Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 120

bad idea. Still and all, he was happy he’d met Bill. The tavern wasn’t particularly busy. It was on a back street of a small village on an unremarkable island, normally frequented by middle-aged Greek men, with no interest in leaving their muttered conversations and games of dominoes. Stewart knew he was a quiet drunk and guessed that was why he was tolerated there. On the next island there were enough Englishmen starting fights and vomiting in the streets that one who just sat quietly and drank was almost welcome. Mind you, Bill had seemed to fit in alright. Stewart guessed that that was what happened when you stayed there long enough. You became part of the fabric of the place, part of its story. Enough musing. He donned his sunglasses and headed out into the village to find something to eat. of her paperbacks splayed over the arm of the chair with its spine cracked. But he didn’t really believe it. And, he told himself sternly, he was supposed to be here to not think about her. He looked at the clock and, stretching the truth somewhat, told himself it wasn’t too early to get to the bar. “Yes, special holiday. Tonight, no one goes out. All closed, all the men. No men.” She seemed very serious for what he guessed was some local tradition. He signalled understanding, which seemed to please her hugely judging by the smile on her face. “Remember, stay indoors!” she called after him as he left to return to the apartment. As he left the apartment, it took him a moment to realise that the village was quieter than usual. In fact, there was no one around, except one of the usual stray dogs. Snuffling through some rubbish, it bolted as soon as it saw him. He walked on alone past the whitewashed buildings, shadows lengthening in front of him as the sun began to set. Maybe there was something in all that talk about not going out, he began to think. But soon he could see the lights of the tavern, on as normal. The warnings were just a joke played on a gullible tourist. I’ll show them who’s gullible, he thought as he pushed through the doors, expecting laughter or surprise at his entrance. He received neither. The bar was empty. The lights were on, the door was open, but the &Rv2