Off The Cretan Track, chapter 36

Off The Cretan Track, chapter 36

A Chapter by Repgreece
"

Sal is in danger

"

Nick's heart flipped over in his chest at the sound of a sudden scream that filled the air. His anxiety was intensified because, first of all, he could hear such fear in the noise, and secondly, he instinctively knew that it had to have come from Sal. He froze, dreading what was to come next and momentarily immobilised. Then he heard the great boom of something hitting the surface of water and whooshing sound that followed. She'd fallen in. For a second, he felt relieved; at least she hadn't fallen onto the rocks. His relief was short lived however, when he sprang back into the sunshine to peer over the edge of the cliff.

 

Sal was screaming and thrashing about in the water, which was buffeting her back towards the cliff.

 

"Swim away from the rocks!" Nick shouted out to her. "It's too dangerous there; swim back to the beach!"

 

When Sal's head disappeared under the water for the third time, Nick began to question her ability to swim properly. But he'd seen her swim before, hadn't he? Not in deep water though. Damn, he had to do something; she wasn't coping on her own. Just as he began to prepare himself for diving into the water after her, he spotted a small motorized boat heading in Sal's direction. Thank God!

 

"Sal, get on the boat!" he yelled, pointing to the approaching vessel which was carrying a small group of presumably, fishermen.

 

Nick watched with relief as Sal was dragged onto the boat by one of the men, and it was then, to his surprise, that he was sure he spotted Bob standing on the deck, amongst the other men. He strained to see if he'd imagined it, but no, it really was Bob. What the hell was he doing on there?

 

Then the engine started up again.

 

"I'll swim out to you if you get out back there!" he yelled out to Sal, who was now standing on the deck, staring out towards him. He pointed furiously back towards the beach. He would be so glad when he could see for himself that she was okay. "I'll see you back there!"

 

That wasn't to be the case however and, as Nick began to make his way back down the cliff side, he stopped in confusion when he saw the boat head in the opposite direction. The last thing he saw of Sal was a haunting picture of her rushing forward to the edge of the boat and leaning out, as if trying to escape back to him. Then the boat disappeared around the headland and Sal was gone.

 

What the hell?

 

Nick felt a cold chill wash over him and scrambled frantically over the rocks back down to the beach. He ran to the water's edge and scanned the sea for evidence of the boat, but all he saw were a few swimmers that had ventured into deeper water, and the rocky headland. He ran a frustrated hand through his hair and paced to and fro for a minute, before stopping again to scan the sea: still nothing.

 

Okay, maybe they couldn't let her out on the beach and they had taken her somewhere else to let her out, but where? The only harbour was in the opposite direction; there was nothing but rugged coastline beyond that headland.

 

Damn, damn, damn, what was going on? Nick resumed his pacing. And why was Bob on the boat? Damn, Sal was on a boat full of men and they'd taken her God knows where! Who the hell was Bob anyway? He had to find Sandra; maybe she would know why Bob was on that damn boat.

 

With at least a vague plan of what to do next, Nick sprang into action and sprinted back to the section of beach where Sal had been sunbathing. He hadn't seen Sandra there when he'd arrived, but he was sure that her belongings had been spread out on the sand next to Sal's. He stopped midway down the beach, searching the stretch of sand for evidence of Sandra's belongings and the spot where Sal had been sunbathing. Damn, he didn't have time for this! Damn, damn, where the hell was she? He stood, a mass of tension, feeling anger and frustration threaten to overwhelm him. But no, he couldn't let himself fall to pieces now; Sal needed him.

 

He continued to move along the beach, more slowly this time, fighting down the panic, and surveying each section of beach he came to. When he was certain that he had strayed beyond the point where Sal had been lying, he moved back again, determined that he would find Sandra eventually. It hadn't been that long ago; she would still be somewhere on the beach. She had to be.

 

Then something caught his eye. He'd been so stupid. He'd been so determined to find her belongings on the beach that he'd failed to scan the sea, and there they were, Sandra and Phil, waving to him.

 

With relief causing through his veins, he bolted towards them, running straight into the sea without slowing down. Misunderstanding the situation, Sandra and Phil laughed as they watched him, but when he reached them and grabbed Sandra by the arms to get her full attention, they knew that something was wrong.

