It was a Thursday. I knew that for sure. I remember going out on the Wednesday, because I remember watching Sheffield play. I was with George. I had drunk quite a lot, Sheffield had indeed lost. I also remember that today, Thursday, was the day in which I was supposed to be driving down up to Hull. I was going to Hull, because it was there that I was to catch a boat that was going to take me through the North Sea, with George, my partner in crime.
I worked as a private journalist. Freelance I suppose. I had written all sorts of stories. I actually work for an agency that are based down in Canada square. I’ve written some quite big stories in the past. A lot of which are based on current affairs. I once took my own in depth investigation on this woman who murdered three of her children, with the help of her forth. It was quite a famous one. This was however was very different to anything I had previously done. George was a photographer and had been for as long as I had known him, he too was freelance, and I would take him where ever I was to be writing a story. His photos boosted readers for me, and my stories boosted viewers for George.
I arose from my bed to find that Debbie, my fiancé of 7 year had already left for work. She worked as a school teacher in a local primary school. She is a princess is my Debbie! Long blonde flowing hair, and the greenest of eyes. The only thing missing was patience. Her love for me had left some months ago it was clear to see. I picked up her coffee cup which she had left on the side. The milk had separated from the coffee. It had barely been drunk. I took a sip from it. Two sugars. It was mine. I had obviously asked her for a drink, but had fallen back to sleep not long after asking. It was cold. I put the cup back on the side and walked into the bathroom. I looked in the mirror. My neck was red from where I had been scratching it and my eyes looked bruised and tired. I took a few pain relief capsules and washed it down with the tepid water which I managed to encase in my hands from the holding them under the chrome tap.
The job I had been asked to do was an interesting one. It wasn’t for the Mail or for the Express or a tabloid, clearly not a sports or entertainment magazine, not a foreign broadsheet on spiritualism. But for an unknown source. My job was to write a report on a man. A man who claimed he had died and gone to the other side, before coming back some months later. It wasn’t something I would usually involve myself in. I was provided a boat to take me to my destination, which would wait for me at the island for my departure. I was given a small which would give me an element of security if needed. The job seemed pretty simple. Only the guy I was going to be writing on, seemed far from simple.
I pulled on a clean shirt from the floor nearby. I most probably staggered in last night and knocked everything I had laid out during the afternoon flying. I grabbed a pair of black trousers from my draw, keeping the same boxer briefs on that I had worn the day previously. They told me to bring my own camera however, but I just asked the man if I could instead bring my own photographer. He didn’t seem too fussed. I was briefed for the job by a man named Samuel in an independent coffee shop quite near the inner part of London city last week. The problem with that was the 2 hour train journey to get there. But I must say I didn’t mind paying for a train ticket after Samuel had told me how much I was going to be paid for the report.
I grabbed the mug again and walked through the hall and down the stairs. In the kitchen sat the toaster which Debbie had left out for me, alongside the bread and the tin of coconut jam. She would always leave the breakfast things out for me, she would always make me lunch too. It wasn’t that I was incapable, it was just she enjoyed doing it, and had done ever since we brought a house together 12 years ago. Samuel was a nice guy, he was older than I was I suppose maybe 61 or 62. I was good at guessing ages. I did it a lot when I was in the army. He told me that I was heading to an archipelago of islands above Denmark but below Norway called Occultum. Made of eight islands, all of whom were secret to the normal Earth resident. Apparently the islands were set up as witness protection and for those who were in trouble and needed to get out of the public eye. Occultum meant Hidden in Latin, which explains the background to the islands. They were government run and had been for around 32 years. The island of Siri was where I was to be going. Samuel wore a suit, whilst I didn’t. He told me he worked for the government, and that I was hired for the role to stop the arise of any suspicion. He told me I was going to be safe and everything I would need, I would find on the boat on Thursday. The Isle of Siri was my X on the map. One man lived there. That was clearly the guy I needed. That clever, clever guy.
In the kitchen I found my bag. Inside it carried what I called my essentials. A bag of mint imperials, a change of socks, my laptop, a note book, a passport, and my most favourite book, The Catcher in the Rye. I never went far without that book. I was a former major in the British army corps, and I would always read the book as a form of escapism. I headed out of the front door and stood by the door of my car. George was late. He said he would be here at five past ten. It is ten past ten. I missed breakfast for him. The guy I was going to meet was named Dennis. He lived in an Anderson shelter. He ran his own farm which was heavily guarded apparently. Maybe that was why the pay was so neat. As I stood there by the car, it came across me. Why did I have to do this? Siri was Swahili for secret.