Mallorcan Magic – Episode 32

EIRA, supervising the children’s tea later, heard the sound of not one, but two cars pulling up on the driveway. Maybe Danny was expecting visitors.

“It looks as if people have called to see your daddy,” she told her charges. “Isabella’s not back yet, so I’d better go see whether he wants drinks taken through.”

Eira hurried into the hallway in time to hear the drum rattle of knuckles on the front door. She opened it at once, but whatever the first man said might as well have been in Icelandic, because she understood none of it.

Danny appeared, his face puzzled and his response leaving her frustrated and wishing she could speed up and learn to speak Spanish like Helen did.

Eira’s tummy lurched as she watched the blood drain from Danny’s face. Had Raoul been involved in an accident? If so, why wouldn’t uniformed officers have visited his home to break the news, rather than call on his employer?

She waited for Danny to reassure her but two of the men were each gripping one of her boss’s arms.

“What’s happening, Danny? I can’t understand a word anyone’s saying.”

“It seems my suspicions were correct about someone setting me up. I am to be supervised by these two gentlemen while the other two officers search the villa for evidence of illegal arms dealing!” He swallowed hard.

“Would you stay with my children, please?”

“Of course I will. I’ll guard them with my life!” She felt hot and cold all at once. “Is this to do with that mystery delivery?”

“Possibly. We have to hope Raoul can throw light on it though I can’t understand how. The important thing is to find him, for his sake more than mine. I have a clean sheet, Eira. Don’t worry.”

One of the men asked Danny to hand over his keys. Eira looked on, wondering how he stayed so calm.

But then, he was innocent, wasn’t he? Justice would be done. Still, seeing Danny being roughly manhandled into his own sitting room sent a shiver down her spine.

Eira faced the two remaining plain-clothes officers.

“I will be in the kitchen with Mr Carpenter’s children, if you need me. Please ensure none of you does anything to frighten them or you’ll have me to reckon with.” She paused. “I’m sorry I can’t speak your language yet.”

One of the men gave her the ghost of a smile and answered her plea in English.

“We are not monsters, señorita.”

Tempted to answer back but thinking better of it, Eira went back to the kitchen, where the children were still eating.

She poured a glass of water and gulped it down. Maybe Danny would like a drink.

She didn’t care if the unwelcome visitors dropped dead of thirst, all she cared about was that they found nothing incriminating and left as suddenly as they’d arrived.

But the thought of that package niggled at her. It struck her as odd, even downright worrying, that Raoul hadn’t made an appearance since the day the courier delivered it.

The search seemed to take for ever. Eira requested permission to take the children for a walk but was refused.

She got out their paintboxes and sheets of paper, first spreading newspaper on the kitchen table, knowing she’d be for it if Isabella found any colourful graffiti on her work surface.

When the English-speaking officer entered the kitchen and beckoned, dread filled her. She joined him in the hallway but his expression told her nothing.

“Señorita, we have discovered evidence that allows us to take your employer to the estacion de policia.”

Even Eira could understand that and she snapped at the man.

“You can’t lock him up! He’s done nothing wrong. If this is to do with that parcel, Mr Carpenter knows nothing about it. I’m the one who signed for the wretched thing!”

“I am not at liberty to discuss.”

“Where did you find whatever it was?”

“In an upstairs bedroom, attached to the bottom of a mattress.”

“But that’s ridiculous! Mr Carpenter was nowhere around when the parcel was delivered so how on earth could he have hidden it?”

“Would you like us to take you in for questioning also, señorita? We understand the bedroom in question is used by a member of Señor Carpenter’s household.”

Eira backed off, horrified. That must mean her!

“No,” she said. “If you’re taking my employer away, it’s imperative I stay here with his children. Am I allowed to telephone

Mr Carpenter’s lawyer?”

“Si. Depending on what your employer says, we may need you to make a statement.”

“You might as well take it here and now. As I signed for the package, I’m surprised you don’t think I ordered the thing!”

But the officer turned away and strode out of the house. Eira stood by the kitchen door as Danny was led from the sitting room. She gasped when she saw he’d been handcuffed and he turned his head so their eyes met.

He mouthed something.

The words formed by his lips were so startling, so wonderful and so totally unexpected that she stood, watching him being torn from his home and family, hot tears blurring her vision.

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”.