A man stumbles through a jungle near a beach. He pulls some branches aside as he walks rapidly.
He walks on and on, climbing over vines and through patches of sand.
He finds an opening in the jungle. There is a pile of what looks like clothes, but on closer inspection, it turns out to be a mound of skeletal remains of bodies, piled up together in a bunch.
“Merde!” the man says.
Then he sees a rescue helicopter. He looks at the bodies, then looks at the helicopter and grimaces. He waves at the helicopter and someone sitting inside signals back.
Miles walks up to a house and checks the address against the address he wrote down on a scrap piece of paper in his pocket.
171 The Boulevard.
He walks to the front door of a modest, small suburban house.
He knocks 3 times. “Hello” he calls out.
“Come in, the door’s open.” An old woman calls out.
He looks surprised to think that there are people who leave their doors un-locked. He turns the door handle and opens the door.
Inside, he finds minimal furniture and it’s very quiet inside.
“Hell… ooooo” he silently mocks.
“In the kitchen.” She guided Miles.
He walks into the kitchen and sees an elderly couple sitting at the kitchen table, with nothing on the table except a vase with two dead flowers in a vase, with no water in it.
“Hello, ah Mr and Mrs..”
“Sit down, please.” The old man interrupted. He did not look at Miles directly, and the old woman did not seem to pay him much attention.
Miles pulls a chair out and looks at the two curiously.
“So… you called?” He reminded them.
“It’s about our granddaughter” the woman said.
“We’d like you to find her.” She continued.
“How long ago did she pass away” Miles asked.
“She’s in another place now, we can’t reach her.” The old man sulked.
Miles looked at him oddly.
“She’s in Australia” the old woman stated.
“Ahm, Australia? What did she die there?” Miles quizzed.
“You need to reach her.” The old man assured him.
“Rrright. Ok, do you have anything of hers, clothes, a hat or anything personal that I can hold?” He asked.
“You’ll find everything you need in Australia.” The old woman concludes.
Miles smiles at the situation, then asks a rhetorical question.
“And, ah, how did you expect to pay for this little adventure?”
“Don’t worry, you’ll be well rewarded.” She smiles.
Miles gets up from his chair, agitated and annoyed.
“Look, this sort of job requires up front payment of at least four thousand…”
“Please, just find her. Her name is Charlotte. Charlotte Malkin. We don’t have much, but we really need your help…” the old man cries.
Miles sighs then concludes :
“Even if I could go on this hair brained ghost safari, what would I do if I found this girl?”
“You’ll find her in Sydney, Henson St. Number 9.” The old man said coldly.
“Rrrrright. Look, you both seem like a nice couple, but I’ve got better things to do. It was nice meeting you both.” He gets up out of his chair then walks towards the door.
He walks towards the door and shakes his head.
“Number 9 Henson St, don’t forget.” The woman repeats.
“God forbid!” Miles mumbles to himself.
Miles walks out the front door and closes it behind him.
He walks towards his beaten up old car when a voice asks:
“Sir, can I help you?” a police woman steps out of her police car and asks.
“Me?” Miles points to himself.
“What is your business here?” her name badge reads “Teresa Cortez”
“Here? This place” Miles points to the house, then concludes, “I have no business here, that’s for sure.”
“Can I see your license please?” she demands.
“What? Why?” he asks.
“You have no right to be entering that property sir.” She takes his wallet and takes notes on her notepad.
“Um, I was invited here.” He laughs.
“Oh, that’s a good one.” She replies with greater laughter.
“Son, unless you are family, you could be charged with Break and Enter, or at least Trespassing. You’d better have good reason for being there!” She strongly advised.
“What? The door’s open! They asked me in.” Miles yelled.
“That’s very interesting sir, especially since no-one has lived there for 4 weeks.”
“Come with me, please.” She demanded.
Miles huffed and threw his hands up in the air.
She puts him into the back of the patrol car and locks him in. She gets on the radio and starts making enquiries.
A few minutes later, she lets him out from the back of her patrol car.
“Look, legally, I can’t hold you, as I did not actually ‘see’ you enter the premises, nor did I ‘see’ you force entry. Therefore, you’re free to go.” She reluctantly opens the door, then lets him out.
“Wait, what do you mean when you say no-one has lived there for 4 weeks? What about the old couple?” he asks.
“Did you know them?” She enquired.
“Know them?” he replied, then continued: “… I saw them. Around. You know.”
“Your address is on the other side of town.” She points out.
“Yeah, my Aunty lives near hear.”
“Well, the ‘old couple’ you refer to, they both died 4 weeks ago, of natural causes, both at the same time, quite romantic when you think of it. I came here today to take stock of possessions, they are to be donated to the local charities.” Cortez smiled, then looked at Miles. Miles was gob-smaked. He did not see it, but now it’s becoming clear.
“Sir, are you ok?” Cortez asks.
He snapped out of his daze, then said. “Y, Yeah. I’m fine. Yeah, thanks.” He just walked away then sat down in his car, took his mobile phone out of his pocket and checked his mobile phone for call logs. There where no incoming calls, not for a long, long time.
Miles started his car and drove away.
Kate is in her kitchen, cooking eggs.
Her phone rings, she turns the stove off. Puts her spatula down and runs to the phone.
“Well hello stranger! It’s been a long time.”
“Oh good, how did it go?”
“See, I told you. Everyone deserves a second chance.”
“and how’s the lovely Clementine?”
“That great. She’s lovely. So where are you? Where are you going next?”
“Me? Well, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about going back to Australia.”
“Yeah, they’re doing just fine. You know Aaron’s just turned 6?”
“Yes, time does go quickly, before you know it we’ll be pushing walkers.”
“Freckles? Ha! I haven’t heard that one for a while.”
“Ok, Yep. Sure, I’ll be sure to call you when I see Claire again.”
She smiles, then takes a deep breath.
“Ok, you take care. Speak to you later.”
She hangs up the phone, smiles and shakes her head.
The French captain runs towards the helicopter, now stopped on an open area covered with small patches of grass weed.
He runs towards the pilot, who is stepping out of the helicopter.
“I found it!” He laughs. The helicopter pilot does not respond.
“Where are the others?” The French captain asks.
“You idiot!” An American voice with a southern accent replied. “This is Manounoui island.” he continued.
“What?” he questioned.
“Man-ou-nou. The island where ‘The Oceanic heroes.’ where held captive.” He stated.
“Take a look around, there’s the abandoned runway. Look in the jungles somewhere, I’m sure you’ll find animal cages there as well.” He chuckled.
“But, I followed the co-ordinates, the numbers can’t be wrong!” he cried.
“They’re just numbers, Josephus.” The American smiled.
“Sonofabitch” Josephus replies.
“Look on the bright side, buddy. You’re alive, aint you?” He laughs, then signals to him to climb on board.
“Take a look around, it must be here somewhere?” He pleaded.
“Josephus, I’ve just flown in here, there’s nothing else around for miles and miles.”
Defeated, deflated, exhausted, Josephus climbs on board the helicopter.