastes. Morgan watched from a distance as their macho presence was imposed on the cafes clientele. Their clothes were tailored and shoes expensive. The more Morgan looked at them, the more he knew they were men sent to find him. As one of the men reached into his cream linen suit for his cigarettes he looked back into the rear of the cafe, Morgan glanced down at the map but caught the sight of a dark brown holster on the man’s belt, it gave them away. Now it was obvious to see that these men were not tourists, he wondered if he had been recognised and followed there, if so they were there to kill or abduct him.

  Morgan froze, and a few seconds passed before one of the men rose from his chair and walked towards him, he was unable to move until he broke off eye contact to prepare for the inevitable. He trailed his hand down into his right side pocket and cocked the revolver. A few more feet and he would have to react quickly to blow his head off and then kill the other, but the moment never came as the man changed direction and entered the W.C at the rear of the cafe.

  Morgan sat and thought for a moment, he continued to chew on the mouthful of sandwich before swallowing it in a guilty moment of reflection. As the Italian flushed the toilet and made his way back to his companion Morgan could feel his clammy hand wrapped around the revolver his finger still on the trigger. How fitting that the men standing to leave the cafe would never know how close they had come to death in the sweet smelling cafe near to the Canal of love. Morgan relaxed and wiped his sweaty palm on his shorts. ‘Another coffee, parakalo.’ he shouted when they had left.

  It was half past five by the time Morgan had composed himself enough to leave the cafe, he had asked the owner about the layout of the resort and where the more exclusive villas were. He had been given a detailed breakdown of the development of the town, and it seemed that he had two choices. He could ride up the hill to the highest point where the rich had their properties or he could venture along the coast a little following the signs for Sunset Beach where there were more established Venetian
type villas which backed onto the cliffs, they had been rented out for years by an old Corfiot family.

  The boy wished them well and made off on the scooter leaving the noisy sprawl of bars behind him as he drove off into the fading evening light. He circled around the one-way system and then peeled off the main road on his way up the hill to view the modern layout of seasonal apartments custom build for the influx of tourists. The road gave rise to numerous lanes that split off on both sides the pastel shades of blue, cream and peach separated one block from another. He continued to rise to the highest point looking out over the main resort and then found a mound of land, which had not been built on. Here, he pulled his bike into a picnic area before studying the holiday homes in all their glory. For a time, he marvelled at these villas. They had pools with secure mature landscaped gardens, large palm trees and beautifully manicured lawns. He watched children playing in the pools and saw many of the owners lighting barbecues for the evening dinner, tables set with food as relaxing owners drank wine.

  As the sky glowed orange, he climbed back onto his scooter and drove around the cul de sacs. He wanted to see if any had signage from BPVR Ltd. All had expensive Jaguars, Mercedes and BMW’s parked on the drives. However nowhere did he see the black Alpha Romeo spider which had been driven from the cafe. Nowhere on the secure iron gates, did he see any sign’s. These were not his fathers; they were all privately owned properties of the wealthy.

  A few minutes later he had ridden back down the hill and followed the road to Sunset Beach, it led him over a metal bridge which spanned a green river, where terrapins played in the shallows and herons lazily plucked small fish for their young. The ride continued and took him past a few remaining buildings before the road narrowed into a lane and farmers fields could be seen on the low land, surrounded by olive groves higher up the hillside. He pressed on in the increasingly dim light compounded by the old olive trees, wary not to use his lights until he had to. It was a decision that rewarded him, when he turned a bend to find other villas near to the cliffs of the coast. He pulled over near a farmers gate to see the light finally fade over their rooftops. In the distance he could hear the sea.

  From his vantage point, he tried to view the properties in more detail, but it was hard to make out the architecture as the buildings were set in their own grounds behind walls. He wandered on foot along the lanes verge, walking where shadows now fell to mask his movement from anyone who may be watching. As he neared the first property, he knelt down by a pile of wood neatly chopped to a length for the next winter. On the other side of the road was a gate, tacked to it was a small sign it read ‘Private property’ in English and Greek and had the BPVR logo on it. He nodded and smiled to himself in satisfaction, he had found the property he was after. He knelt in silence and looked toward the villas and felt a strange recollection of the surroundings, he recognised the handle and the ornate craftsmanship on the gate from his childhood. He knew then that he had been here with his parents and stayed all summer long. He blinked and felt the urge to open the gate, to look inside the concealed grounds and connect with those fond memories. However just as he was about to run over and try to open it, car lights illuminated the lane as tourists made there way back from the beach. As they zipped past they revealed the location of a concealed car. When Morgan looked more carefully, he could see the glow of a cigarette from a car in a lane a hundred yards away. As he had expected, he had found the property and the black Alpha Romeo, with the worst kind of occupants. Men who had the villas under surveillance for one reason alone, to smash anything or anyone who stood between them and acquiring what they now regarded as their own.

  As the evening passed the mafia chained smoked, and Morgan wished he could have one too, but resisted as he might be spotted. As he sat by the wood on the lane, he wondered why no one as yet had ventured from the properties, as you would expect from holiday lettings. Perhaps no one had hired them or worse still, perhaps the mafia were occupying them already? He thought.

  Two hours later a VW Touran slowed and then pulled through the gates to park in front of the villas. The mafia wasted no time in following the van on foot, guns in hand. Minutes later Morgan heard shouting as the Italians forced the Greek man into the property at gunpoint. He walked over to the Italians car and noticed the Milano registration plate and parking passes displayed on the windscreen before looking inside. The interior was littered with packets of cigarettes and chocolate bar wrappers, behind the seats were canvas luggage bags and suit carry cases that were squashed into limited space in the two-seater sports car. He rummaged around and then found jammed under the drivers seat a black leather binder that had papers spilling from it, he pulled it out and saw an embossed logo of a fish spouting a fountain of water, underneath it was the letters FGM. He was just about to open it when shots were fired in the villa. Yet another assassination he thought as he felt disgust for their actions.