 

"Where's Bob?" he asked.

 

Sandra simply looked bewildered and failed to answer him immediately.

 

The grip on her arms tightened.

 

"Where is he?" Nick demanded to know.

 

"Err, I..."

 

"Wait a minute," Phil interrupted, "take it easy," he said, forcing Nick's hands away from Sandra. Nick reluctantly let go as realisation hit him that he might have been acting out of place. "What's wrong Nick?" Phil asked.

 

"Do you know where Bob is?" he asked, with forced patience.

 

"He and Karen left us after lunch. He was going for a wander and she was going to look in the shops," Sandra supplied.

 

"Did he say anything more about exactly where he was going?"

 

Sandra glanced nervously at Phil. "No," she replied.

 

"Look, what's all this about?" Phil jumped in.

 

Nick put his hands to his temples as renewed fear began to surface.

 

"Did he say anything about a boat?" Nick asked, doubting that he had, or Sandra would have mentioned it.

 

"No," she replied, confirming his fears.

 

Nick inhaled a shaky breath. "Sal fell off the cliff into the water and a boat picked her up, but now it's taken her somewhere and I don't like it. Bob was on the boat," he finally explained.

 

"He never said anything about a boat," Sandra assured him.

 

"Listen Sandra, I'm not trying to be funny or anything, but how well do you know this 'Bob' character?" Nick asked.

 

"We've known him for at least a year," she replied, "We met him and Karen in a pub in Rethymnon."

 

"Is there anything I should know about him? Since he seems to have absconded with Sal," Nick asked, his impatience growing.

 

"He smokes weed and plays a ukulele. Okay, he's a bit of an odd character, but he's harmless as far as I know," Sandra said.

 

"As far as you know?" That wasn't good enough for Nick. "Did you know that he propositioned Sal last night?" Nick asked.

 

Phil replied. "He was drunk Nick. I've seen him do that before with other girls, but he's never pushed anything. I don't know why he was on the boat, but I'm pretty certain he won't harm Sal."

 

"Hmm." Nick still wasn't sure, but he did feel slightly better for having heard Phil's take on Bob.

 

Nick sighed. "Well okay, what do I do now then?"

 

"Come on," Phil said, turning Nick around with a reassuring hand on his shoulder and heading for the shore, "If they have dropped her off somewhere, she'll come back here, won't she? I'm sure she won't be long, but if she doesn't turn up in the next half an hour, I'll get Sandra to wait here while we go search for her."

 

Nick hastened onto the shore, turning to Phil once he had joined him. "I say we go search for her now. Why wait?" he asked.

 

"Well...because we don't know where she is, so the only thing we can do is go to the police or coastguard..."

 

Nick's face lost all its colour.

 

"...but, we won't need to do that. Which is why we should wait a bit. Give her time to get back here Nick," Phil urged.

 

Nick sank helplessly onto the sand and sat tensely, staring out to sea. Sandra sat next to him and put a comforting arm around his shoulder.

 

"It will be okay Nick," she reassured him.

 

It didn't feel okay. It all felt wrong. His instincts told him so, and that was the most unnerving thing. Nick just knew that something wasn't right.

 

He sat, staring, and trying with everything he had to be patient. He'd wait half an hour; he wouldn't freak out. He needed to stay calm so that he could think of what to do for the best.

 

As the minutes passed however, Nick thoughts began to skitter around his head, unhelpful, emotional and fearful thoughts. Nick had left her alone on the cliff side; it was his fault that she'd fallen. It was his fault that she was there in the first place. What were they doing to her? They had better just be dropping her off! Bob had wanted Sal; he had tried to kiss her. Now he had taken what he wanted.

 

Nick growled and jumped up off the sand.

 

"I'll kill him! I'll tear his throat out and kill the b*****d if he's touched her!" he shouted out in fury.

 

Phil and Sandra jumped up with concern.

 

"Hey, it's okay Nick, calm down," Phil said.

 

"I can't sit here anymore doing nothing," Nick implored.

 

"Okay, okay, you wait here in case she comes back," Phil said to Sandra, now concerned a little himself for Sal's safety, and not wanting Nick to go running off on his own in the state he was in, "and we will go speak to the coastguard."

