Into the Vines by Kim Troike
Part Two Bleu Moon
Map of Dorado … an island off Maupiti
Carl was wearing dark cocoa linen slacks and a polo shirt. He’d added the wedding ring as an afterthought. Now, he joined hands with Darlene as they made their way to the puddle jumper, but not before the island crew put leis around their necks. The beautiful and scented floral necklaces smelled sweet. The friendly islanders welcomed them and then said bon voyage to their continued journey. The seaplane held nine passengers and three crew members.
Once in the air, drinks were served and everyone looked out their windows as they were flying fairly low. They could see colors of sapphire, turquoise, azure and indigo, fascinating them. They flew over small islands of trees, brush and sandy white beaches. Their eyes were fixed and mouths agape, no one could escape the stunning, serene view. Darlene had noticed that the two agents had changed their clothes to extreme casual. One had jean shorts hung rather low and faded, and the other had sport shorts to the knees with a sleeveless cotton tee. All this, she wondered, was it really necessary? Probably it was because her son was in the South Pacific and she had no idea why. What she didn’t understand was how the trail just stopped cold. Olivier and the agents, including Raoul and Carl, followed all of it to here and then nothing else. It seemed strange.
The sea plane landed in the turquoise-colored, calm water and then motored right up to the dock. The dock was lively with fishing boats, tourists and other pleasure crafts waiting to take people to outlying destinations for their enjoyment. An islander greeted them and put their luggage in a wheel carrier and had them take a seat on a golf cart nearby.
The sign next to the palm trees read:
Maupiti You have arrived in Paradise!
The island was fairly flat and Darlene thought she could almost see to the other side. Green vegetation rose up all around her and the cart followed a path on the sandy soil. As they came upon a clearing, an old cottage type motel appeared, fixed up nicely with colors of the West Indies: muted yellows, spice oranges, dull greens, and brown touches. Down the way she could see an old building, which seemed to have a hangar next to it. The guide filled her in when he saw her looking in that direction. He told her that was built right after the war and it wasn’t open. The owner hadn’t been here in many years.
Carl looked at Darlene and mouthed the words . . . not open. Then he smiled at her. The cottage-looking motel held about forty guests when filled. There were ten small cottages capable of sleeping four guests each. A small bar and restaurant with an outdoor patio faced the ocean, and it was centered among the guests rooms.
Paradise is where they were, and she felt it for a moment, that soft warm breeze, not a care anywhere, beautiful scenery and Carl, her pretend husband. She laughed. It was Monday, January 21st and all of them had been on the island a week, attempting to act like a married couple, post-college tourists and fishing sportsmen.
Now what, she thought. A week was all she needed for a vacation. “I thought we might go explore the vacant building today,” said Carl.
“How did you know? I’ve been dying to see what is inside there,” Darlene answered.
“I thought so . . . me too.” He’d been sleeping on the sofa and gave her the bed. The place was fairly small, quaint-like and very clean. She packed up a few items like water, fruit, bread and cheese. Carl placed a few beers in her picnic cooler and they set off to go exploring in the South Pacific. Too bad this wasn’t my honeymoon, thought Darlene.
The two young agents, Matt and Alex watched the pair through the window as they went walking towards the abandoned building, hangar and cottage. Then they returned to their computers and researched the area, trying to find out what to do with their time off.
Raoul and Damien had gone fishing, again. Raoul asked the guide about Michael, if he’d seen him. He showed him a picture. Raoul noticed the guide and his reaction, which gave him away. He knew him or had seen him. Raoul pressed him a little further to see if he knew which island he’d gone to. The guide with tanned skin tried to act nonchalant, but he wasn’t sure what to say. He needed to contact someone when he got home tonight. This dude, Raoul was asking too many questions and he had a picture. Raoul sensed the guide was a bit uneasy; he’d been playing this game since god knows when. It was okay, because now the guide’s boss would be alerted and Raoul could send
the boys, Matt and Alex to do some following on their own, after hours, while Damien slept.
Meanwhile, Darlene and Carl advanced further into the hangar where they almost felt like they were intruding, in fact they were. The hangar served as an apartment from a bygone time, an era when aviation bloomed-the forties. Pictures and plane relics hung on the walls and an old phonograph player with records sat behind a sofa. A coffee table, laden with dust and sand, held over sized ashtrays. There was a dance floor in the corner laid smooth with a special wood. A bar was near the huge opening, made of coral and shells, and a wooden top rested over it all. This was someone’s hideaway, their special alcove, here on the island.
by Kim Troike
An excerpt from my novel with a holiday of sorts on the island of Maupiti.