  He shook his head, enough was enough, too many people were getting hurt it was time to take some revenge for what he and the people of the island had suffered. Morgan quickly looked for a way of ambushing the murderers when they left the building. It was then he quickly placed the binder into his bag and grasped his yachting knife. Perhaps direct confrontation would not be needed, he opened up the blade to reflect the moonlight. Morgan dropped to the floor wriggled as far as he could under the car and cut through the brake pipe to the front drivers wheel. The boy felt at the pipe with his fingers to ensure the brake fluid was leaking before snapping the blade shut and scurrying away back down the lane to his bike. For twenty anxious minutes he waited for the culprits to leaves the scene of their crime, he heard them laugh as one of them punched the other on the arm. Talking quickly in Italian they jumped in the car and accelerated quickly past Morgan’s hiding place. They were moving in the direction of Corfu Town.

  Morgan contemplated going into the Villa but dare not, he didn’t want to see another dead victim or leave any trace at a murder scene; instead he jumped on his bike started the engine and set off in pursuit of the car. He couldn’t wait to see the destruction caused when their lives would come to an end.

  As he followed the roads out of Sidari, he started to climb back into the interior of the island. On occasion he would brake to navigate the bends of the mountain and see fresh stains of liquid shimmer in the moon light, it wouldn’t be long before the brake fluid would run out, and then they would be at the mercy of the mountain.

  Morgan made good progress with the moonlight aiding his vision; it took him another hour before he reached the rise of the mountain, which signalled the descent down to the coastal road that would lead back to Gouvia. As he passed the local shop in the village he saw the Alpha Romeo lined up outside it, he couldn’t believe that they had not crashed. He waited to check what was happening. Had they noticed something wrong with the car and pulled over? He couldn’t be sure, perhaps it would be better not to tail them in case they were suspicious; it looked as if he had failed in his attempt to kill them. He revved up his bike to create a safe distance between them, but as he started the second part of his journey he noticed the bike was running low on petrol. With a chill in the air, he rode his luck looking for the next available petrol station. A little further down the mountain he found one, and as he stood there on the forecourt, he watched the Alpha Romeo whiz past with music blaring out of the open top. He wondered if he’d cut the right tube to the brakes? How could he get back at them, if his plan didn’t work? Quickly he handed over ten Euros to pay for his fuel and then started the engine to chase after the killers, perhaps they could lead him to others and expose evil tricks they were about to unleash on the local population.

  Morgan pulled back on the throttle and accelerated as fast as the bike would travel down the mountain road, he reached 70 kph as he crouched down to the handlebar in an effort to become more aerodynamic, it worked as he reached 80 kph and then 90kph, but as a car over took in the opposite direction it nearly clipped
him off the road. With a jitter and adrenaline rushing through his veins he slowed to a more manageable speed to negotiate little bends than now came up on him quickly, he kept a close eye on the traffic behind and occasionally looked at the side of the road to see if the Italians had exited it. Ten minutes later he dropped further down the mountain road and remembered that a couple of bad bends were coming up. As he slowed he took the bend by swinging into the middle of the road before picking up speed again along the next straight piece of the road that led to another ninety degree bend, it was here when he approached that he saw the mangled wreck of the spider smashed into pieces by firstly boulders, and then two broken trees which now bent double into the metal work.

  Morgan rode his bike through the rubble and dust, which had settled on the road and then parked his bike so the headlight shone directly on the wreckage. As he dismounted particles of dust could still be seen in the beam, he could smell burning oil and see bloodstains where the engine had been forced back into the driver. It appeared from the markings etched in the ground that the car had been forced into a spin after hitting a boulder and explained why the car was sitting at an awkward angle. Morgan inched forward as the strong smell of diesel hit the back of his throat, he looked more closely at the seats, where was the passenger? He was sure two had been in the car when they passed by, but now the passenger was nowhere to be seen; he rummaged around in his bag for the torch and then shone it around the overgrown surrounding undergrowth. Suddenly he heard some movement; surely no one could have survived a crash of this kind. But has he neared there was a loud band and a flash jumped out from a nearby shrub; a bullet hit him in the thigh on the outside of his leg. Morgan dropped the torch and crumpled to the floor in pain.

  It was ridiculous, how could the other man have survived? Suddenly there was dialogue in the dark as the gangster spoke over the night air, with a gurgling sound. ’I thought it was you in the cafe, but Paulo convinced me to get on with the job in hand.’ he winced.

  ‘Who do you think I am?’ Morgan asked, looking around for a clue to where the gunman was laying.

  ‘The fucker that everyone's after. You’ve had more people looking for you than Bin laden!’

  ‘So if you recognised me, why didn’t you get me while you had the chance?’

  ‘Paulo convinced me to leave you alone. ‘What can the boy do? He has no power or friends he can turn too. Let him be, we are gonna take everything anyway. Why kill him, let him see everything stripped away while he does nothing!’ The man grimaced.

  ‘How wrong you are!’ The boy dragged himself away from the groaning man who lay nearby in the dark.

  ‘Paulo was a excellent judge of character, until tonight. Now look at him!’ the gunman moved as shrubs rustled.

  ‘So you think you can finish me off and claim the praise of your boss?’ Morgan moved behind a tree stump for protection.

