It was night by the time Donald Hiram returned to his beachside hotel. To call This place a “hotel” was a bit of a stretch as it consisted of only a small shack adorned by decorations pilfered from various Sheraton and Marriott hotels throughout the Caribbean.
Hiram got out of the rental jeep and made his way past the leaking fountain of Ariel the mermaid, adorned with a “Property of Disney” sign, and maneuvered past the various garden gnomes that had been stolen from God knows where.
He opened the door and tried to turn on the light, but nothing happened. “Just great, no power…wonderful.” Suddenly, he heard a sound, somewhat muzzled sound like leather being rubbed up against an otter covered with acne.
“Mr. Hiram, I presume,” came a low, whispered voice.
“Who the devil are you?” asked Hiram, as he quickly turned the flashlight application on his wireless phone and pointed it at the source of the voice.
“You may call me…The Shadow.”
“I know you, you’re that sunglasses hander-outer guy from the beach…Greg, wasn’t it?”
The man shook his head and in a nervous tone, but still whispering said, “No, no. I am not this Greg person. I am…The Shadow.”
Hiram then noticed a wallet on the ground and picked it up. “No, see? This is your wallet and here is your driver’s license. You are Greg….and you are Not blind!”
“Listen, you will call me The Shadow, and I know not of this Greg of whom you speak.”
“Okay, fine. I will play along. What can I do for you, Mr. Shadow? And why did you cut the power?”
Greg…er….The Shadow simply spoke softly, “We had to take precautions to ensure our conversation was not monitored. I represent a group that is very concerned about the direction El Presidente is taking our fair island. We know that he listens to you and have decided that you shall help us in our cause.”
“We? Who is we? It’s just you seemingly off whatever medication you are supposed to be on.”
The Shadow uttered a small laugh and then answered, “No, Mr. Hiram. I assure you we are not alone. One of my men, trained in secret covert operations is even now conducting a thorough search of the area outside this establishment to ensure there are no listening devices planted.”
Suddenly a thud…then cursing could be heard.
Hiram rushed to the window and peered out. He saw a man dressed in black, writhing on the ground near a toppled garden gnome. “I hate to trouble you, Greg, but your elite covert operative seems to have hurt himself on one of the garden gnomes outside.”
A somewhat angry voice answered. “For the last time, I am not Greg…I am…The Shadow…and he is secretly testing for any hidden tripwires.”
Hiram shook his head. “No, he appears to be hurt…oh wait, he is getting up…oops, he tripped on another gnome…he’s down again.”
The Shadow seemed unconcerned. “No, he only appears to have fallen. He is sniffing the ground for explosives.”
Hiram chuckled slightly and continued to watch the sad little man try to stand and then run into another gnome, hit his head on the outstretched hand of Ariel in the fountain and fall directly into the shallow pool of water beneath her. Then, nothing. No movement.
“Shadow Greg, he’s face down in the fountain and he isn’t moving. We should help him.”
Shadow merely shook his head. “No, Mr. Hiram. His sacrifice will be long remembered by our organization. For now, we have much to discuss.”
(Continued in Part 8)
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