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(A long short story of 11345 words)

Danny's Island

Crime and Thrillers

by Chip Tolson

A reunion with an old flame leads Meg into an adventure where she meets with both success and catastrophe.

Meg ran with abandon, uncaring of kerbs, of hedges overhanging the pavements, disregarding cars, crossing junctions, running until her legs ached and she collapsed, heart pounding, onto a bench looking down at the dark water of the river. Her hair a mess from the rain, she gasped for breath.

‘It can’t be. He would never have hurt anyone,’ she sobbed. Yet he had hurt her, not in her body, but with the long lonely hours she had waited for the telephone to ring, pretending to her husband she was reading a book, to his pleasure as he thought her ill-read; fearing he would ask her about the book on which she had no opinion or interest. Her then husband was not Oswald, it was her first marriage to a much older, professor of a subject so arcane she had never understood its purpose, the husband that had left her a childless widow at thirty-five.

The picture on the screen was ‘Danny’, she knew it in her heart. Only she called him Danny, the young man who had come to the university knowing nothing of life, shy and nervous, whose delicate fingers could spin a cricket ball to such effect he was in the university team from the moment the coach saw him bowl a few balls in the nets. Danny, that far-off figure seen from her picnic place on the boundary on warm summer days; yes, he had hurt her when he took up with the rich set and went off to heaven knows where with nubile young things ogling the lovely stranger that had come to town...

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