  ‘I’m going to need the sweet praise of the Virgin Mary to see me through tonight, but let’s see if we can’t both join her in the same evening!’ he moved closer to the boy wincing and gasping for breath.

  Morgan kept quiet as the man picked up the torch and hunted him. He continued talking about his friend. ‘Paulo was misguided, one mistake in this business and you’re dead!’ he held out his pistol and fired a few rounds into nearby bushes before turning in Morgan’s direction. ‘Well I’m not going to make the same mistake,’ he said as he fired off a number of rounds toward Morgan, each one only missing by inches. ’Die you bastard like your father, the double crossing lying pig.’ The bullets were the gangsters last chance of survival, he had hoped he could cut Morgan down at close range, how could he miss, but with an unsteady hand miss he did and now it was Morgan’s turn to pay his respects to the fallen. Two further shots rang out in the night as traffic came to a halt on the main road above them, car lights illuminated the scene of the accident as Morgan stumbled through shrubs covered in dirt and blood, carrying his revolver low down by his side.

  There came a voice from the lights. ‘Hey! Hey you down there are you all right?’ an American shouted.

  Morgan hid his revolver back in the pocket of his shorts and replied. ‘I’m alright but the guys from this car need helping!’

  ‘Shit! It’s a fucking mess alright!’ the American came down to give him a hand as he limped back to the road.

  ‘You sure you’re alright?’ the man took a look at Morgan’s leg.

  ‘I’m fine, it’s only a graze. These crazy bastards ran me off the road back up there, before they crashed.’

  ‘Seen too many of these kinda things in my time. When I was a fireman.‘

  ‘Yes well I’m thankful that it’s only them being visited by the grim reaper.’ Morgan screwed his face up as he leaned on his bike.

  ‘Guess they been drinking or something to lose control of a car like that, he pointed at the Spider. ’I’d better check on them, just to be sure they are dead.’

  ‘They’re dead alright,’ Morgan nodded as he heard sirens approaching from the valley below. He watched the retired fireman carefully walk to the wreckage before pushing his scooter through a small group of people who had now gathered to watch the spectacle. As he passed parked cars, police and ambulance sirens began their final assent to the accident. Morgan like a ghost quickly vanished down an old mountainside road he had stumbled across. It was his guess that it was probably the original road that would lead down into the valley. As he freewheeled his scooter and was led around the weaving bends by the moonlight, he looked up into the sky and said. ‘Thank you!’ perhaps there is justice and a god after all.

  Morgan waited until he had navigated the old track into the valley before he started the engine and turned on his lights, his hands were numb from the shock of the unmaintained road, the pot holes and tree roots that had left their mark on its surface. He could now see car lights ahead on the main Paleokastritsa road. He followed the track as it levelled. Brushed through overgrown trees that restricted the old road into a narrow single path. It was tough going and hard to navigate. He stopped just short of the main road and dismounted, every shock the bike had taken, every jolt had been radiated through his thigh. Now he was a safe distance from the accident he could assess how bad his injury was. There was a blood stained patch on his shorts. The entry and exit hole was through the flesh part of his outside right thigh, ten inches down from his hip. He hobbled away from the bike and unzipped his shorts to take a closer look. The bullet it would appear, had only damaged muscle not bone. However he was a mess. His loss of blood was not only visibly on his shorts, it was also trickling down his leg , and it was impossible to stop. He wanted to get changed and freshen up so people wouldn’t become suspicious by his bloody sight. However he was unable to physically bend over, far enough to replace his clothes. Alternatively he reached into his bag, pulled out a towel and wrapped it around his waist like a sarong.

  A few minutes later his body began to stiffen as muscles tensed to protect his injury, he sat on the bike in agony and swilled his dry mouth out with water from a bottle he had in his bag, the remaining contents to wash blood away from his leg. Sirens pierced the calm night, high screams of an ambulance cascaded down the mountainside becoming more distant by the second. He threw the bottle to one side, and saw an abundance of wildlife in the form of lizards scurry across his path, how he wished he could move as fast as them, then maybe he would have a chance to evade the increasingly more dangerous obstacles that were bound to come his way.

  The boy pushed the scooter off its stand and then rode it onto the main road to Gouvia, the only way he could remain out of the grip of the mob or the authorities was if he could find someone he trusted to help him. Perhaps he would find Maria in the hotel, and she could send for Spiro. He could even visit the baker and ask for his help, or maybe it would be best to pay off a GP in one of the clinics and get proper medical attention. Five miles later as he neared the resort he could feel the shock entering his body. He was sure it was a
mental problem rather than life threatening, but all the same a cold numb feeling washed over him. He had to find someone and fast, he needed a place to rest and get warm.

  The boy was thankful for a green light as he approached Gouvia Bay’s road junction, a few hundred metres, and he would need to slow down to merge with the resort traffic. Suddenly his attention was grabbed by a flashing neon light, the illuminated sign advertised the Gouvia Club Villa Complex. Not thinking rationally he instantly swerved and rode over the dual carriageway narrowly missing two cars coming in the opposite direction. He applied his brakes and parked near the resorts restaurant. Without wasting any time he walked toward the complex. It was a cream selection of modern architecture that comprised of a leather shop, convenience store and restaurant. The restaurant itself was ultra modern in its layout, he could see into the dining area through the walls of glass that made up its exterior.

  Inside it was packed with diners who sat at designer tables. Each surface had a candle and a single flower placed in the centre of it. As he neared the door, he realised he could not enter without drawing attention to himself, therefore he limped on past the walnut bar area at the side of the building. He lingered around the rear of the property looking for the back door entrance that there inevitably was to the kitchen, it was only a matter of time before someone challenged him, as he knew he had drawn the eye of the waiter who was serving cocktails at the bar.