 

"I saw an office by the harbour over here," Phil informed Nick, as they rushed away from the beach and down the coastal pathway. "The coastguard should know what boats are registered to use these waters," he assured Nick.

 

They entered the small harbour area and headed around it, making for a row of buildings at the opposite end.

 

"Here," Phil gestured to one of the official looking buildings with a large blue and white sign above the door reading 'Port Authority'.

 

Nick rushed through the open glass doors and glanced around the small office, consisting of a couple of soft cushioned blue chairs, some shelving units, posters on the wall and a reception desk, which Nick noted with frustration, had nobody standing behind it!

 

Great! They're obviously not expecting any emergencies today then!

 

Nick was in no mood for formalities, and he opened the hatch in the desk to let himself through to the other side where there was a door. Without hesitation, he swung open the door to find four startled looking officials sitting on sofas, drinking coffee.

 

"Ti thelis?" one of the men asked.

 

"My girlfriend fell from the cliff into the sea and was picked up by a boat. I need to know where it has taken her," he said, getting straight to the point.

 

The four officials exchanged glances but not one of them moved out of their seats.

 

"We have not information here. You must go police station," the man informed him.

 

"But, but... don't you know what boats are allowed to be out today?" Nick asked, remembering Phil's words.

 

The official ignored his question, repeating, "You must go to Police station.

 

"But..."

 

"Police station," the man repeated for the third time.

 

"Okay, okay, so where is the police station then?" he asked through gritted teeth, just barely holding on to his temper.

 

The man gave a vague hand gesture towards the door. "Apo do. Past car park. There are signs."

 

"Fine," he said, doing an about turn and mumbling to himself as he re-entered the reception room, "And don't let me interrupt your coffee break, will you!"

 

He strode back out into the sunshine, closely followed by a puzzled looking Phil.

 

"What happened?" Phil asked, noting the look of fury that had come across Nick's face.

 

"The bloody idiots know nothing! What a waste of space they are!" he shouted out, hoping that maybe the officials could hear him. "Come on, we have been ordered to go to the police station over there somewhere. Aparently it's sign posted. Let's just hope it's not coffee time in there too!" he said, storming towards the car park.

 

Luckily the police station was indeed sign posted, and easy to find beyond the car park. This time however, the station reception was bustling with people, and Nick had to push his way through a crowd just to get to the front counter if he were to be heard at all.

 

"Excuse me?" he said to an officer who was watching a heated conversation between another officer and a man in the crowd. The first officer, and all the other three that were behind the counter, ignored Nick. Nick coughed loudly and repeated, "Excuse me." One of the officers briefly glanced at Nick, but soon returned his attention to the altercation. "Excuse me," Nick shouted out, "but this is an emergency!"

 

Suddenly all was quiet, and he finally had the attention of everyone in the room.

 

"Thank you," he said, in a much calmer voice. "Now," he addressed the officer who had been arguing, as he seemed to be in charge. "My girlfriend has been taken away in a boat just off Matala beach about forty five minutes ago, and I'd really like to know where she is. The port Authority told me to come here, and that you would know," he stressed, telling a small white lie. They had better know!

 

The room fell utterly silent for a few moments and Nick felt slightly uncomfortable at the way everyone was staring at him.

 

"You were with the girl?" the officer asked, breaking the silence.

 

"Yes of course, she's my girlfriend. Do you know where she is?" he asked.

 

"Did she get in the boat by choice?" the officer queried, ignoring Nick's question.

 

"Of course she did!" Nick was beginning to lose his cool. "Where is she?"

 

"Come," the officer said, gesturing for Nick to follow him through a side door. "I will take you to her."

 

Nick rushed across the room. She was safe then, or was she? Maybe she had been hurt! God no! Nick felt suddenly sick as all the reasons for why she was in the police station rushed through his head.

 

In fact, the real reason was the very last thing he would have expected. As soon as he had followed the officer through the door, to his astonishment, Nick found himself handcuffed.

"What the hell?" he yelled at the officer. "Let go of me!"

 

"You are under arrest on suspicion of the smuggling and distribution of narcotics," the officer said with an expressionless face. "Now I will take you to your girlfriend."



© 2012 Repgreece


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Added on August 15, 2012
Last Updated on August 15, 2012
Tags: love, friends, romance, summer, fun

Off The Cretan Track