Chapter 7

Written by: Ray Stone

Nick kept his eyes on the arrival doors and recognised the tall man wearing Lennon frames as soon as he came into view.

“Doctor Walls!” he called, relief noticeable in his voice.

The man came up and swung his backpack to the ground. “None of that. My name is Eamonn. Told you that in England.” He pulled a phone from his jacket and scrolled, apparently looking for something. “Takes an age to get here, doesn’t it? I couldn’t get on a direct flight. No seats.”

“I’m worried,” Nick blurted out. “I don’t know where she is – and you don’t seem concerned.”

Eamonn looked up from his phone and put it away as his rich blue eyes found Nick’s face. “I’m not,” he said. “And I suspect she’s found Pythagoras, or he’s found her. If so, she’ll be with him.” He picked up the backpack. “You brought a car, I imagine? Shall we go?”

Nick’s mind brimmed with questions. He didn’t know what to ask first. 

“Why did you suggest we came here if you wanted us to stay on the beach. After two days, she wanted to explore and – ”

“Watch!” 

Nick’s eyes flicked back to the winding road as a bus swayed past, with almost no gap between them.

“As you know, I came here at about your age,” said Eamonn. “Research for my doctorate. You’ve heard some of the stories. But I’ve never spoken about the experiences I had when I decided to camp out in the cave of Pythagoras.”

“What happened?” Nick wondered aloud.

“It was the second night. I’d been out climbing on Mt Kerkis and was sitting outside the cave watching stars appear when an old man appeared, right next to me. I nearly fell of the ledge.

Nick recalled his disbelief when Michelle reported encountering a man at the cave opening.

“We talked until the sun came up,” Eamonn continued. “He looked very old but certainly had all his wits. He said he was Pythagoras, from, you know, 2500 years ago. I didn’t believe him, not then. I figured he lived locally and liked hoaxing tourists. But I felt safe enough. We talked philosophy. I shared my ideas.”

Nick felt the professor turn towards him, and his voice sharpen. 

“Pythagoras said he had learned to bend time and he could appear anywhere. He said he’d chosen my daughter Michelle – as yet unborn – to carry on his work. Of course, I laughed that off. I wasn’t even engaged.”

“He already knew her name?” Nick wondered if he’d heard right. 

“Yes,  said Eamonn. And I didn’t name her; my wife did. Hilary said she’d long had a name in mind and asked me to indulge her. I did, of course, but when I heard her choice I got tingles up my arms. I thought back a few years and decided to take the island’s mysterious old man a little more seriously.

“You really think he’s Pythagoras,” Nick asked.

“I do,” Michelle’s father affirmed.

Comments

So, now we discover the influence behind the lass. Both father Eamonn and self-proclaimed father Pythagoras have held sway over Michelle since before she was born. That would be a little daunting for anyone. I love the way you continued Suraya’s bumpy landing with a terrifying night drive on narrow twisting Greek roads, and a tense scene in the confines of a small rented car. You’ve suggested a few ways the next writers can take this, well done. The relationship between the ‘dads’ is an important one. But no bodies in your chapter, Ray. Are you well? Jus’ wondering.
Out of respect for your genius in starting this serial, I thought it best to try and get through without a kill. I have, of course, thought of a perfect murder scenario here but I can hear all the analytical university types and editors tutting that I cannot kill Pythagoras because he is a ghost. 'Oh yes, I can.' Anyway, your review is wonderful. Thank you.
I am sooo relieved there were do 'kills' in this wonderful chapter that continued the story so well. The link to naming Michelle is genius and, as Ant is saying, it was a lovely continuation of the setting with the winding road and close call with the bus.
Thank you both for your comments although I have to say I knew very little about the subject. I was pleased that you were able to sigh with relief when no-one got killed - this time. Jus' saying.