  Five minutes later the chef of the kitchen rattled a solid metal door open, only when he neared the boy did he realise the boy was in serious pain. ’kali spera,’ he said with a compassionate voice.

  Morgan looked at the chef and grimaced but said nothing.

  ‘Who are you? What has happened?’ The chef dressed all in white with an apron and cooking hat asked.

  ‘To onoma mou ine, Morgan and I’ve had an accident on my scooter.’ He lied to conceal the nature of his injury.

  ‘When? Where?’ The man bent over to look underneath his towel.

  ‘An hour ago on my way back from Paleokastritsa. I fell off the scooter onto some metal wire, after hitting a pot hole.

  The chef took a closer look. ‘It went straight through your leg?’ he leant around to look at the back of Morgan’s bloody shorts.

  ‘Yes!’ Morgan felt pain as the chef put pressure on the wound.

  ‘Look, this is quite a serious injury. The bleeding needs to be stopped!’

  The waiter joined them in the light from the doorway. ‘Why have you come here rather than the medical centre?’

  ‘Are you a guest at the resort?’ the chef asked.

  There were too many questions to think up answers for, the boy felt faint and weak as his head began to spin, ‘Look you need to see Andreas, tell him Spiro sent me!’

  ‘Andreas? What’s Andreas got to do with this?’ the waiter said, confused by Morgan’s request. The two workers looked and frowned at one another as the boy collapsed.

  The chef was the first to react as he instructed the waiter. ‘Get him inside, out of sight and call for Andreas!’

  The waiter laboured to drag the boy in from the back yard; it became easier when they reached the shiny white tiled floor of the kitchen.

  A few minutes later Morgan regained consciousness; he had been laid horizontally on towels behind a series of metal cabinets out of view from the restaurant. He could hear two men taking in Greek near the door.

  ‘Andreas the injury looks serious!’ the chef said quietly.

  ‘I know, but we cannot move him, he has to stay here!’ Andreas acknowledge the chefs concerns.

  ‘Look at him, he has lost a lot of blood,’ the chef explained anxiously. ‘He need’s a doctor maybe the hospital!’

  ‘Look I’ve been told the authorities can’t get involved, we have to deal with him here!’

  The chef obviously concerned for the boy did not listen. ‘I will call for an ambulance!’

  ‘No! it’s too dangerous, people will ask questions about him!’

  ‘Andreas what are you talking about, he’s a young man who deserves medical attention otherwise it could affect his walk for the rest of his life.’

  ‘I know that, but my hands are tied. We deal with him here no one else gets involved. You understand?’

  ‘Listen you malaka. We cant treat this here, I’m no surgeon I’m a chef for gods sake!’ the chef was getting agitated.

  It was beginning to dawn on Morgan that this might not have been such a bright idea after all. He wondered for a moment if he could get away and find the medical centre for some morphine, but as he moved to leave acute pain returned, and he blacked out again.

  The Manager Andreas and chef argued in Greek for a few more minutes, until they reached an agreement. If they did not act to save and protect the boy, it could be possible that they would all not live to see the break of day. As the waiter closed any more orders for the evening and gave out free drinks to keep the dinners already eating happy, they closed the bar, locked the kitchen and prepared the floor area for a procedure.

  ‘I hope you know the risks of infection if I can’t stop internal bleeding.’ The chef looked Andreas in the eye as he laid a bottle of Metaxa on the floor.

  ‘Give the boy some brandy for the pain.’ Andreas held Morgan’s head as the chef poured a large glass of spirit into the boy’s mouth, before himself taking a swig from the bottle.

  ‘You might want some too! This isn't going to be pleasant.’

  The chef gathered lots of cotton napkins, scissors and a small thin knife together. ‘Get me a metal mixing ball and fill it with bottled water and bring some additional bottles.’ he asked the waiter before walking over to a charcoal grill removing the last remaining food from it and plunging a new thin metal spit roasting rod in the orange embers of the fire. On his return to the patient, the waiter placed a bowl down by the boy’s side and handed two large bottles over.

  As the chef cut the boy shorts away with scissors, Andreas hung on his mobile taking a call from Spiro. Anxiously he reassured the caller that the boy would be alright before asking him to call him back later.

  'Are we ready?’ Andreas asked, returning to the chef’s side.

  ‘Just do as I tell you! Don’t question or hesitate, if I want something get it straight away, do you understand?’ He looked at the other men in the room. They nodded.

  The chef washed the boys wound and then cleaned the area with napkins as a little blood still ouzzed out. ‘Go get me some pillows from the seats outside. I think it’s best if we work with him on his side!’ The waiter rushed off and returned with six, then they moved Morgan resting the cushions under his side.

  ‘Andreas, hold his leg up slightly. I need to clean and drain the wound.’ the chef prodded around the hole with the thin knife and retrieved a piece of the boys shorts; he opened a bottle of water and placed the neck of the bottle over the wound and squeezed hard. The water in the bottle clouded with blood for a moment as it flowed into the wound and out of the other side. He looked at the wound it was clean, some dirt and other residue lay in the pool of liquid now creeping along the tile grooved floor. He looked over to the waiter. ‘Come and hold him steady, he must not move.’ A few moments later he poured Metaxa over the hole and retrieved the red-hot roasting spit from the grill. George put a pillow over the boy’s face. The chef had beads of sweet on his brow as he lent close to the boy and inserted it into the wound. With a hiss, the tissue sealed over. It was the longest few seconds, any of them had ever uncounted. The boy screamed and reared up slightly as George held down his arms. As the boy passed out the chef removed the spit and examined his work. ‘It’s good! The bleedings stopped.’ he poured Metaxa over the brown sealed wound and then went to work with a needle and thread.

