It was never going to be pleasant.

As the boat grumbled to a stop a ruddy faced, middle-aged man appeared and threw a wet rope at Clive – he dropped it. After that Georgie Delaware was not what you might call friendly. When Clive offers his hand, Georgie ignores it and responds with a gruff nod before he grunts that their gear ‘issnae gonna load itself.’

It takes Clive a few moments to realise what he means, then half an hour to persuade the lads to help, during which he suffers verbal abuse revolving around the size of his penis and the fact that Fingers slept with his wife. On the journey over to the island Clive is grateful for the roar of the engine. When they land Georgie lends a hand to unload and reload onto a trailer because he ‘cannae stomach anymore of tha’ bullshit’, but it takes longer than it should due to the presence of a fucking huge and overly curious saddle back pig.

‘Tis only Ruby, says Georgie by way of explanation slapping her playfully on her flank.

It is dark by the time Clive climbs clumsily into the trailer with the gear and the lads to be hauled by tractor to the big house, which is large and no longer grand. The lads, despondent at the state of the place, slouch into the huge drawing room, skin up and snap ring pulls off the ‘settling in’ cans of bitter that Clive is thankful he packed. Georgie shows him the generator and he’s given the briefest instructions as to how to operate it. There are the gas lamps for light, the bedrooms are cold and musty, the woodpile is stacked for one night. When Clive asks how much Georgie charges to replenish it Georgie says he doesn’t charge and adds that he doesn’t replenish it either, pointing out an axe next to the door, for the guests use in the abundant woods beyond. There is no phone, intermittent mobile reception, no internet, no island shop, no boozer; no one else in residence. There is a dinghy for guests to utilize once they sign a waiver and a small shop twenty-five minutes across the water.

“Check the forecast,” Georgie adds because the crossing is unpredictable, he’s lost guests to it more than once.

“Great,” Clive mutters, “really great Georgie mate.” But the dour man mutters great or not it’s no bother to him. “Right-O,” laughs Clive nervously, his perky smile fading into something more desperate.

It is freezing. Clive makes a fire in the vast fireplace while the lads huddle on dilapidated sofa’s, passing joints and exchanging glances which turn into giggles.

“Were tha’ pig a bird pig?” Betty sniggers then adds, “there yer go Fingers mate, sumt t’poke if yer get restless.”

“Fookin’ hell,” snorts H Butt, “yer wouldn’t take a dip in that would yer luv?”

Betty smirks, “that there’s a legend, known for screwing a semi-frozen chicken, KFC with extra sauce.” Fingers kicks Betty.

“Fuck off Betty luv, Cy fucking wagered me to do it yer bastard…” And then nods over at Cyclon. “He’s doin’ the math,” Fingers says. “Alrite Cy? What’s Brenda gone and took us to this house’a’horror Scottish shite hole for eh luv? He needs his head kicking in.”

Clive glances warily up from his task and seeing the look on Cyclon’s face he stands slowly affecting nonchalance.

“You lying cunt this ain’t Indonesia!” Roars Cyclon launching himself at Clive who races across the space, down the dark hall, into the larder off the ill equipped kitchen. He locks the door just in time to hear Fingers say with faux innocence –

“Look Cy mate, ‘appens there’s an axe…”

 

To be continued…


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