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Bizarre Love Triangle

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Sue slumped in her chair with a sigh. "Okay, I give up. I'll do it", she said, "Just give it back". Boyce clicked shut his lighter and handed the giant squirrel head over.

"We could have done it the easy way, but you insisted," he replied, shaking his head sadly. "Now, just tell me where Alan is, and this will all be over."

Sue pouted. "I preferred it when you brought me a furlong." She scribbled something on a piece of paper and pushed it over. It said ‘Brian, boat hire, 0898 70 70 70’.

"Just don't ask me how I got it," she continued, "and now - fack off!"

A little while later and Boyce was on the road. It transpired that Brian was located by the sea and rented motorboats to holidaymakers.
"I don't know about any Alan," he had said, "or even radiologists, but I can hire you a boat for fifty quid."

It wasn't a plan precisely, but Boyce was hopeful. Everything connected with Alan took the path less travelled, and he hoped this would be one of those times. He had tossed and turned all night in bed, thinking about those words that Alan had sung to him, until the dawn brought a resolution; to hunt him down to the ends of the earth if need be, and tell him ...well, he hoped that would come to him when he got there.


The sun was setting as he arrived at Brian's boat house and took charge of Fifi La Belle. Brian was a little nervous about turning her over near dusk, but Boyce was reassuring.
"I'll have her back before dark," he said, "Anyway, you can trust me, mate - I'm a doctor."

The sun was painting every wave with a patina of honey and caramel, dazzling him as he searched the beach and the horizon for the sign he hoped for. The motor churned a spume of dazzling golden foam behind him, its roar cutting him off from the entire world, except this sunset beach, the glorious, shining sand and lonely dunes. He drove Fifi in a huge arc, eyes straining to see something where there was nothing, his heart skipping at the sight of kelp floating high in the water, or a gull, bobbing on the waves.

Then he saw it - a buoy, near the edge of the bay, no doubt marking deeper water. As he approached he could see Joanna and Alan clinging to it, and he bellowed, "Woooooo HOO!" with jubilation. Boyce killed the engine and Fifi drifted in close the buoy.

"W-, w-, what are you doing here, young Boyce?" Alan asked, for all the world as if they had met by chance in a lift, although he was shivering a little. Joanna humpfed, and turned her face to the horizon.

Boyce looked shy. "Alan, did you mean it, when you phoned me and sang that song? You weren't just drunk, were you?" Another likely option presented itself, "...or mentally disturbed?"

Joanna flung herself back round furiously, making the waves splash over the buoy and Alan's head and yelled, "Oh for god’s sake, did you rescue us just so you could elaborate another chapter in your adolescent crush? We are trying to kill ourselves! You're ruining it!"

Alan was unperturbed, and in fact, he looked a little perkier. "Er, er, yes, well, actually Joanna, the strangest thing. I, er... seem to have discovered, a, er, a renewed interest in living so to speak! I can't quite fathom it, but perhaps if we were, were, were to let young Boyce rescue us...?"

"Well you can go with him if you want," Joanna sulked. "I'm staying here."

"But my sugar plum, you'll die! I know the water is reasonably warm and even, that is to say, clement for the time of year, but eventually, you'll fall asleep, and, well, not to be Mr Johnny Naysayer, but, um.... drown."

Joanna sighed with exasperation, the long-suffering sigh of a woman who has spent several days with a man she loathes, in a tin can on wheels and wearing some old codger's jumper, and who really has had quite enough. Really, really.

"I can think of worse ways to go, than peacefully in my sleep," she said briskly, "No, you go on. Hey, this might actually work out quite well - you can blame me for my cousin. And the mechanic. And the policeman. Oh, and that nice, squashed lady in the newsagents."

Boyce and Alan regarded her silently for a few moments, while the waves sloshed gently against the buoy.

"You can't make me do anything I don't want to, you know", she said quietly and turned her head away, as if they had already left, and she was floating alone at sea.

Boyce reached a hand out to Alan, who took it after a small hesitation. Boyce could see the conflict on Alan's face, so he pulled as hard as he could, and got a hand under Alan's armpit, and finally managed to wrestle him onto the boat. As the engine started and they motored away from the buoy, Alan stood up, making the boat rock wildly, and stood to attention with a crisp salute, watching Joanna until she was lost from view.


Three Months Later.....

Boyce hooked his chin over Alan’s shoulder, the better to read the postcard he had just picked up off the mat. Well, that was the primary reason; if there was also some snuggling involved, then so much the better. It was postmarked ‘Newfoundland’ and was heavily crumpled and stained. It said,

‘To Alan.
Got picked up by trawler, spent months in Atlantic. Can now tie knots and speak dirty Spanish. Think I'm in love, or something like it. He has a huge beard.
From Joanna’

“Well fancy that,” Alan said wonderingly, “Ha ha, all’s well that ends well, eh young Boyce?”

Boyce tightened his arms around Alan’s waist. “I love it when you call me that, makes you sound about ninety.” Alan repressed a smile under his moustache the way someone else might have stuck out their tongue.

“One thing I never worked out, though,” Boyce continued, “is – how did Sue know where you were? Before you were even there?”

Alan turned round in Boyce’s arms and smiled the cheeky little smile he saved especially for Boyce.

“I, er, wouldn’t like to er, hazard a guess,” he said, “I’m not even convinced that woman isn’t some kind, of, of, of, well, let’s just say, ha ha! Very scary indeed, yes. Hmmmm.”

And with that, Alan kissed him until the room filled with stars and bluebirds, or so it seemed to Boyce. He had discovered in recent times that the world was actually a rather surreal place, but he thought he could live with that.