  Two hours later and Andreas had said goodbye to the last of the dinners from the bar, he locked up the restaurant and returned to the kitchen. All three of the men sat around in the dim light drinking another bottle of Metaxa, smoking cigarettes looking down on
their patient. ‘Do you think he’ll be alright?’ The waiter asked.

  ‘Yes he’ll be fine, as long as it doesn’t get infected,’ the chef said.

  ‘Thank Mary for that! Said George with relief as he crossed his chest and looked at the pile of blood soaked linen scattered around them.

  ‘One things puzzling me about the wound, If he fell off his bike onto a wire the wound would have been a lot worse than that. We’ve all seen the results of accidents from scooters on the island. Where’s his graze marks on his legs or arms or bruising to his muscles?’

  ‘Maybe he fell into the grass at the side of the road,’ Said George.

  ‘Yes maybe, but then he would have scratches from the trees or bushes!’ the chef held up the boy's arm and shook his head as the boy groaned and rolled over onto his front. As the chef knelt down to quickly cover him up, he saw the outline of a gun by his side. He picked it up and examined it. ‘What the hells going on Andreas?’ Just then there was a loud banging on the restaurants side door. ‘Oh Shit! I hope that’s not the police!’ the chef tucked the pistol into his trousers.

  Andreas peered around the kitchen door nervously, then looked back. ‘It’s not the police!’ the two men in the kitchen relaxed for a moment. ‘It’s Spiro and Stavros,’ a look of dread appeared on their faces.

  ‘Fucking hell what’s he doing here.’ the waiter jumped to his feet.

  ‘Don’t know but shut the fuck up! Don’t talk to him, the less he finds out about us the better. That way we might get out of here alive!’ the chef stood and lit another cigarette to calm his nerves.

  Spiro calmly walked into the building as Stavros brought the boys scooter from the front of the restaurant and hid it with others that were lined up in the nearby complex car park. The grey haired Greek greeted his nephew with a warm smile and put his arm gently around him. ‘How are you Andreas?’

  ‘Entaksi,’ Andreas replied nodding his head as he welcomed the two visitors to the bar and poured them all a large Metaxa spilling a little on the bar.

  ‘You look a little drunk Andreas are you sure you should drink any more?’

  ‘Well we’ve had an eventful night!’ the manager nodded his head towards the kitchen.

  ‘Did you manage to treat the boy here, as I requested?’ Spiro gulped the measure of brandy and placed the glass back on the bar.

  ‘Yes Michael the chef stopped the bleeding and cleaned him up.’

  ‘How did everything go?’

  Andreas shouted for the chef. ‘You better speak to the surgeon, he can advise a little better.’

  Michael nervously walked into the bar as Spiro poured another round of drinks. ’Here have one of these, and tell me about the boy!’

  ‘Well he’s lost a lot of blood, and the wound itself was easy enough to clean. Hopefully there should be no more complications. The leg will heal in a short time. Although I’m no expert, the thigh muscle might be slightly damaged!’

  ‘What does that mean?’ Spiro frowned at the man.

  ‘The boy might walk with a slight limp.’ the chef did not appreciate the fierce stare directed at him.

  ‘Sounds promising, but as experience has taught me, you can never underestimate bullet wounds.’

  ‘Is the boy conscious?’

  ‘No but he keeps on waking before drifting off again,’ Michael looked tired from his efforts.

  ‘You have done well my friend! The boy you have saved is special to me, had anything happened to him there would have been repercussions for us all. I will always remember you for your help,’ he looked the chef in the eye and patted him affectionately on the cheek. ‘I salute you! Yamas!’ the old man threw another large brandy down his neck and gasped for a moment.

  ‘Lead me to him’ the old man lit a cigar and then followed both men into the kitchen. There before him, he saw Morgan’s motionless body. The boy's leg dressed with large plasters, had spots of red blood soaked into them. The room itself looked like an operating theatre with clinical white walls and stainless steel cabinet it could even have been a mortuary. The old man shook his head at the blood stained towels and napkins that lay on of the floor. ‘Gentlemen, the place is a mess, all of the boy’s clothes, and the stained cotton must go,’ He shouted Stavros from the bar. ‘Find a metal drum and burn these in the back, he instructed the man.

  Within fifteen minutes the room again returned to the function of a kitchen. The floor and back yard had been washed down, and the linen and clothes burned until there was no sign blood anywhere. ‘Good, it’s late! Why don’t Michael and the waiter go home!’ Spiro walked over to a nearby counter and reclaimed the old worn revolver, he had given to the boy. He gripped it in his hand and stood with his finger on the trigger. ‘I hope I can count on your discretion on this matter? Don’t tell anyone, not even your wives about what took place here tonight!’ The two employees backed off a little in alarm, as it was easy to see Spiro was intimidating them and making a threat on their lives. They nodded in agreement and eventually Spiro put the gun in his jacket pocket and allowed the men to pass.

  Once the restaurant workers had left, Spiro checked on the boy before returning to the bar. ‘The boy’s not going to be able to be moved far. I want a key to one of the villas down by the bay.’ he demanded.

  ‘I have only one spare all year long, just in case we double book for some reason.’

  ‘That will do!’ Spiro acknowledge as he ushered his nephew out of the restaurant. ‘I will wait here for the key.’

