Mallorcan Magic – Episode 31


DANNY’S flight departed an hour later than scheduled but having accomplished what he’d visited London for, he felt mellow, despite having to listen to Kasha rabbiting on. He’d even fitted in trips to the British Museum and Tower of London. Excitedly, he realised Louise and Richard were old enough to appreciate the famous landmarks. Eira could travel with them, see her folks if she wished. Eira…

He was one of the first to disembark and board the bus ferrying passengers to the terminal. He scooped up his suitcase from the baggage hall and sailed through Customs. But though he searched the faces of people meeting passengers, he saw no sign of his chauffeur. He decided to check the restaurant. To be fair, Raoul would have been waiting longer than anticipated.

“Danny!”

His heart skipped a beat as he whirled around, almost knocking someone over with his suitcase. He apologised, checked his fellow traveller was uninjured and hurried to a worried-looking Eira.

“What’s up? Where’s Raoul?”

“All we know is he didn’t turn up for work and the limo is still in the garage. I got here as soon as I could. I’ve left the children with Isabella. Maybe Raoul will have appeared by the time we get back.”

They walked side by side. Eira led him to where her car was parked and held out the key so he could stow his case.

“Danny, would you drive, please, so I can concentrate on bringing you up to date?”

“Sure. I’m only away three days and it seems my chauffeur has absconded! He didn’t – that is, he wasn’t a problem to you, I hope?”

He closed the passenger door for her. When he got behind the wheel, he couldn’t resist patting her hand. She blushed very prettily, making his heartbeat thump faster, making him feel like a gangly sixteen-year old again.

He navigated a roundabout. “Now, tell me what Raoul’s been up to.”

“There’s not much to tell. On the day you left, I was about to set off for the zoo when a courier delivered a parcel for you.”

Danny frowned.

“I don’t recollect ordering anything.”

“No? Anyway, I signed for whatever it was – parts of some kind, I think. Isabella offered to put it somewhere safe and the children were anxious to get going so we left. Raoul hadn’t returned from dropping you at the airport so I left the gates open.”

“Isabella was the last to see him?”

“That’s right. She says, when he got back, she made coffee and chatted to him. Before she went to visit her friend, she reminded him to help himself to lunch and to wait for me to return before going home.”

“And he didn’t, and neither you nor she has clapped eyes on him since?”

“That’s correct.”

“Raoul does have time owing to him, which could explain his absence,” Danny considered. “But it’s out of character for him not to turn up when I’m due back.”

“There’s something else.”

“Go on.”

“You left your study unlocked.”

“Why not? I have a safe the Bank of England would be proud of, plus a filing cabinet even I can’t figure out how to unlock. Why bother locking my study and leaving it to get stuffy?”

“I told you Isabella dealt with the parcel. She insists she left it on your desk. The thing is, it’s vanished and neither of us can understand what’s happened to it.”

“She’s quite sure where she left it?” Danny frowned.

“Isabella’s one hundred per cent certain. It’s where I’d have left it, too.”

“What about the children? I wouldn’t put it past Richard to play tricks.”

“I did ask them, but neither knows anything. I believe them. And I was with them all the time after we got back. Isabella discovered the package was missing the following morning, when she went in to check the flowers were still fresh.”

Danny drummed his fingers on the steering wheel.

“That means either an intruder got in while her back was turned, or Raoul took the parcel.”

“But why would he? And why would an intruder steal a package when there’s all kinds of treasures around the place?”

Danny’s brain whirled as he examined possibilities. At last, he voiced his thoughts, his tone grim.

“So, a package is delivered even though I haven’t ordered anything. That package disappears, taken by person or persons unknown. To me, Eira, that smells fishy. I suspect I’ve been set up!”

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.