I hide behind the stone pillar as the car sweeps down the driveway then dart behind it before the heavy electric gates swing shut. Avoiding early detection is always the hardest part.
I know where I’m going. I have planned this for some time. In my room I have stashed leaflets including the bus timetable, a cruise line brochure and a map of the docks. Although I have lost contact with most of my old crew, I’m certain my message got out to them and know they will meet me there.
I begin down the long, shadowed street. There are not enough residencies in this part of town to justify expenditure on regular street lamps, so great swathes of night envelope me for most of the journey and I am glad of it. I reach the bus stop at the end of the street but keep walking. The next one will be less obvious should anybody check up.
Two bus rides and a short walk later I’m here. I know from the cruise itinerary that the ship will be docking here overnight to refuel and that means that most of its crew will be ashore to get a break from their life on the sea. They don’t understand it’s majesty like I do. I scorn them but simultaneously am grateful of a skeleton crew tonight. It will make things easier. I long to be back out there, to have my senses revel in the constant rolling of the waves, the sharp air cleansing my body and soul.
I instructed my crew to wait for me behind the warehouse nearest the quay but all is silent. I am not too concerned; they won’t have let me down. Probably just got impatient and headed aboard as an advance party. There’s no point waiting.
I made it to the bottom of the gangplank before it all went wrong.
They appeared out of nowhere. I recognise four of them but there’s another man too. Five against one;I’ve beaten tougher odds before.
I turn slowly, careful not to leave my back exposed to them as they start to close in, circle formation. The new one is bringing up the rear and carrying something draped over his arms.
It’s all over quickly as I catch my foot on the base of the gangplank and pitch forward clumsily. “Idiot!” I curse under my breath. The four men pounce and pin my arms to my side.
“Got you a new suit,” one of them says, nodding in the direction of number five. “Let’s hope it fits you better than the last one after all the trouble you’ve caused.”
Despite my resistance they bundle me into the coarse white material. I don’t like it; it feels too tight on the shoulders. They drag me to the waiting vehicle where they pull on the straps.
I know where we are going, back to the big house on the dark street.
“So Captain Norman,” one of them sneers, “what was your plan this time?”
I glare at him; resent his disrespect. “The name is Captain Jack Sparrow, as you well know,” I hiss back, “and my crew will come for me.”
He laughs as the van passes through the large gates that say ‘Ferntree Psychiatric Unit’.
“Welcome home,” he says.
(Afraid I slightly overshot the 500 words but didn’t want to over-edit so hope you’ll make an allowance on this occasion. 🙂 )