  Ten minutes later Andreas returned.

  ‘Where’s the villa located?’ Spiro pointed down towards the villas, as he grasped the key in his hand.

  ‘To be honest It’s a bit of a walk,’ Andreas realised, putting his hands on his chin to think about carrying the boy.

  ‘Lead the way,’ Spiro suggested as he shouted Stavros from the rear of the building.

  Quickly Stavros arrived by his side ‘Yes Spiro!’

  ‘Get the car, we need to move the boy into the complex!’

  A few minutes later Andreas and Stavros carried the boy by his arms and legs and laid him down on the back seat of the car. Within half an hour, they had climbed the steps and occupied a villa overlooking the bay. They had brought with them a box full of liqueur and supplies hurriedly put together by Andreas from the restaurant. It would last them the next few days and would limit the need to venture anywhere outside the villas four rooms, until the boy was conscious.

  It was just after midnight, and the Villa complex was quiet Stavros opened the bedroom doors onto a patio and looked out over the tranquil bay it was a beautiful place. Inside Morgan rested in bed as bodyguards remained.

  It would be another full day before Morgan woke to the sound of muffled voices outside as he opened his eyes he was disorientated by his surroundings. This was not his apartment, this was not his rickety bed! Where was he? He sat up and felt a sharp pain in his right thigh before seeing a vision of murder play in his mind. He held his head in his hands as the events came rushing back to him, a headache from hell pulsated through his temple. He’d had a high temperature and his bed sheets were damp with sweat. He wiped cold beads of perspiration from his brow, and inched along the bed to stand. The boy breathed heavily, looked down at his thigh at the dressings dried with blood and felt the heat of the healing injury. The surrounding pink skin had discoloured bruising where blood had run into the muscle, it looked a mess!

  Morgan stood up and felt lightheaded before gingerly placing weight onto his injured leg; he was surprised at his ease of movement as he limped across the room covered in a bed sheet. As he peered through the bedroom door, he could see Stavros leading a cleaner away from the villa as she demonstrated that she needed to do her job. Spiro chuckled on a nearby seat and shouted. ‘Not this week efharisto!’ Morgan rummaged around his bag and found his swimming shorts, he struggled to get them on but eventually emerged from the villa wearing his dirty tshirt, smoking a cigarette.

  ‘Didn’t know how mu
ch I needed one of these!’ He blew smoke into the warm air and sat down with difficulty next to Spiro.

  ‘Ah! Glad to see you’re feeling much better.

  Morgan had a spaced look on his face. ‘I’ve felt better!’ he ran his hands through his hair and coughed, then winced as his jarring movement put pressure on the wound.

  ‘You’re doing fine, to be up from bed this soon.’ Spiro walked over and patted him on the shoulder. ‘He’s a strong boy.’ the man said to Stavros.

  ‘What do you expect from...’ Spiro began to talk but checked himself. ‘You had us worried last night! People can die from leg wounds especially if the artery is damaged. You were very lucky!’

  ‘I don’t feel lucky.’

  ‘Well you are, without the help of the chef we would have had to take you to the clinic or hospital.’

  The boy could tell that they had done more than stick a couple of plasters on his wounds, but preferred not to know the details. ‘You have been here all night?’ he asked.

  ‘Got here as quickly as possible, but the traffic was horrendous. There had been a terrible crash on the mountain and police were everywhere!’ Spiro spat the end of a cigar onto the grass.

  ‘You want to tell me what happened?’ the old man puffed on the cigar as he lit it.

  ‘I’d been up to Paleokastritsa for the day, and when I came back I hit a hole in the road and fell onto a metal wire.’

  ‘You sound convincing, but there are no marks on the bike to suggest an accident,’ Stavros said.

  Spiro held his hand to quieten Stavros. ‘That’s a decent cover story and realistic,’ he produced the revolver from his jacket and tossed it to the boy. ‘But how do you explain the two missing bullet's?’ he looked directly at Morgan.

  The boy sighed and held the gun in his right hand, before thinking for a moment. ‘There was no other way! I tried to make it look like an accident, but one of the guys was like a bull, he just kept at me. In the end, he had his chance to kill me and didn’t take it, so I ended It.’ the boy gripped onto the gun tightly.

  ‘Well naturally the police are suspicious when a crash victim winds up with two bullets in him.’ Spiro laughed. ‘But they probably knew they were Mafia anyway, so what the hell.’ he consoled the boy a little.

  ‘It’s not nice killing people, but these guys give you no option. They don’t know how to do business without muscle!’ Stavros quoted Spiro's saying.

  ‘Only problem is there’s been too much aggravation on the island from these types, and the police are getting fed up. There going to start banging some heads together themselves before too long,’ Spiro nodded.

  ‘What can I say, it was him or me!’

  ‘You have done what any one of us would do in the circumstances. It’s just a pity that he didn’t die in the crash.’ Spiro acknowledged.

  ‘But least now you’ve sent them a message!’

  The boy was uncomfortable and looked at them out of the corner of his eye. ‘Why are you protecting me?’

  Stavros leaned forward. ‘We’re not protecting you. We can’t do that, not here, there are too many mafia!’

  ‘We can only offer a little help! You have to do all the rest, whatever needs to be done to save yourself!’

  ‘Do you know me?’ the boy asked another searching question.

  Stavros looked at Spiro and awaited a response. ‘We knew your father a long time ago when he first came to the island.’

  ‘We knew him well, he was...a tough man!’ Stavros added.

  ‘Yes when he was young, he was a man you wouldn’t want to cross. He did anything to make lots of money and make money fast!’ Spiro nodded.

  ‘There were many people who feared him, and a lot that died at his hands!’ Stavros stood and looked out into the bay.

  ‘In the eighties the locals had a name for your father, they called him Satanna.

  ‘It translates into Satan, he was called this because old alliances of the mafia families were smashed and chaos reigned wherever he went, it originated in Spain but soon spread like a legend. Some said he was the devil himself, working on overtime.’

  Morgan shook his head. ‘This could not be my father, I recognise that he had his fingers in many illegal activities, but he would never be able act in this way.’

  ‘Oh don’t get me wrong he was a pleasant chap to your face, but if you stood in his way you were history.’ Stavros rolled up his sleeve and showed his arm to the boy. It had two pale circular scars on his forearm. ‘This is what happened when your father came to town! You were either with him or against him, and if you got in the way.’ he pointed like a gun on his arm and motioned pulling the trigger. ‘Bang!’

  He did some terrible things to establish his network in the Mediterranean, no country escaped lightly. Here in Greece we had trouble, perhaps more on other islands, but here in Corfu too.’

  ‘It seams to me that those days are returning, but this time no fault of the old Satanna, but greedy men who would upset the balance Max cemented with new ties to the region,’

  ‘You remind me so much of him. You are your father’s son, and I have no doubt you may be forced again to act aggressively if you wish to overcome your enemy.’

  ‘Enough said, we have given you plenty to think about.’ Spiro said as a waitress from the restaurant approached with a tray of cold meat, bread and cheeses, and two bottles of red wine.

  ‘Yia sas! Andreas sends you his complements,’ the women said.

  ‘kali spera,’ Spiro acknowledged the gift as the girl filled the nearby table with plates and glasses.

  ‘Efharisto for your help,’ Stavros said as the waitress walked away. He quickly went back inside and returned with a blanket for Morgan. ‘Please sit and wrap up, you don’t want to catch a summer cold!’

  Morgan thought this odd but wrapped up all the same as they sat and ate in the shade of an olive tree. The food was much appreciated a delightful mixture of olives and tzatziki, hams, salami, local cheeses and a large bowl of salad eaten with fresh bread, washed down with wine. Morgan for the time being ignored his injury and forgot about his worries as he drank a second glass of wine.

  Spiro watched Morgan. ‘Eat and drink as much as you like, you need to build up your energy.’ The two men looked exhausted with red bloodshot eyes.

  They sat for the remainder of the afternoon watching the tourist’s sunbathe on the lawn of the complex or down on the narrow beach in the bay, over to their left was the swimming pool where energetic children played and adults lounged not too far away in the bar. He could have almost been on holiday, and another few glasses of wine later Morgan like an over indulged tourist began to feel terribly drunk and sick.

  Stavros noticed the boy’s behaviour and brought out a glass of cold water. ‘You need to drink this and then it’s time for you to go to bed and rest,’ he handed the glass over to the boy. ‘Tomorrow I will get you some pain killers to aid your recovery.’

  Morgan gulped the glass down. ‘Yia sas, I think you’re right.’ the boy stood and nearly toppled over. With the help of Spiros and Stavros, he went to the toilet and then was made comfortable in bed.’ He fell straight to sleep.

  ‘You should not let him drink so much,’ Stavros said with annoyance to Spiro.

  ‘It will numb his pain and ease his sleep. With drink, there are no nightmares!’ Come help me finish the last bottle we have much to talk about. With that they left the boy for his rest and returned outside to watch the sunset, both men knew there were troubled times ahead.

  Morgan’s second morning in the villa was another leisurely affair, he had woken at sunrise, and he guessed that it was only around seven o’clock. At first he didn’t notice his wound, but instead rubbed his arm where the Tag Heur had once belonged and gritted his teeth. That damn girl stealing his watch like that! It still bugged him that he had been such an idiot letting her stay, but sex was a powerful tool and not easy to turn down. He wondered if it had been worth the price? The price of the lost money a
nd the watch his father had bought early for his eighteenth birthday. He thought of this a lot all morning long as he grouched around the apartment with a heavy head and an aching thigh. The confinement of the apartment started to get to him so he stepped outside for a smoke but there too the happy scenes of people enjoying themselves got to him. He was like a bear with a sore head and all the visions from killing the men and Spiro’s words about his father just spun around his brain. All of his actions had left him with the feeling of regret and guilt, yet he knew he could have done no different, he began to realise that Spiro might be right; maybe he was exactly like his dad. But how did he deal with these kind of thoughts how did he manage all those years killing people without going insane?

  The boy noticed that Spiro had gone out when he limped down to the beach. He made himself comfortable sitting on the small wall behind the lounges full of sunbathers and then drifted off again into deep thought. He realised that if he was going to fend off his enemy, he would have to remain in control of his emotions. So there and then he invented another person in his head another person who would be the character that would carry out retribution, distribute violence and extinguish life. There in his head Satanna was reborn into a new man, one in the image of his father, an executioner. God help any of them who pursued him and who would not join him. As he left the beach to walk back to Stavros at the villa he began to truly follow in his father’s footsteps and become the master of his thoughts.

  He had lunch with Stavros and took some painkillers, which had been bought from the resort shop, but hardly spoke a word, as his determined and aggressive mood grew, he became frustrated at his enforced rest. All he wanted was a speedy recovery so he could move on with his life. For the first time, he truly wanted to understand his father’s business and gain knowledge of the people he would have to deal with to retain his father’s estate. He would use this time wisely to study his father’s records and mastermind a plan for revenge. He was past caring about being killed he could run no longer. Now he wanted to turn the tables and organise himself against the mafia. Spiro had said that he needed to do it himself so he rummaged around for the phone his father had left him and turned it on. Moments later he scrolled down the contacts checking each one until he reached the end of the list. Here at the bottom was the contact, he had been looking for; here was the name of his father’s closest business partner in England, as he pressed the dial bottom it registered on the screen as Vince. As the phone dialled the boy’s expression changed, he sat on his bed and waited for an answer, eventually it came. ‘Hello Vince Collins.’ Morgan waited a few seconds as the man with a cockney accent tried to enter into conversation. ‘Hello! Hello! Anyone there! This fucking phone! Listen it’s a lousy reception. Hello! Listen call me back in five minutes.’ The man was just about to put down the phone when the boy spoke.

  ‘Hello! Is that you Vince?’

  ‘Hey, who else you fucking think it was gonna be? Who’s this?’ There was no reply. ‘Now look here who ever you are, I’m pissed off with all these fun and games you’re playing and I’m not gonna stand for it any longer. You got that?’

  The boy talked. ‘It sounds like you’re having trouble Vince!’

  The line crackled. Look this is a very bad line. ‘Who the fuck is this?’ the Londoner was getting angry.

  ‘Look anyone who steps outta line again, is gonna get it. I’m not joking - It’ll be curtains mate. I’ve called in my big boys!’

  'I'm glad to hear it! It’s about time you did something about this, it’s been over a week since it kicked off.’ Morgan remained calm.

  ‘Hey, hey! Now you got my attention, you want a piece of me, cos I’m gonna take a piece of you when I find out who this is!’

  Morgan’s dad had always said that Vince was not the brightest match in the box. It seemed as if the boy would have to reveal himself, but suddenly the penny dropped. ‘Hang on a minute, quietly spoken voice and a bad line with a withheld number.’ It went quiet. ‘Is that you Morgan?’ his aggressive voice changed to a more subtle tone.

  Morgan cautiously spoke. ‘Vince, I hope that phones not tapped!’

  ‘I fucking hope not or the old bills gonna be here any minute and that’s me done for.’ he rabbited on for a bit.

  ‘Vince! VINCE! Look I’m in hiding, and I need to see you to try and come to terms with what happened to my dad and what’s happening with his business.’

  ‘Too right and not before time. I’m up to my neck in shit here with the mob, Italians and old bill fuckin pestering me. Where the fuck are you!’

  ‘Listen calm down, you gotta get control of things and sit tight, don’t let anyone walk all over you.’

  ‘You mean you want the family business to still operate? Because people are pecking at pieces of it like hungry pigeons?’

  ‘Nothings changed, ventures still need to run; money still needs to be made. Put the word out, that you wont stand for any more shit. Slap a few people around a bit and find out who hit my dad! I want answers and I want them quick, so this mess can be cleared up and these people dealt with.’

  ‘Where you at? Are you gonna be alright? There are some bad people putting pressure on me, but I had nothing to tell them.’

  ‘Keep it that way, do some fishing and put business back on track. I’ll give you a week to get me the names of who’s been involved in this. Then I want you to come over to Corfu, a week on Sunday. Pack light and get a cab to the Old Fort, I’ll meet you down on the jetty with a boat. Don’t mention this to anyone. You understand?’

  ‘Yes, look I’m sorry about your father! I’ll speak to you soon. Keep your head down!’ With that he hung up.

  Morgan put the phone in his pocket and limped back out to the patio, he leant on a chair and talked to Stavros. ‘You think the legs gonna be better a week on Sunday?’

  Stavros looked puzzled and then shook his head. ‘You’re going be lucky to walk properly on that thing in one month, let alone one week. Why?’

  ‘I got guests arriving.’

  A look of dread appeared on Stavros’s face. ‘Spiro’s not going to be happy when he hears about this!’

  ‘Spiro or no Spiro it’s something that I’m going to have to face up to, we all know that I’m the only one who can straighten this mess out!’

  ‘Like we said before, one way or another a lot of people are going to die over this! I hoped I wouldn’t see days like those again, but you got to do what you got to do.’ He folded the paper he was reading, and sighed. He placed his phone to his ear and then spoke. ‘Spiro, you better get back here, the boys got something to tell you!’

  It was night time before the old man came back to the villa in his hand he had two bags, his field bag from the bakers apartments and a bag that clinked as he walked along, sticking out of the top were two bottles of wine. He was in a good mood. ‘Come! Come and sit outside,’ he gestured to the others as he approached the table outside the villa. ‘I got what you asked for.’ he passed across Morgan’s field bag. ‘And I’ve got something to show you.’

  Stavros sat first as the old man uncorked two bottles of dusty red wine and poured three glasses. Spiro opened the bag and nodded approvingly as he looked inside, before placing it back at the feet of Stavros. ‘Andreas is sending steak tonight, this should go down perfectly with the wine.’ He smelled at the aroma as he swilled the wine around in the glass and placed it under his nose. ‘Have I mentioned that 92 was a perfect year.’

  Morgan drank and nodded in agreement, before curiosity got the better of him. ‘What's in the bag?’

  ‘I told you, it was a perfect year. It was the year I bought a set of these for the family, and now I would like to give one to you. Call it a late eighteenth birthday present!’ The old man presented him with a gift that set the scene for a night’s feast of food and drink.

  That night Morgan learnt a lot about Spiro and his life on the island, he accepted his gift, as he knew it would come in handy some time in the near future. Now a
long with the field bag he would have all the tools, he needed to get to the bottom of why his father had been killed.

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